AA Car Care: How to maintain vehicle resale value

AA Motoring
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Photo / Supplied

Photo / Supplied

For some, a car is simply a mode of transport - a replaceable item or a figure on an accountant’s ledger. Unless it’s rare or considered a classic, it will more than likely lose value the older it gets. From the moment a new car is driven out of a dealership, it’s classed as “used” and begins to depreciate. But here are some ways to ensure a car maintains as much value as possible.



Some brands maintain their value much better than others. Consumers are drawn to reliable brands with proven track records, and will generally pay more knowing that they’re in safe hands. Other lesser-known brands may not hold their value as well.


Sure, having a Champion Yellow Suzuki Swift or a Sun Fusion Toyota C-HR might get you noticed on the street and give you the “wow factor”, but when it comes to selling it, your audience could be limited. Try and stick to something neutral like white, silver, or black.



If you want to put a giant wing on the back of your car, lower your suspension, or tint your windows, keep in mind that the less a car resembles the stock version from the factory, the lower your resale value could be.

Seven ways to maintain a vehicle’s value

  • Treat your new car as though you borrowed it from your boss. If you have a spill, clean it up. Cosmetic damage, interior stains, and general wear and tear all add up.
  • Smoking inside your car should be avoided; the smoke can accumulate inside your air conditioning system and stick to your upholstery, both of which can cost a significant amount to fix once you realise the problem.
  • If the car has any bumps or minor scrapes, it’s beneficial to have the affected areas resprayed. Small touches like this will enhance the appeal of a vehicle on the market.
  • Maintain the service schedule and keep all necessary records to prove it. Doing this will undoubtedly improve the value of the car by reducing any concerns or issues a potential new owner may have with the vehicle and its history.
  • Maintenance is important. Cars that are running roughly or have smoke coming out of the exhaust will have a lower resale value. Same for squeaky suspension, leaking oil or other mechanical issues.
  • Mileage and age are equally as important. If you come to sell a vehicle, ensure it still has a reasonable life left in it. You may have decided to wait three years down the track to sell it, but if the mileage is shooting up due to a change of circumstances, you might need to sell it sooner.
  • We all know how unpredictable New Zealand’s weather can be. Keeping your car out of the elements will maintain its shiny exterior and protect your dashboard and other rubber fittings a lot longer. It’s not just rain that does the damage – but the sun too. If you can’t keep your car in the garage, at least try and park it in the shade to reduce the effects of ultraviolet rays.

How the AA can help with vehicle maintenance: AA Auto Centre, AA Roadservice and AA Auto Glass.

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