If you're looking to sell or trade in your automobile, you might be astonished at how much or how little everyone else thinks it's worth. Of course, factors such as the car's mileage, the time of year, and the economy will always be considered, but the truth is that there are additional factors that you may not even consider that can affect the car's price. Some of these variables you may be able to address on your own, while others are just beyond your control. Let's just say you'll have to live and learn, and use your mistakes as lessons for your next vehicle. Let us investigate.
Stickers for Bumpers
Experts dispute on whether bumper stickers actually reduce the value of your automobile, so why take the chance? If you leave the stickers on the car, it reinforces to potential buyers that it has been used, and it might make it difficult for purchasers to picture the automobile as a blank slate. So, carefully peel off any stickers. However, even if they come off in one piece with no scrapes or nicks to the car, the paint beneath them may have faded.
You choose where to live for a variety of reasons, and your car is most likely not one of them. However, where you reside has a big impact on its resale value. When the snow starts to fall, a rear-wheel drive convertible that can be driven happily all year on the West Coast becomes a hardship in New England. There are also certain electric car variations of generally ubiquitous cars that have been offered solely in California for years (such as the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Golf). Potential purchasers may not be interested if you relocate across the country to a region with insufficient electric charging facilities. In certain circumstances, you simply have to wait for the appropriate buyer.
Secondhand Cigarette Smell
Nobody wants to purchase a vehicle that smells like an ashtray. Prepare to pay if you've been smoking inside your automobile. While there is no perfect method for calculating how much less your automobile is worth when compared to a comparable vehicle that hasn't been smoked in, there is no denying that a smoker's car has a lower value. According to several research, cars that have been smoked in are so filthy that driving or riding in them exposes you to third-hand residual tobacco smoke.
A manual transmission is used
If you're a firm believer in the manual gearbox, you're among the last of a dying breed. If you try to sell a popular automobile with a manual transmission, you'll quickly realize how alone you are. However, a sports car with a manual shift has a much higher chance of preserving its value. According to Car & Driver, an optional item provides value if 50% or more of purchasers choose to add it when the vehicle is new. Opting out of these popular amenities or opting for unpopular features, such as a manual gearbox, adds no value and may even detract from it. The lesson: Get exactly what you want when purchasing a new car. Just don't be surprised if following your heart results in a lower value on the used automobile market later on.
You're probably not surprised to learn that the color of your car can affect its resale value. What may surprise you is that orange and yellow vehicles depreciate the least, according to various iSeeCars research. Gold automobiles depreciate the most, followed by silver and beige, despite the fact that these hues are almost omnipresent in many dealership showrooms, implying that customers prefer these colors on new cars. Other brilliant colors have different consequences. Black, white, and gray are always safe bets when it comes to choosing the color of a new vehicle in the hopes of attracting the most buyers in a few years.
Lights that are damaged
It's worth the work and price to replace your car's lights if the lenses are damaged or the bulbs are burned out. New bulbs and lenses are affordable and simple to obtain, and they can usually be replaced with just a handful of screws. This may not be the case if your vehicle has high-end LED or HID lighting, but any broken bulbs should still be replaced. Non-functioning headlights and brake lights can make driving a car risky. It's the kind of issue that can jeopardize your safety or get you pulled over. No one wants to buy a used car and immediately head to the auto shop for repairs.
A Windshield Crack
Nowadays, you can get a windshield replaced for a reasonable price, and in some areas, your insurance will cover it without requiring you to pay a deductible. Some buyers may believe that replacing a cracked windshield is out of their price range, so if yours needs to be replaced, have it done before listing your vehicle for sale. A word of caution: replacing the windshield on a newer model automobile may cost extra. Because many new automobile windshields incorporate fancy technologies like rain-sensing wiper sensors and embedded antennae, the price will rise.
Tires that are mismatched
If your tires are in good condition and, more significantly, if they all match, you'll have an edge when selling or exchanging in your car. A jumble of tire brands or tires of varying ages may give potential purchasers the impression that you cared for the car recklessly, even if you replaced a tire swiftly after a blowout. If you want to get the most money for your automobile, consider buying four new tires when they're on sale. If you trade in your automobile rather than selling it, the dealership may simply deduct the cost of four new tires from your projected trade-in value.
This may surprise you, but gas and diesel prices are another unpredictability that can effect used car pricing. You're in luck if gas costs are high and you're selling a hybrid. And, if gas is cheap, it may be time to sell your large gas-guzzling SUV before costs rise again. If the value of your vehicle is heavily influenced by fuel prices yet you're eager to sell, you'll have to accept whatever the market will bear. Pay attention to news headlines, keep an eye out for spikes or declines in oil prices, and try to arrange your sale when it's most advantageous to you. You have no control over petrol costs, but if your schedule is flexible, you can try to capitalize on particular market conditions.
The Reputation of the Vehicle
You have little control over what a carmaker does, yet their decisions may have an impact on the future value of your vehicle. Consider the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, which harmed VW's brand while also lowering the value of all diesel vehicles. If you want to go even further back in time, consider the Ford Pinto from the 1970s. Given the automobiles' proclivity for spontaneous combustion, you'd definitely have a difficult time selling a Pinto nowadays. In short, whether the automaker does anything unethical or there is a major problem with the automobile itself, the value of your car may fall as a result.