8 Ways You’re Killing Your Car’s Resale Value

These common maintenance mistakes can send the resale value of your vehicle into a tailspin.

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What devalues a car
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What Can Devalue Your Car?

With new cars costing tens of thousands of dollars, it’s important to protect your investment. If you care for your car properly, you can get a great trade-in or sell it for a good price when it’s time to move on to the next vehicle. If not, you might be disappointed at the lowball offers you receive. Here are eight things that could be devaluing your car and costing you money.

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Mistakes that devalue your car - mechanic working under hood
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You Skip Your Car’s Regular Maintenance

Regular car maintenance, including frequent oil changes, is the best way to keep your car running like new. Buyers will ask to see your service records, and you want them to like what they see. Make sure you get all recommended maintenance done, and document the date and mileage at each service.

Here’s the ultimate car maintenance schedule every driver should follow.

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Mistakes that devalue your car - cleaning car interior
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You’re Not Keeping Your Car Clean

Prospective car buyers do not want to find fossilized French fries under the seat or mystery stains on the dashboard. Not keeping your car clean is a big mistake—both for your own enjoyment and the future value of the vehicle.

These car interior cleaning tips will come in handy.

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Mistakes that devalue your car - check engine light
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You Ignore Your Car’s Warning Lights

You may have learned to ignore that check engine light, but chances are it will alarm a would-be buyer. If you have been putting off a trip to the mechanic, you might want to schedule that checkup before putting your car on the market.

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Mistakes that devalue your car - busy parking lot
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You’re Always Squeezing Your Car into Tight Parking Spots

Parking too close to the car next to you is an open invitation to parking lot door dings. Those dings could diminish the beauty of your paint job and ultimately make your car less valuable. Parking at the end of the parking lot might be inconvenient, but it is better for you and your car’s paint finish.

Spotted a flaw in your car’s finish? Here’s expert advice on how to fix paint chips.

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Car odometer
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You Drive Too Much

The number of kilometres on the odometer will directly influence the value of the car, so you might want to put a cap on those unnecessary trips. Try to bundle your drives so you get all your errands done at once instead of cruising all over town and running up the kilometres.

If you simply can’t drive less, you can still save money with these tips on how to improve gas mileage.

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Devalue your car - pink car
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You’ve Painted Your Car a Strange Colour

Even if pink is your favourite colour, painting your car in that distinctive hue is probably a bad idea. If you must give your car a new coat of paint, stick to market-friendly neutral colours and skip the custom fluorescent greens, pinks and purples.

Here’s what your car says about your personality.

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Mistakes that devalue your car - bad car smell
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You’ve Gone “Nose Blind” to Your Car

If your car is more than a few years old, there are probably a few odd odours floating around the cabin. You might not notice them, but a potential buyer will not be so nose-blind. Do yourself (and the potential buyer) a favour by sprucing up your car and removing the source of those unpleasant odours.

Find out how to get rid of smoke smell in your car.

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Mistakes that can devalue your car - aftermarket sunroof in car
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You’ve Made Unnecessary Car Modifications

You may love that aftermarket sunroof you installed, but a potential buyer will probably worry if it leaks. Making too many custom modifications could devalue your car and make it harder to sell.

Next, find out the 14 things you should never do to your car.

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