Take Care of Your Car Today, Sell it For More Tomorrow
Whether your parents instilled it in you growing up, or you learned it on your own as an adult, you know that taking care of your things is the surest way to safeguard their longevity. The more diligent you are about tending to your personal belongings, the longer they will last, and the better they will serve you over the duration of time you need them. This is true of everything in your collection of physical items – from your cookware, to your bedding, to your tools, and to your car. There is nothing that should be left out of proper care and maintenance if you expect it to last. Just as your parents urged you to clean up your toys and not roughhouse with fragile items, so should you discipline yourself to care for your most treasured possessions. Not only will properly cared for things last longer, they will have a better chance of selling for more money when the time comes to part ways. One of the best examples of this is your vehicle.
Take Care of Your Car, and Your Car Will Take Care of You
Unless you plan to drive your vehicle for the rest of your life, then you have occasionally thought to yourself, One day I would like to sell my car. It may not be today, it might not even be tomorrow – but eventually you will be ready to part ways with the current car you own, and purchase an updated model to replace it. If you intend to sell your car some day in the future, then chances are you aren’t hoping to get the least amount of money possible. In fact, you daydream of how much money you can get back when the time finally comes to turn the keys over to a new owner. The amount certainly won’t be as much as you paid for it, but there are ways to ensure that you get the most amount of money when it comes time to sell your current car, truck, or SUV.
Taking proper care of your vehicle means more than bringing it in for oil change appointments. Taking good care of your car means cleaning it out on a regular basis, taking it to the car wash for an exterior cleaning, properly maintaining tire pressure, and so much more. Car ownership is a major responsibility, and if you slack off on proper vehicle care you can bet that when it comes time to sell, you won’t get as much as you want or need for it.
The Tale of Two Cars
Let’s imagine for a moment that two well-meaning friends own the same make and model year SUV. Joe and Jackie each purchased a 2010 Chevy Traverse brand new, from their local Chevy dealership. They both opted for the LT Sport trim level, due to the fact that it was a mid-grade trim level that offered plenty of features as standard. Over the years, Joe and Jackie put just over 100,000 miles on each of their Traverse SUVs. Slightly more than normal, but certainly not an extreme accumulation of mileage over the course of eight years.
The majority of Joe and Jackie’s story line up perfectly…save for one small issue. Over the course of vehicle ownership, Jackie took exceptional care of her Traverse. Washing it on a regular basis, getting the oil changed the moment it was needed, and keeping up with other important maintenance issues. She did not allow her kids to eat in her SUV aside from long road trips, and installed all-terrain floor mats as soon as she purchased it. Jackie’s Traverse was in near perfect condition. Although it lacks the latest in-vehicle technology, by all intents and purposes, her vehicle is in like-new condition. Jackie is interested in trading her 2010 Traverse in for a newer model, and learns that she can expect right around $8,500 for her SUV as a dealer trade in. Satisfied with this number, Jackie heads into the dealership to get the newer car she has had her eye on for some time.
Now let’s take a look at Joe’s Chevy Traverse. While Jackie was diligent about proper vehicle care and maintenance, Joe was not. Joe didn’t neglect his car, and he even kept up with regular oil changes. Aside from that, Joe did not worry about the condition his car was in, and regularly joked that a family of mice likely lived off of the food crumbs that littered his SUV’s interior cabin. The 2010 Traverse served Joe very well over the past eight years, and it certainly shows. The SUV is missing the latest in-vehicle technology, and looks about ten years older than it actually is. The driver side mirror is still shattered from a run in with the garage about six years ago, and a dented passenger door is fairly noticeable in the daylight. Neither of these things particularly troubled Joe, so he never bothered to have them fixed. After hearing how much Jackie received for her Traverse at trade-in, Joe decides he would like to do the same thing. After all, it’s been awhile since he drove a brand new car. Filled with confidence, Joe drives his 2010 Traverse to the same dealership where Jackie found such success. After a quick once over, the dealer representative informed Joe that they would offer him $4,500 for his SUV. Needless to say, Joe was disappointed, insulted, and confused. How had his friend received so much more for the same car, just a few days prior? Angry and insulted by the perceived low-ball offer, Joe drove straight to Jackie’s house to vent. Upon seeing his car, it was obvious to Jackie why Joe had not received a similar offer from the same dealership, and she informed him of her theory. Joe was still upset, but better understood what had happened, and why.
Be a Jackie, Not a Joe
The scenario above happens more often than you might think. People spend the duration of car ownership neglecting to take proper care of their vehicles, and still expect to fetch a pretty penny when it comes time to trade it in. Unfortunately for Joe, this isn’t reality. Fortunately, for Jackie, and other car owners, taking proper care of your vehicle now, can end up serving you very well in the future. If you currently own a car that you will one day want to sell, be a lot more like Jackie, and a lot less like Joe.