Time to move on from your current vehicle? If it’s in decent condition, you may be tempted to sell it. Trying to determine your car’s resale value might not be as simple as you think — and hidden issues can affect the resale value and keep you from making the most on a sale.
Cars with neutral, common colors are more likely to find favor with buyers, no matter the make and model of the vehicle. Colors such as black, white, silver and grey are preferred. Although you may love that bright orange now, in a few years it could prove to be the reason your car’s resale value plummets. If you want to express yourself through your vehicle, look for options that maintain their value over the long-term like premium wheels or a leather interior.
2. Brand Reputation
Auto resale value by brand factors in heavily. Some people may be looking for a specific brand because it might need fewer repairs, offer greater durability or more reliability. A car company with a history of recalls or bad press can make resale much harder. If you do have a vehicle with a spotty brand reputation, make sure to indicate to buyers that you have performed regular maintenance and had the vehicle checked for any recalls.
3. Miles Per Gallon (MPG)
Due to the fluctuation of gas prices and buyers’ desire for fuel-efficient vehicles, MPG can be an important factor in your car’s resale value. Hybrid cars and trucks, electric vehicles and compact cars all offer great MPG. If you own a gas-guzzling SUV and want to boost its resale value, remember that regular oil changes, updated filters and fluids and properly inflated (or new) tires all go a long way to ensuring the vehicle is getting the best MPG.
Yes, the age of the car may be important, but buyers might be more likely to plunk down money for a vehicle with less miles racked up on the odometer even if it’s older. In fact, the average age of cars on the road in 2020 is 12 years. So even if your vehicle is a decade old, you could still get top dollar for it as long as the mileage is relatively low. Another bonus to low mileage is a possible auto insurance discount.
5. Is it Clean?
Let’s be honest — no one wants to buy a dirty or smelly car. When people are looking for a new vehicle, they want to feel like they’re buying a ride that has been well maintained. Keeping your car clean, or at least having it cleaned when you’re preparing to sell it, shows off its condition. Schedule biweekly car washes (don’t forget the interior) and consider having it detailed a few times a year.
Along with keeping your car clean, having your vehicle regularly serviced will help your car’s resale value. Keep a maintenance log of any repairs or tune-ups that you can show potential buyers. They will be happy to see regular oil changes, inspections, fluid refills, tire rotations and more. It may not necessarily lower the depreciation, but it will give buyers more confidence in the quality of the vehicle they’re purchasing.