5 Ways to Slow Your Vehicle’s Depreciation
Is there anything quite like that new car smell? A new vehicle is an exciting purchase. However, the very moment you drive your new vehicle off the lot, it loses about 10% of its value. By the end of the first year, your vehicle will be worth almost 20% less than what you paid for it.
Here are 5 things you can do to help slow depreciation and maintain the value of your vehicle.
Protect the Interior and Exterior
One of the biggest factors in determining a vehicle’s value is the condition of its interior and exterior.
Here are some ways you can protect the interior and exterior of your vehicle:
- Clean the inside of your vehicle on a regular basis (including floorboards, seats, console, cup holders, and dashboard)
- Consider investing in durable and spill-proof floor mats; you can simply take them out of the vehicle and hose them off
- Park a good distance away from other vehicles (especially those with wide doors because they’re more likely to ding your door)
- Wash your vehicle regularly (for those who live in salty or urban environments, wash it once a week; for those who don’t deal with a lot of dirt, bugs, and bird droppings, a monthly wash should keep your vehicle clean)
Regular Maintenance is Key
The inner workings of your vehicle are just as important as the appearance. Regular maintenance keeps your vehicle functioning properly and can reduce future repair costs, extending the life of your vehicle.
From oil to brakes, there are many parts of your vehicle that need to be checked and maintained on a routine basis.
- Oil change (generally, every 3,000 to 5,000 miles)
- Check oil, air, and fuel filters
- Check transmission fluid and spark plugs
- Emission system and brakes (check annually)
Your vehicle’s manual should explain what you should have done to maintain your vehicle and when (based on miles driven or amount of time driven).
Make sure you keep the receipts and records of all maintenance, tire rotations, car washes, and any other improvements in a safe place.
These records verify the long-term care of your vehicle. According to Kelly Blue Book, maintenance history generally helps maintain your vehicle’s value.
Watch Your Mileage
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 13,500 miles is the average annual mileage per car.
If you drive more than the average mileage every year, your vehicle will depreciate at a quicker rate.
Monitor your VIN report
Your vehicle has a vehicle identification number (VIN) in the bottom left corner of your windshield. Much like a credit report, a VIN report shows the entire history of the vehicle. The report includes information about the vehicle, information about any previous owners, and any accidents.
It’s important for you to regularly check the VIN report and ensure that all of the information on the report is accurate. If the information is inaccurate, the value of your vehicle could be affected.
To protect yourself and your vehicle’s value, drive safely. Don’t speed, obey all traffic signals and signs, and maintain a safe distance behind vehicles in front of you.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best legal counsel in East Texas.