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9 Ways to Add Value to Your Vehicle

Gavin Harvey writes for Need to Sell My Car.

We all know that cars are expensive beasts to buy, run and maintain. But what really shocks a lot of people is just how fast the value of your brand new car begins to depreciate as soon as you put the keys in the ignition and pull away from the sales lot.
While estimations of just how severe this rate of depreciation actually is do differ quite substantially, pretty much everyone is in agreement that you are going to be paying a whole lot more for your car than you are going to be able to sell it for.

But the value of your car will not be judged solely by how long it has been since you bought it. There are a whole host of other ways in which the value of your car is going to be measured by potential buyers, so there are steps you can take to boost the existing value of your vehicle, and even make it desirable in ways that it previously wasn’t.
Increasing the value of your car doesn’t even have to cost you too much either. How? Well, let’s find out…

The Paint Job

VW Bug - Flower Power Hippie Paint Job

It is probably pretty obvious that a bright and shiny vehicle is going to look more valuable to everyone than a dusty, faded and uneven one.
It is not always going to be necessary to get an entirely new paint job, and you really want to avoid this if possible. Most of the time getting the wax out and doing your best karate kid impression.
Cars that are white, silver or black tend to sell quicker and for higher prices than those that are radioactive snot green or sunburst orange. The reason for this is most likely to be in the fact that most buyers are going to want a functioning car and not a statement – black, white and silver communicate reliability over flashiness.
The Sound system You need to be careful here as forking out thousands on an expensive sound system is unlikely to add that much extra value and let’s face it, would be a rather stupid thing to do for a car you are planning to sell.
These days potential buyers are much more likely to be interested in connectivity (the ability to plug in their phones, iPads and iPods) than outright power.

Private Registration Plates

Anything that gives the vehicle a little personal touch that the new owner can latch onto is likely to add a little bit of extra value to your vehicle, unless it is very obviously your name or something that could be considered offensive.

The Head Lights

There are perhaps a few more obvious signs of a car that is worn out and not worth the time when it has dim or cracked headlights. There are a number of cleaning products that are specifically made for the job of getting those plastic headlight covers looking brand new in a matter of minutes.

The Wheels

The same goes for a nice pair of shiny wheels, gleaming in the sun light as potential buyers come to view the car. While huge and gaudy rims are unlikely to appeal to a large percentage of the people that come to look at your car, ones that are appropriate will certainly help your car look way more snazzy than it did originally.

The Interior

Again, there is no point in splashing out on a whole new leather or valour interior for a car that you essentially want to get rid of, but there is a lot to be said for installing a pair of brand new removable floor mats and making sure the interior is always well hovered.
Making Sure the Papers Are in Order

While I’m sure you are an honourable person who is as honest as could be in every interaction you undertake with a fellow human, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people will believe what you tell them. In the real world, whether you like it or not, it is paperwork that talks.
You can definitively add value to your vehicle by being able to prove that you have had it regularly serviced, its ownership history, vehicle identification number and the condition you bought it in.
Get Rid of Any Dents
This one is pretty self-explanatory really. Visible imperfections will always bring down the value of a car. Dent repair is an example of a “light touch” procedure that won’t cost you much at all.
Technological Add-Ons
If your car has in-built features such as mobile electronics, Bluetooth, satellite navigation, basic park distance control and in built DVD players, the value of your car is likely to remain high despite its inevitable depreciation. Again you are engaged in a tricky tight-rope situation between spending a lot of money pointlessly and a small amount of money wisely with a huge margin for error on both sides.

If you get it right though, not only will you have added value to your car but you will most likely be able to enjoy a technological perk for free for a while. If a sat-nav system costs around £150 to install but increases the value of your car by the same or slightly under when your Universal Credit come to sell, well that my friend is savvy business.
If you follow these nine steps you should increase the value of your car by a pretty significant amount. In no way do these tips form a magic potion that will miraculously fight back the natural depreciation that your car will undertake the moment you buy it, but they will make it more attractive to people who want to buy it off you.
Do you guys have any other tips for increasing the value of your car?

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