5 Simple Ways You Can Maintain the Value of Your Car

Outside of a house, a vehicle is typically the biggest financial investment a person makes. And as with any investment, you want to be sure that you protect its financial value. But unlike a house, a car depreciates in value (and quite rapidly at that). So you’ll need a plan for helping your vehicle maintain value over time.

5 Ways to Retain Value

Every vehicle is unique in the sense that it requires different investments to keep it going. But for the most part, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to maintain the value of your car. It simply requires a little bit of time and effort.

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few simple, yet effective tips:


  • Perform Preventive Maintenance


To keep your body functioning in tip-top shape, you know that it’s important to make healthy decisions all of the time (not just after you experience a health crisis). So you try to eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water, and reduce stress. But did you know that preventative maintenance is just as important for your vehicle?

As Sears Auto explains, “Preventive maintenance is without question the most effective and least expensive way to keep your car running for a decade or longer. Regular automotive checks can help prevent costly repairs in the future and keep your car and its passengers safe.”

For best results, regularly inspect your tires, lights, wiper blades, batteries, air filters, belts, hoses, and fluids. If you find something wrong, deal with it right away – rather than letting it get worse. Small issues are usually simple and inexpensive to fix. Left untreated, though, small issues become much more expensive.


  • Keep the Vehicle Covered


Appearance plays a significant role in the value of a car. Even if the engine is in pristine condition, it’ll be tough to get maximum value for a vehicle with chipping paint, dents, and scratches. And while some basic wear and tear is to be expected, you can do yourself a favor by keeping the vehicle covered as much as possible.

If you don’t have access to a permanent garage, do the next best thing and buy a portable garage or shelter. It’ll cost you a few hundred dollars for a quality shelter, but it’s better than having to drop a few thousand dollars on a new paint job down the road.


  • Regularly Change Oil


One of the best things you can do for your engine is to change the oil on a regular basis. While a mechanic will tell you to change it every 3,000 miles, you can probably get away with more like 5,000 to 7,000 miles (assuming you aren’t putting a ton of stress on your engine). Regardless, be sure to do it once or twice per year. It’ll cost you $30 or $40 and 30 minutes of your time to have a professional take care of it. You can do it on your own for even less money (though it might take a few minutes longer).


  • Swap Out Air Filters


Just as important as changing your engine’s oil is swapping out the air filter. And considering that it’s so cheap ($10-$20) and easy (just remove a few screws), there isn’t any excuse for ignoring it.


  • Keep the Interior Clean


Finally, be sure to care for your vehicle’s interior. Whether leather or cloth, keeping the seats, dashboard, and floor clean will make you feel better about your vehicle and communicate to future buyers that you took care of it. It just takes five minutes every week or two – so do it!

Take Care of Your Car

The way in which you treat your car says a lot about who you are as a person. People who neglect or mistreat their vehicles tend to act similarly in other areas of their lives. People who keep their vehicles clean and proactively care for all of the major systems are generally more focused, appreciative, and attentive.

Don’t neglect your car. Not only is it bad for your vehicle’s value, but it also allows poor habits to take root inside of you. Take the time to invest in your vehicle, and you’ll be rewarded in more ways than one.