Four ways you’re driv­ing the value of your car down

Horowhenua Chronicle - - MOTORING -

Un­less you own a clas­sic or some­thing ex­tremely rare, chances are your car is go­ing to suf­fer from de­pre­ci­a­tion at some stage of its life. From the mo­ment a car is driven off a dealer’s fore­court, a car is con­sid­ered “used” and be­gins to lose money. Cars de­value the most in the first three years of own­er­ship, af­ter which time the rate of de­pre­ci­a­tion typ­i­cally slows.

Al­though de­pre­ci­a­tion is some­what un­avoid­able, there are a few things that can speed it up ...

We all know it’s not great for your lungs, but smok­ing is also bad news for your car. Fre­quent smok­ing in your car can leave be­hind a lin­ger­ing smell and phys­i­cal dam­age to the in­te­rior, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to on-sell.

Cig­a­rette smoke be­comes em­bed­ded into the up­hol­stery and is col­lected in the air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem, which can be in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to re­move, re­quir­ing a pro­fes­sional valet and spe­cial equip­ment to clean.

In the most se­vere cases, the in­ter­nal fab­rics may have to be re­moved for clean­ing or be re­placed en­tirely and that’s go­ing to sting your wal­let. Get­ting your car ser­viced is ar­guably the most im­por­tant thing you can do for it. A ba­sic ser­vice will check the essen­tials — oil, brake fluid, and bat­ter­ies among oth­ers. Most work­shops and deal­ers will of­fer more com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices. It’s like tak­ing your car to the doc­tor for a check-up, a reg­u­lar ser­vice will keep it run­ning for longer and make it eas­ier to sell in the fu­ture. Make sure you keep de­tailed ser­vic­ing records, as these help po­ten­tial buy­ers know that you’ve looked af­ter your ve­hi­cle.

The paint­work is next on the main­te­nance list. How many bon­nets or roofs have you seen be­come vic­tims of the sun with the clear coat peel­ing off like bad sun burn? Show your car some love and give it a reg­u­lar wash and wax — a bit of el­bow grease now, could save a lot more later. A car with bad paint­work isn’t go­ing to do you any favours when it comes time to sell on.

If you were buy­ing an ap­pli­ance, what colour would you choose — brushed stain­less right? Un­for­tu­nately, we can’t all get be­hind the wheel of a Be­ing me­chan­i­cally minded and do­ing your own main­te­nance is fine, just don’t skimp on parts. Buy new where pos­si­ble.

When shop­ping for brake pads, drive belts, fil­ters and so forth, make sure they’re OE (orig­i­nal equip­ment) equiv­a­lent or above. They might cost you a few dol­lars more to be­gin with, but chances are they’ll last longer and if not, you’ll gen­er­ally be cov­ered un­der war­ranty.

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