October 27, 2020
Swap shoes with a used-car buyer. They’ll be looking at paint, interior, service history and ensuring everything works. Ticking these boxes keeps the value of your car high – if only it were that easy…
Here are some not-so-obvious ways to hold the trade-in value of your car:
Kiss of the Shopping Trolley
Stray shopping trolleys are not friends of auto paint. Many scrapes go unreported or deemed “it’s not that bad” but they can really knock the value of your car down.
Next time you run the shopping centre gauntlet, keep an eye out for unaccompanied trolleys and try to park in an area that’s less busy. An extra 30 seconds of walking can make a lot of difference.
You’ll minimise dings with other cars too.
Avoid Parking Under Trees
Cars hate trees. Or at least hate parking under them. Leaves, petals, birds, sap and dust all have unwanted results. Debris can stain and damage paint as some forms are acidic. Twigs and seeds can cause scratches too.
Tree debris can also clog up your car’s drainage system. Cars have numerous places where rainwater drains away – the bottom of the windshield, near the wipers for example. When clogged, water can leak into a car’s interior.
If you put hand-washing your car in the ‘too hard’ basket, you’re not alone. But can’t drive-through car washes damage paint?
Yes, they can. When debris gets caught on the brushes that ‘wash’ your car at high speed, scratches occur. Sitting in a car wash, teeth clenched, hoping your new Mercedes comes out unscathed isn’t fun.
Touchless Car Washes
With these washes, nothing touches your car, except cleaning chemicals and high-pressure water jets. They can dramatically reduce the chances of scratches but struggle with caked on dirt or bugs.
Most car dealerships offer this service but you can do it yourself easily. A ceramic coating is a sacrificial hydrophobic layer applied to the surface of your paint that protects from the elements. Spray-on, wipe-off products like Turtle Wax ceramic sprays work wonders and can last for a few months.
Behind the clichés of car interior care (avoid smoking, eating & drinking and pets), awkward cargo is often overlooked. When transporting things like bicycles and furniture, leather upholstery and velour and Alcantara finishes can take a beating.
Be wary of sharp edges that might come into contact with the interior of your car, especially in the event of hard braking and accelerating.
Boot liners are a simple solution if you regularly transport such items.
When clean, polished alloy wheels get into arguments with concrete gutters, the wheels always come off second best.
A gutter rash refers to scrapes and scratches evident on wheels rubbing against gutters. It’s common when parking in tight spaces or sharing narrow streets with other cars.
Often, it’s not only considered a commentary on parking skills but also an expensive repair bill. A gutter rash can again knock the value of your car down.
Car Care Conclusion
Minimising depreciation is always a tall order in the car world. We all know ‘new cars lose value as soon as they leave the dealership’. By taking the above precautions on board, there’ll be fewer value knock-down points when you trade in or sell your car. Keeping your car’s value high will help you save more on your next car loan.