9 Surprising Things That Can Decrease Your Car’s Value
- Depreciation is the natural decrease in a car’s worth over time.
- Accidents are the most common way to decrease your car’s value.
- Even a small fender bender can have a large impact.
- Engine upgrades can void your warranty and make your car less reliable, lowering its value.
- A new paint job can decrease your car’s value.
- Even if you take pristine care of your vehicle and change the oil religiously, high mileage will still bring down the car’s value.
- Carpets and upholstery can hold onto odors.
- Old, unmatched, unbalanced tires can significantly affect your car’s value.
- Keeping records of oil changes and other services can show potential buyers that you’ve been diligent about maintaining the vehicle.
You might think that the only things that can decrease your car’s value are crashes or mechanical problems. But, many other factors can have a significant impact on how much your car is worth. One of the biggest factors is its age. The older a vehicle gets, the less value it has. This is due to depreciation, which is the natural decrease in a car’s worth over time. Many other factors also contribute to depreciation, and we’ll discuss some of the most common ones.
Accidents are one of the most obvious ways to decrease your car’s value. An accident will always lower the car’s resale value, even if it’s a minor fender bender. Accidents signify that the car has been in use and is no longer “like new.” They also indicate that the car may have hidden damage that can’t be seen from the outside.
If you’re in an accident, get your car repaired immediately. This will minimize the deterioration and keep your car’s value from depreciating too much.
2) Engine Upgrades
Engine upgrades are another common way to decrease your car’s value. This is because they can void the warranty on your vehicle. Warranties are a big selling point for used cars, so if yours is no longer valid, it will likely sell for less money. Upgrading your engine can also make your car less reliable, lowering its value.
If you’re considering engine upgrades, research how they will affect your car’s value before making any changes. It’s often best to avoid them if you want to keep your car’s resale value high.
3) A New Paint Job
A new paint job might seem like it would increase the value of your car. In reality, you are likely decreasing its value. A customized or different color might be attractive to you, but it will make it harder to sell the vehicle down the road.
Sticking with the original color is best if you want the best return for your car. Paint jobs can also be expensive, so you might not make back what you put into it when it comes time to sell.
4) High Mileage
If your car has many miles on the odometer, it will be worth less than a similar model with fewer miles. This is because cars driven more are more likely to need repairs and maintenance, and they don’t last as long as cars that haven’t been driven as much. Even if you take pristine care of your vehicle and change the oil religiously, high mileage will still bring down the car’s resale value.
You can try to offset this by advertising all the preventive maintenance you’ve done over the years, but ultimately, buyers will be wary of a car that’s racked up many miles.
5) Dirty and Smelly Interior
We love that new car smell. We also work hard to keep our cars clean inside and out. Unfortunately, over time cars can start to develop an odor. A dirty and smelly car will decrease its value, whether it’s from spilled food or drinks, pet hair, or just general wear and tear.
If you’re trying to sell your car, give it a good cleaning before you list it. You may even consider shampooing the carpets and upholstery to eliminate any lingering odors. A tidy vehicle is more satisfying to drive and will also be more valuable come trade-in or resale time.
6) Unmatched or Old Tires
Old and unmatched tires are a big turnoff for car buyers. They look bad, and they can also be dangerous. If selling your car, get new tires that match. Also, balance and align your tires. This will give your car a smoother ride and improve its value.
Most people don’t think about their tires when it comes to the value of their car. But old, unmatched, unbalanced tires can significantly decrease your car’s value.
7) No Maintenance Records
A car that has no maintenance records is often viewed as being neglected. This could result from the owner not keeping track of when oil changes or other services were performed or never bothering to get them done in the first place. Either way, it’s a red flag for potential buyers that they may have to sink additional money into the car down the road.
It’s important to keep records for your reference and show potential buyers that you’ve been diligent about maintaining the vehicle. You can keep a folder in your glovebox with all your receipts.
8) Letting Your Car Sit Outdoors
Another way to decrease your car’s value is by letting it sit for long periods without being driven. This is especially true if it’s parked outdoors. Sun and rain can cause damage to the exterior and interior of your car, and that damage will only get worse the longer it sits. If you’re letting your car sit for an extended period, keeping it in a garage or covered parking spot is best. This will guard it against the elements and keep it in better condition overall.
9) Careless Driving
We’ve all seen it before: someone driving too fast, weaving in and out of traffic, or even running red lights. This careless driving puts yourself and others at risk and can also take a serious toll on your car. The faster you drive, the more wear and tear your car endures, leading to costly repairs down the line. Not to mention, if you’re involved in an accident, your insurance rates are likely to go up, and the value of your car will decrease.
So there you have it! Nine things you may not have known about that can decrease your car’s value. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can help ensure that your car retains its value for years.
Check out our blog post about nine signs that you need a new vehicle.
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