1. Be smart about aftermarket accessories. Just because you put $4,000 worth of stereo equipment in your car doesn't necessarily mean a potential buyer is willing to pay $4,000 for that same sound system. Its common for car owners to think they'll recoup the cost of expensive aftermarket products at resale time, only to be sadly disappointed when a prospective buyer doesn't appreciate and isn't willing to pay the price for the aftermarket accessories they installed on their vehicle. However, consider practical products such as bed liners. In this particular instance, a bed liner can help protect a truck bed from dings and scratches protection that could substantially maintain its value over time.
2. Be sure to research important towing specifications for your vehicle (available in the owners manual or online at NADAguides.com) to determine the manufacturers suggested towing parameters for your vehicle. Over time, over-towing will stress your engine and your drive train wear and tear that could ultimately lead to costly repairs in the future.
3. Obviously, it's important to avoid accidents at all costs for your own personal safety. It's also important to remember that accidents can negatively impact a vehicle's value, no matter how slight. Vehicle damage usually always impacts a car's price in a negative way. Avoid excessive speeds and erratic or irresponsible driving, and always pay attention to the roadway and weather conditions, no matter how short the trip.
4. Believe it or not, the color of a vehicle can impact its resale value. For instance, a black car in a warm climate state like Arizona is usually less desirable (which can ultimately lead to a lower resale value). Additionally, you might really love that bright purple SUV you just bought, however at resale time, it might be difficult to find a prospective buyer who also loves that color — a factor that can decrease the demand for the vehicle and, ultimately, its resale value.
5. Remember that most truck buyers like power, so if you're considering buying a 6-cylinder stick shift versus a diesel 4x4, you might want to consider the diesel. Buying and subsequently owning a truck with less power than other makes and models on the market will ultimately impact its value. Not only are diesels better on fuel (which will ultimately be better on your wallet over time) they're powerful enough to tow or haul just about anything out there.
6. Body style changes can impact the value of a vehicle. If there's a new body style that just launched, the value of the older body style vehicle is usually negatively impacted. If you're considering buying a new truck and the manufacturer is planning on launching a new body style, you might want to wait to buy the new body style.
7. Seasons can impact a vehicle's value. For example, convertibles typically sell better in the summer and 4x4s typically sell better in the winter. If you're interested in getting a better value for your car or truck at resale time, wait until the time is right before putting it on the market.
8. Rebates and incentives can impact the value of a vehicle. If there's a significant rebate on a 2005, for example, the 2003 model might not sell as well ultimately, and its value is impacted negatively. If you're in the market for a new vehicle, be sure to research rebates and incentives information at NADAguides.com to find out if that new model you're considering is more of a steal than a one, two or three-year-old model.
9. Supply and demand will always impact the value of a vehicle. In the past, for instance, the production of diesel dually 4x4 pick-ups was limited, and, in turn, the demand for these vehicles is now high. Sometimes, a high-demand truck (even though it's two, three or four years old) might actually cost nearly as much as a new, less desirable truck.
10. The region in which you live ultimately determines the value of vehicles in your area. For example, if you live in a snowy cold climate, a convertible is less desirable than a 4x4. Conversely, if you live in a warm and sunny climate, a 4x4 would be less desirable (and less valuable) than a convertible.
Special Note: If you choose to buy a year-end clearance car, you may want to consider how long you'll keep it. The savings may be significant if you decide to keep it for a long period of time, but if you decide to trade in the vehicle after the first few years, you may find you've suffered too much depreciation and your seemingly new car will now be one year old. Here's an example: If you buy a 2005 in September of 2005, by September of 2006 the 2007 models will already be on the market. Although you have owned your car for only one year, your car will be viewed as a two-year-old vehicle, according to market valuations. Ultimately, the longer you keep your car, the less it will be impacted by this market factor.
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