The average car driver in the UAE uses a car for three to four years before selling it and upgrading to a newer model. However, what many first-time car owners don’t realize is that a brand-new car’s value starts dropping immediately after driving out of a showroom. Though depreciation is inevitable, there are several steps car owners can take to slow down the depreciation process. We have compiled a list of things that car owners can do to maintain as much of the car’s value as possible to ensure you get the best deal when selling your car when you’re ready to upgrade.
Choose your car carefully
Some cars are known for retaining their value more than others, while others depreciate in value faster. It is important to do your research before you buy a car to know whether the car you have your eye on retains its value over many years to come. For example, some opt for cars with a Japanese makeover American or German makes as they are well-known for retaining their value in the UAE, along with being reliable and affordable. Most mainstream cars lose 20% of their value in the first year and up to 15 % for every consecutive year. For premium and luxury cars, the depreciation is steeper with up to 30% in the first year alone and up to 20% for every consecutive year. So, it is financially savvy to buy a one to the two-year-old used car to avoid the initial loss.
Keep the car squeaky clean
Car owners usually make the mistake of not cleaning their cars thoroughly enough, often. Over time, a dirty interior and exterior can lead to a buildup of grime, faded carpets, seats, and permanent stains. This could put off potential buyers, so ensure you have your car thoroughly cleaned by a professional at least twice a year to keep it in good condition.
Shield it from the sun
The harsh Dubai summer heat can significantly damage your car’s appearance. Parking it in the sun can fade the paintwork and form cracks on the dashboard and seats, making the car look older than it is. Make sure to protect your car from the direct sun by parking it in a shaded area or garage, using a car cover, sun protector for your windshield, and fitting seat covers on leather and fabric seats. If it is safe to do so, crack open the windows when leaving your car in the heat to help bring down the interior temperature and equalize the air pressure. Also, make sure to get the exterior waxed regularly to protect your car from any harmful rays and avoid any detrimental sun damage
Maintain the car regularly
While many people avoid taking their cars to a garage or service center unless something is wrong or required, getting frequent health checks and servicing your car regularly can make all the difference. Following a regular maintenance schedule ensures everything is in the ideal working condition and prevents any underlying issues that help you steer clear from extensive and expensive repairs in the future. As a good rule of thumb, your car should be serviced once every year, or 10,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. The best, most precise way to gauge when to service your car is to consult the owner’s manual as different car brands follow different maintenance schedules.
Steer away from any accidents
The accident history of the vehicle plays a major role in the value of a car. The first thing a dealer or possible buyer will check is whether your car has been involved in an accident. An accident-free car will fetch much more than a vehicle that has been involved in accidents. While minor accidents such as scratches and dents might lower the vehicle value by up to 10%, major accidents can substantially affect the value of your car. For example, a damaged chassis can decrease the value of your vehicle by up to half. Make sure to get your car professionally fixed and get rid of any bumps, dents, and scratches to ensure you get a better resale value.
Keep all the records
It is wise to file all the service history records with which you can present as proof to potential buyers how well maintained your car is. You can easily obtain the records from your garage or service provider. Along with that, it is also a good idea to keep all records of any accidents your car has been through with pictures and a repair history through the garage.
Watch the mileage
One of the first things a potential buyer will ask when inquiring about a vehicle you’re selling is “What is the mileage?” The number of kilometers traveled by a car pays a huge role in determining how much it is worth. The higher mileage a car has, the lower the value of the car, and equally, lower mileage results in a higher value. Hence, keeping an eye out on the mileage is critically important to get a good deal when selling your car. On average, with normal usage, a car in the UAE should cover 20,000km per year. Depending on the age of your car, mileage below 130,000km can be considered healthy. For example, if you have a 2015 model car, an odometer reading around 100,000km means the car has traveled an average amount over its life. Anything above that would generally be perceived as detrimental to its condition; whereas, anything below that could signal a car may be used less. Regardless of how well maintained, a car that has traveled long distances won’t have a high resale value.
Though depreciation is unavoidable, the key to ensuring you get a good value out of your car is maintaining it. Following these steps can help you secure a good price while selling your car. dubizzle’s price valuation tool gives an indication of what price to list the car, providing an approximate price range based on data from similar cars listed on the platform in the last 12 months using details like the make, model, mileage and year.