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6 Ways to Maintain Your Car’s Value

Cars are one of the few purchases that depreciate immediately. Eventually, you will either want to trade it in or sell it. Retaining your car’s value over time will ensure you will be better off financially. Here are six ways to help maintain your car’s value.

Photo: Shutterstock/Lyubov Levitskaya

Drive Fewer Miles

A great rule of thumb is to drive under 10,000 miles a year. It will help your car retain as much value as possible. One way to improve the life of your car’s mileage is to make all essential trips in one go instead of making separate trips.

Another way to drive fewer miles on your car is to take other forms of transportation like buses, trains, or subways. Carpooling is also an option. The more miles on the vehicle, the lesser its worth, and vice versa.

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Avoid Modifications

While adding modifications may seem to add value to a vehicle, it tends to have the opposite effect. Almost all cars with modifications never earn as much in resale amount as they would have before modifications. Sticking to the original car model before renovations may be boring, but it’s best for maintaining value in the long run.

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Vacuum and Wash Regularly

A clean car is great for personal use and when you decide to sell or trade it. It’s best to keep up with cleaning the interior and exterior of your vehicle weekly or monthly.

To avoid stains or smells, apply washable seat covers on the front and back seats. Before selling or trading, vacuum all crumbs off the floor and clean any stains on the seats. Never smoke inside your car because smoke scents are some of the hardest smells to remove. No one likes to sit in a dirty or smelly vehicle, let alone buy one.

Photo: Shutterstock/Nejron Photo

Buy Used

Although it may not seem like it, buying a used car is better than purchasing a brand-new one. New cars tend to lose their value within the first three years. The only downside to buying a used car is the miles already on it. Still, used cars won’t depreciate as fast as new cars.

Photo: Shutterstock/Prostock-studio

Pick Your Options Wisely

When buying a car, you want to purchase a car that consists of the essentials that every driver seeks. Consider a vehicle that has features like cruise control, power seats, power windows, air conditioning, and maybe even a rear camera. Although trendy car features can be interesting for a few years, consider buying a car that includes features that drivers will seek out for decades to come.

Photo: Shutterstock/Andrii Medvednikov

Regularly Keep Up With A Maintenance Schedule

A vehicle that has kept up with a maintenance schedule is worth way more than a vehicle that hasn’t kept up with repairs and oil changes. Regular checkups like oil changes keep a vehicle healthy for longer.


Maintenance schedules can catch any potential issue before it becomes a bigger problem. This will help you financially in the long haul. Keeping tabs on your maintenance jobs through receipts is a great way to know what checkups are due next, and sometimes potential buyers like to have those receipts for their records.

Practices like taking care of maintenance jobs, keeping your car clean, and keeping the average mileage low over time will retain your car’s value over time. Another way to hold up value is to keep your car parked inside a garage if you have one. Garages help to keep your car safe from weather elements and debris. Selling or trading your car is already a stressful process, but these tips will help you make the most financially.