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5 ways to maximise the value of your car on the used market

Everyone wants to get the highest possible price for their ride when selling it, but to do so, you’ll have to take good care of it.

Third-party warranty provider MotorHappy has taken the liberty of highlighting the five best practices that are going to help you maintain the value of your vehicle, which will not only make it better to live with but also easier to sell if and when the time comes.

Regular servicing

Servicing your car within its original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) recommended intervals is key for maintaining longevity and performance, as well as enhancing safety on the road.

Importantly, a complete service record will also show potential buyers that the vehicle’s internals have been well looked after.

A scheduled service includes a general inspection of mechanical health and the replacement of items like brakes, fluids, and filters where necessary.

Beyond mere upkeep, regular servicing makes it easier to identify potential issues and safeguards you against bigger, more expensive repairs down the line, too.

If your car has run out of its original service agreement, consider extending it with the OEM or investing in a third-party plan. Paying for a car service out of your own pocket can be a costly endeavour and is not always feasible if there are bigger issues that must be tended to.

Regular maintenance

Service and maintenance are often interpreted as the same thing, but while the former mostly refers to annual work done by a trained professional, the latter involves more frequent checkups that can largely be carried out by the car owner.

Consistent maintenance practices that every motorist must do include inspecting fluid levels regularly to avoid the engine running dry; as well as ensuring the tyres are inflated to their ideal pressure, are correctly aligned, and have enough tread depth.

Scheduling the vehicle for periodic brake checkups by a mechanic, or keeping an eye on the stoppers yourself, is also important

“When your brakes aren’t functioning properly, your wheel bearings and suspension can also be affected. Prioritising brake system maintenance isn’t just about safety but also an investment in the vehicle’s long-term value,” said MotorHappy.

Most OEMs allow you to upgrade your service plan to a maintenance plan, but should this not be available, many other companies will provide such a product.

Extended warranty

An extended warranty, whether it be from the OEM or a third party, is important if you’re driving an older car that is no longer covered by its original after-sales contract, particularly if it has a history of repair issues.

This type of warranty protects against unexpected costs that often arise from high-tech or costly components that are prone to failure as the car racks up mileage.

An extended warranty can also enhance a vehicle’s resale value because it can be transferred to the new owner.

Keeping records

Maintaining comprehensive records of everything you have done on your car is vital, whether it’s a receipt for a new battery or an invoice showing that the bumper was repainted after a fender bender.

“These records show your car’s care history and provide transparency and confidence to prospective buyers,” said MotorHappy.

“Your records will let them know it’s a well-cared-for car, ensuring peace of mind for both the seller and the buyer.”

General care

In general, nurturing your daily driver will keep it looking and running better for longer, and ultimately make it the cream of the crop on the used market.

Regular washing and waxing of the exterior preserves the quality and shine of the paint in addition to preventing rust, both crucial for resale value.

Habitual cleaning of the interior as well as being careful of what you have in there – for example, avoiding foods, drinks, and sharp objects on the seats – will further reduce wear and tear while simultaneously maintaining comfort and aesthetics.

If work must be done on the car, it’s also imperative to only use quality parts and certified mechanics that won’t do a shoddy job.

Lastly, avoid aggressive driving behaviours to prevent unnecessary strain on the engine, brakes, and other parts of the car.

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