10 Simple ways to preserve your car’s resale value over time

You’ll never know when you’ll need a quick buck
by Drei Laurel | Aug 19, 2020
PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

“A car loses its value the moment it drives out of the dealership.” True, but this isn’t exactly the whole story.

Most of us, save for the lucky few who hold on to vehicles that end up becoming highly valued classics, will never get close to what our car was worth brand-new. But there are ways to preserve our ride’s value over time. We think it’s especially important to keep your ride’s secondhand worth in mind, especially with all the current financial uncertainty brought on by the country’s recession.

Here are 10 simple and easy ways owners can maintain their car’s resale value. Have any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

1) Choose your vehicle carefully.

Chinese-made cars have come a long way over the past few years, but to say that the market is over the stigma that comes with maintaining them would simply be naïve. The same goes for brands that have a reputation for being expensive to maintain, or models which are notorious for after-sales and parts support.

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You also want to look at what segment you’re diving into. Lower displacement sedans tend to hold their value better than ones that pack 2.0-liter engines or higher. And as far as midsize SUVs are concerned, diesel-powered units retain their worth better than gasoline-engined ones.

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Even your choice of color will come into play if you decide to sell, as more unique finishes are harder to resell. White and silver are your best bet, as these are popular and tend to hide scratches and imperfections better.

2) Stick to stock/keep your parts.

A car that is completely stock will in most cases be easier to move than one that has undergone a bunch of aftermarket upgrades. If you can’t help yourself, be sure to keep all of the stock parts you plan on replacing with aftermarket ones, as you’ll probably want to put them back onto your car if you finally decide to sell.

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3) Keep a detailed service record.

Be sure to stick to your maintenance schedule and, more important, keep a record of everything that has been worked on in your vehicle. Prospective buyers will definitely want to look into your vehicle’s service history, and a squeaky clean record will play a great deal in your favor when it comes to negotiations.

4) Use it, don’t abuse it.

Do we even have to go into this? Frankly, this should be obvious even if you plan on keeping your vehicle. Keep in mind we aren’t just referring to worn-out brakes or messed up transmissions here—even those little chips on your bumper from that time you went nuts on a gravel road will be taken into consideration by a potential buyer.

5) Keep your car’s papers in order.

A car that doesn’t have its registration in order is an immediate red flag.  You’ll need your Land Transportation Office (LTO) registration and OR/CR, as well as a deed of sale if needed. The LTO implemented an online scheduling system back in 2018, so at least getting this accomplished isn’t as big of a hassle as it used to be. We this is a bit of an inconvenience, but there’s really no excuse not to get this done if you’re eager to sell your vehicle.

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7) Don’t let small issues linger.

If you notice something wrong with your vehicle, have it checked and dealt with right away. It can be anything from an unusual sound emanating from the engine bay to a couple of scratches. Remember: that little bit of rattling can be a symptom of a more concerning issue, and some scratches can lead to rust when left undealt with over long periods of time. When it comes to preserving resale value, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

8) Casa-maintained isn’t always a good thing.

Remember that saying about how casa-maintained is the way to go when it comes to preserving a car’s value? Well, it isn’t always the case—there are plenty of casa horror stories out there that will prove this. Ideally, you want to have work done at an establishment with a good track record and with a mechanic you can trust, and in many cases, this will be outside the casa. And, again, keep a detailed service record.

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9) Be careful where you park.

An indoor garage is ideal, but if you don’t have one, just be sure not to leave your car under trees or exposed in the sun for long periods at a time. Speaking of parking under the sun, if you can’t help it, be sure to have a visor handy to preserve your interior. Oh, and definitely avoid parking near careless motorists—you know, cars that give off the impression their owners don’t give a rat’s ass if the ding the neighboring vehicle.

10) Use seat covers.

Here’s a simple one, if you don’t mind messing with your interior aesthetic at least. Using covers will help keep your seats in check, preventing stains on fabric ones and helping preserve leather ones.

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PHOTO: Leandre Grecia
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