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6 Ways You’re Depreciating the Value of Your Car

| In Motoring Advice

Car depreciation is very real and it is a fact that your brand-new vehicle loses at least 20% of its value the moment you drive it out the showroom. Add more miles and years to it and it will continue depreciating. So, is there any way to slow down this process? 

Well, the following are 6 ways you’re lowering the value of your car:

Dirty car


1.) You Don't Keep It Clean

Keeping a vehicle clean will make it shine and look good. But it is not just about vanity. A clean vehicle will perform better and last longer. Even in the interior, not keeping the car clean can leave odours and stains. It can ruin the upholstery over time. 

Mud and debris can build up in the car’s internal areas. This doesn’t just make it heavier over time and get into its components, but they can corrode the bodywork as well. A rusted vehicle will fall apart and it’s irreparable. Rust on the vehicle is sure to turn away buyers. 


2.) You Smoke in Your Car

Following a similar theme, the smell of cigarette smoke in a car is a huge turn off. Whether it’s yourself or your passengers, smoking in a car is a sure fire way to make it stink and cigarette smell is notoriously hard to remove. It might not seem like a big issue but why do you think people are known to bake bread when selling a house? Pleasant smells affect our psychology as much as pleasant visuals and increase our likelihood to buy. 

If you’ve ever been a person who smokes indoors or lived with one, you’ll know that asides from the smell there is also the discoloration that can affect everything from walls and ceilings to surfaces and objects. Again, not a good look for your interiors!


3.) You Don’t Maintain It

Scheduled maintenance is key for any machine, especially cars! A well-maintained vehicle will be more reliable and won’t break down. Make sure to change its fluids and filters at regular intervals. Rotate the tyres as well. If there are any dents on the car, make sure to get them removed. 

Not maintaining your car over time can lead to a lot of damaged components. One problem can turn into another and it becomes a domino effect. The last straw is an engine overhaul and a rebuilt engine is not only expensive, but it reduces the resale value by quite a bit. 

In addition to the maintenance, do keep a record of all the service history. This helps retain the car’s market value as this is proof that you treated it right. 

Maintaining your car


4.) You Don’t Keep It Stock

Which petrolhead doesn’t like to modify their vehicle, right? Well, modifications mean that the car isn’t how the manufacturer made it. Most aftermarket setups such as bumpers, spoilers, sound systems, etc., depreciate the car’s value. 

If you have a recent model, then having manufacturer’s coverage on it is an advantage. However, tampering with the car’s engine in the hopes of making it more powerful can void the warranty. This can turn away buyers as well.  

If you add these in hopes that you can ask for a premium price from the buyer, then you may be in the wrong. If you do plan on selling your vehicle, do try to get this stuff off the car. Replace it with OEM parts so that the car looks and feels genuine. 


5.) You Don’t Drive It Right

A BMW 1-Series isn’t meant to be a trailer hauler and a Toyota Yaris isn’t meant to carry a truck’s payload. The car’s manufacturer intended for the vehicle to be used in a certain way. Taking your vehicle beyond the limit (such as driving it in saltwater) ruins it internally. This leads to excessive wear and tear which is never good for the car’s price.


6.) You’re Racking Up the Miles

Now this one might seem obvious but the biggest way you’re depreciating the value of your car is by putting lots of miles on it. Whilst this is often unavoidable if you’re using your car for work or other mandatory journeys but it’s worth considering which trips could be avoided to save the mileage. Could that 5 minute drive to the shop be a walk instead? You could be preventing any extra mileage on your car whilst simultaneously saving petrol, getting some exercise and doing your bit for the environment. Win win!

So there you have it. 6 depreciation mistakes to avoid and some handy tips to maintain your car's value for when you come to sell it! For more motoring advice check out our blog and for the best car deals in the UK, visit: