How Properly Maintaining Your Vehicle Affects Resale
Spending money on vehicle repairs feels like a very unrewarding undertaking for most of us. Sure, you want your car to be in good working order, but forking over hundreds or thousands of dollars to make that happen is never fun. But don’t be discouraged; there’s light at the end of the tunnel. If handled properly, when it comes time to sell that beloved vehicle of yours, the old adage of you have to spend money to make money has never been truer.
Many of the determining factors of the eventual sale price aren’t really in your control (mileage, age, market condition, location, etc.). One aspect you can control, however, is proper upkeep and documentation of that upkeep.
But how much more would the maintained vehicle fetch? Although this is the all-important question, there is no simple or straightforward answer. Independent sellers can definitely leverage a well-maintained and documented vehicle as a bargaining chip, but the outcome will vary based upon the buying party’s threshold. This leads us to a goal of CarAdvise. We help you save money while maintaining your vehicle and retain records of all completed work. A combination that then results in even more money when you go to sell that vehicle.
It’s All About Condition
The condition of a vehicle is determined by looking at the physical damage, accident history, mechanical operation, and tire condition. A poorly maintained vehicle instantly loses value and makes it difficult for you to negotiate a higher price. Kelley Blue Book finds that depending on how well taken care of your vehicle is there can easily be a $1,000 price difference for the exact same vehicle in worse condition. And while that may not seem like an enormous difference, if you sell a vehicle for $10k, that’s a hefty 10% of the price. The key factor in this is keeping records in order to prove the overall condition is as you say it is, beyond just the visual aspect.
John Elizaga, Director of Remarketing Operations at the fleet management company EMKAY, reinforced these findings by stating that “industry data indicates that a well maintained vehicle has better resale value. That’s why we at EMKAY decided to provide the full maintenance history of our vehicles to our buyers by creating the EMKAY Select mobile app. We remarket our vehicles at wholesale auctions nationwide and the buyers at these auctions are licensed dealers. The big incentive for buying an EMKAY vehicle is the free maintenance history, so when the dealer sells the vehicle to the retail public, they too have a selling advantage for being able to show the retail buyer how well-maintained the vehicle was.”
History Lessons are Valuable
It’s not just getting the work completed that’s important, but also keeping historical records of the work. Anyone can say that they had regular maintenance work done or changed the timing belt for example, but being able to actually show the buyer a complete history goes a lot further. A nice feature of CarAdvise is that we’ll compile all of this maintenance data for you, making it extremely simple when it comes time to sell your vehicle. Then when the potential buyer asks when the brakes or belts were last replaced, you can show them the exact date, and much more.
When looking at historical performance of vehicles with comprehensive service records vs those without, it becomes clear how important record keeping can be. We reviewed the data from thousands of vehicle sales throughout 2015 and 2016 that were processed through ADESA, a national wholesaler. The average difference in sales price between vehicles with complete service records compared to those without records was up to 14%. The vehicles with records were also sold much more quickly, as this helps to build trust between seller and buyer, resulting in a quicker sale. And as it continues to get easier and easier for people to research and locate other options, it’s extremely important to build trust and control what you can.
Keeping it Simple
Some other simple things to do prior to selling include cleaning the headlights, shining the wheels, and completing any minor paint or body damage repairs. Don’t go crazy and fix every dent, but paying a little to “pretty-up” your vehicle never hurts. KBB noted that even a good wash of the interior and exterior could help increase the sale price by a couple hundred dollars. This is why vehicle wholesaler ADESA not only details every vehicle before running them through the auction line, but they also complete upholstery, glass, and minor body repairs.
It’s not only the resale value that is affected by how you keep up your vehicle. A well-maintained vehicle will get better gas mileage, run longer, pollute less, and will be a safer vehicle for you and your passengers. Completing preventative maintenance should also help to reduce the chances of a major repair being needed.
So although there’s no steadfast formula to determine how much more money a well-maintained vehicle will fetch when sold, history tells us that it’s smart in both the short and long run to ensure you keep comprehensive records of the work done on your vehicle. This is what CarAdvise will help you to do, and the benefits can be seen throughout the lifecycle of your vehicle. CarAdvise not only helps you to get maintenance completed at the best price, but also keeps a complete history of that work. This combination can then help you to sell your vehicle more quickly, while also resulting in a 10%-14% increase in sales price.