So, you've just taken delivery of your brand-new car. You're excited (understandably so), and have already made plans on how to spruce it up and make it your own. The last thing on your mind at this point of time is depreciation, which occurs the moment your new car hits the tarmac (typically, it loses 15 percent of its value).
While inevitable, are there ways one can mitigate a car's depreciation? Actually, yes.
Scour through the classifieds list and will see a wide range in prices, easily RM 5k - RM 10k difference even for the same model of the same manufacturing year. All else being equal (used dealer vs private seller, urgency of sale), a car in an excellent buy-and-drive condition will of course command a higher value.
Here are some pointers that I have garnered from my own ownership experience that can help mitigate depreciation and help fetch a better price for your car, when the time comes to sell it.
It goes without saying that keeping a tight lid on your car's maintenance will preserve its value in the long run. This means, sticking to your car's oil change intervals. If you do not hit the targeted service mileage, always remember to service your car every 6 months.
If you drive the car hard, it's also recommended to change your engine oil earlier than the stipulated mileage or time. Furthermore, never skimp on good engine oils. If you're ever in doubt, use what is recommended in the service booklet. That way, your engine stays healthier for much longer.
Lastly, always keep your oil change records i.e. receipts and service booklet. If you go to an authorised service centre, these are always recorded. Should you go to an independent workshop, you'd have to be more pro-active in keeping maintenance records. A full service record helps immensely when selling your car.
Use only genuine parts
This is an often-overlooked aspect of car maintenance. When you cheap out on bootleg spare parts, your car will suffer in the long haul. Not sure if the parts you're buying are genuine? Then just go back to an authorised service centre. Yes it can cost more, but it'll save you money on repairs in the long term.
Furthermore, if you were looking for a used car, wouldn't you prefer to purchase a car that has been maintained using genuine parts? I know I would. Simply put, you can't go wrong using genuine parts. But what are the parts that I'm talking about? Let me run through a quick list of common parts in a car.
As mentioned, always keep receipts when purchasing and replacing such parts. If repairs have been made, keep such records also. This is to show prospective buyers that you've spared little expense in keeping your car in top shape. Believe me, many buyers prefer to know what has been replaced and repaired before, so that they are aware of the car's actual condition.
Keep your car clean, inside out
Well, you don't have to detail your car every month, but it is a good habit to wash your car at least once a fortnight. As mentioned earlier, try not to skimp. If you're hardworking, wash it yourself using good quality products. Otherwise, send it to reputable car wash centres, not machine-operated ones (seriously, don't).
Cleaning your car extends to the interior too. As best you can, avoid eating and smoking inside your car. A dirty and stale interior tends to attract pests like rodents and cockroaches (yikes). If your car comes with leather upholstery, you can even buy leather cream or conditioners to keep it soft and supple. Remember, leather will dry out and crack over time if left untreated, especially in our climate.
It's really not difficult to tell if an interior has been left derelict over the years. A clean car inside out doesn't just preserve a car's value, it can be a point of attraction as well.
Maintaining a car and keeping it in tip top shape really isn't rocket science. It's pretty obvious that a car that has been properly cared for can and will command a better price come time to sell it. My personal mantra has always been, 'take care of your car, and your car will take care of you'. It's a two-way relationship, but a rewarding one, even when you eventually part ways with it.
If you are selling your car, Carsome promises up to 20 percent higher trade-in price, fast and speedy transaction (payment within 1 hour). If you are buying a car, Carsome promises zero hidden charges (list price on many used car classifieds are not actual the selling price), 1-year warranty, and 5-day money back guarantee. You can also browse their cars via a 360-degree VR view.
Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.