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Choosing the right car to purchase can be especially challenging. You have to balance so many different factors from brand to price to model to utility. As you figure out more of your priorities when it comes to your car, make sure you don’t forget about the car’s value. 

What is Your Car Value?

Understanding what your car value is and how it changes is one of the most important steps to take towards ensuring you maintain your value. Your car’s monetary value comes from an algorithm’s valuation of a variety of different factors including your car brand, year, model, mileage, interior details, exterior color, defects, and general care of the car. 

Certain factors affect your car's value more than others, so it's important that you are aware of them when shopping for a car. 

Why is Value Important?

Your car's value is especially important because it significantly affects what you can get when you go to sell the vehicle. Certain brands of cars simply retain their value longer over time, while others don’t. 

And even if you keep one car in perfect condition, it still might lose significantly more value than other cars simply because of factors like the model or even the paint color. Understanding this reality will help you make critical decisions about your car to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. 

Protect Your Paint Job

Protecting your paint job is something you as an owner can do to keep your car’s value high. Take preventative measures to protect your paint job. For example, there are a variety of coatings or even films that you can have put on your car’s surface to protect from things like scratches. 

Using some form of paint protection film won't affect the appearance of your car, while still protecting it. If you have minor bumps against the curb or other things, having this protection will save you a lot of money in repairs. 

Perform Regular Maintenance

Performing regular maintenance on your car will help you be able to enjoy your car for longer by keeping it nice over the period of time you are using the car. Then, when it’s time to sell it, you’ll be able to sell it at a higher price. 

Of all the maintenance you can perform on your car, don’t skimp on things like oil changes—having regular, if not frequent, oil changes will help your car run far longer than you would initially expect. 

Know Cars That Retain Their Value

Generally, maintaining car value starts with investing in cars that retain their value more than others. And while you may initially feel like your ability to invest in a car that retains value means that you have to be able to afford a luxury car, this isn’t necessarily the case. 

There are a variety of different cars out there that depreciate less quickly that don’t require you to fork out a ton of cash. 

Don’t Choose a Wacky Color

If you’re trying to make sure you get a car that retains its value over time, you should be particularly careful when choosing the color of your car. Surprisingly, having a car in an odd or less common color can actually decrease its resale value by thousands of dollars. 

Do your research to really understand how the various color options you are thinking about for your prospective car may affect your car’s resale value. You might be surprised by what you find for each respective car type. For example, some cars actually retain more comparatively significant value when painted orange than when painted more common colors like grey, white, or black. Doing your research can help you figure out any particular brand of car that actually depreciates less in random, seemingly flashy colors. 

Consider Purchasing an Electric Car

Purchasing an electric car is another way to invest in car value. When compared to normal gas-powered cars, electric vehicles tend to maintain their value for much longer. There are a variety of reasons for this. 

First of all, there is a consistent high demand for electric cars, especially cars from brands like Tesla. These vehicles have some of the highest resale values of any car—occasionally, a used Tesla can sell for the same as a new Tesla. If you invest in one of these cars, you can be confident that your car will sell well if you ever choose to sell it. 

Additionally, because electric cars are powered with electricity, there isn't as much opportunity for the cars to get worn down—there isn’t any engine oil needed to keep parts running smoothly and there aren’t any parts that are rubbing against each other to make the wheels move, so you are less likely to see the car lose its functionality over time. 

Consider a Used Car

Another important step to take as a car buyer in order to maintain car value over the duration of your ownership is to simply not buy new cars. When you buy a brand new car, you are absorbing the highest loss as cars depreciate the most within a year of being purchased. Buying a car that has only been lightly used will mean that you save big while still getting a relatively new and still very nice vehicle. 

The only time you should consider buying a car new is when you want it to be customized exactly to your liking. If getting small details like the exact color of leather interior coupled with the specific type of seats you like with other details is significantly important to you, then absorbing the depreciation might be worth it because of the value it will add to your life. 

Understanding how a car's value changes over time is essential to your process of deciding on a vehicle. Do your research about how specific brands depreciate in order to find the best fit for you. Applying even some of these ideas to your car search will make a big difference in your car’s resale value in the future.

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