How to Maintain Your Car for Maximum Resale Value

As inflation continues to rise, so does the necessity of many individuals to cut costs in their lives, many times in the two biggest expenses: housing and transportation. In fact, the sale of used cars has increased twice as much as new cars in the United States. Worldwide, car buyers are three times more likely to buy a used car than a new one, resulting in nearly 40 million used cars being sold every year around the world.

If you’ve got an extra car sitting around or are simply ready for an upgrade, there’s no better time than now to sell a used car. However, you may be asking, what should I keep in mind when selling my car? Keep reading for tips from the experts at Kennedy Transmission to make the most out of your car-selling experience, including information on how to maintain your car’s resale value for the best payout possible.

What Should I Know About Used Car Sales?

If this is your first time selling a used car, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when making decisions. You may choose to sell it yourself, but you also have the option to enlist the help of a dealership, trade it in, or accept an instant cash offer. If you choose to take on the selling process yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll need to spend some time researching and speaking with your mechanic to set an asking price and will need to field calls or texts from those interested. However, you’ll get paid directly by the buyer without having to pay any overhead as well as have the ability to negotiate a higher price if your vehicle is deserving of it.

When advertising your car for sale, be sure to include the following information:

  • A brief description of the vehicle
  • Reason you’re selling
  • The vehicle’s condition and any necessary history
  • Your asking price and negotiation terms
  • Acceptable form of payment
  • As many photos as possible of both the interior and exterior

A person hands a car key off to another person, after selling their grey car in the background

Factors of Used Car Value

There are many factors that can affect the resale value of your car. For example, upgraded tires can increase the value of a car, while a history of accidents will decrease it. Additional factors include:

  • Mileage. One of the first questions a buyer will ask is, “How many miles does it have?” The number of miles on your vehicle is the biggest factor in determining its resale value. The more miles your car has, the less it is worth. An average driver racks up between 12,000 and 15,000 miles on their vehicle per year, so if you’re planning a cross-country road trip, consider renting a vehicle instead of using your own.
  • Condition. Many people use their vehicles for much more than just going from Point A to Point B. If you’re towing a boat or trailer, driving the neighborhood carpool to school, or using your vehicle to transport moving boxes, shrubs, or plants, you’re adding additional wear and tear. When you focus on regular maintenance and drive carefully and safely, it shows both in your vehicle’s condition and its resale value.
  • Color of the car. While it may not seem like something that would make a difference in your vehicle selling experience, the color of it does play a part. Standard car colors such as white, black, and gray are best sellers, while more unique colors like yellow, bright red, teal, or maroon may have a smaller market.
  • Aftermarket add-ons. Adding aftermarket audio systems and non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) spoilers won’t increase your vehicle’s resale value, and in some cases may decrease it. Most buyers will not want to pay a premium for these additions, so try to keep your car as standard as possible. If you’re set on making modifications to your car, take time to research, work with your dealer and make sure all parts come from the vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • Exterior. You may not think small scratches or dents on the exterior of your vehicle would make a major difference, especially if it’s an older car, but you’ll likely see a big drop in value or loss of interest altogether, depending on your vehicle’s exterior. Certain damage can lead to rust and corrosion, so be careful when choosing where to park, and if possible, park in the shade to maintain the brightness of your vehicle’s paint.

A car technician cleans off a dip stick with a yellow rag after checking the oil of a car

How To Get the Most Out of Your Used Car Sale

When selling your vehicle, you will want to present it to potential buyers in the best condition possible. Regularly washing and vacuuming your vehicle will maintain a higher resale value. Right before you show off your vehicle, take some extra time to deep clean, wash, and wax your car. Detailing both the interior and exterior of your car is similar to staging a home for resale. Buyers are more drawn to a clean car, and you’ll be sending a message that it has been well taken care of and maintained.

In addition to potential buyers asking about the mileage of your vehicle, you’ll likely also get questions about its history of maintenance. Keep records of all maintenance completed on your vehicle, especially if you have diligently kept up with all recommended services. Regular maintenance includes oil changes, tire rotations, alignment adjustments, and battery replacement. If your car was involved in an accident that required body repair, include any necessary documentation from your insurance company and the body shop.

Kennedy Transmission Is Here To Help

Whether you need regular maintenance throughout the life of your car or simply need to address lighting system issues, Kennedy Transmission has you covered. Our team of expert technicians are experienced in diagnosing and repairing a wide range of issues as well as keeping your vehicle up to date and in its best condition through regular maintenance. From Apple Valley to Minneapolis to Plymouth and beyond, we’re here to support you from the day you bring home a new vehicle to the day you sell it. Find your nearest Kennedy Transmission location today!


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