All vehicles will lose a percentage of their current value each year. This is simply the way things are, like the sun rising in the east and the moon being made of cheese. 

733 × 488

However, you can minimize the initial depreciation hit you take when purchasing a car, allowing you to get more money when the time comes to sell. Increase your vehicle’s resale value by following these 13 tips.

13. Choose a Vehicle with Historically High Resale Values

While it may be true that all cars lose value, not all cars will depreciate at the same rate. Many brands and vehicles have historically good resale values, while others lose their value seemingly overnight. Research the models, auto brands and body styles that retain their value best over the course of three, five, and seven years. 

For instance, brands like Hyundai typically retain a lot of their value over the course of seven years. Similarly, trucks, large SUVs, and certain sports cars depreciate less than, say, electric cars. 

To see what your car’s resale value is, request a trade-in estimate from one of our Miami car dealerships.

12. Look for Vehicles with Transferable Warranties

Buyers want any perk they can get when they decide to purchase a used vehicle. If you choose a car brand that offers a transferable factory warranty -- such as MINI or Cadillac, for example -- you’ll have an easier time finding a buyer when it comes time to sell.

11. Opt for a Fuel-Efficient Car

Although electric vehicles and some hybrid cars don’t retain their value well, the most fuel-efficient gas models usually do. Additionally, as more EVs and plug-in hybrids are produced and sold, those vehicles’ resale values will begin to climb overall. 

10. Consider Buying Used or Leasing

A new car will have already lost a good portion (oftentimes more than 40%) of its value after just three years. If you opt to buy used, the original owner will have effectively taken on that depreciation cost already.

Leasing a new car will have its depreciation value already calculated into the lease price. If the buyout price of that lease is less than the estimated resale value, you could score a great deal by leasing and then purchasing.

9. Drive Safely

Even one fairly major accident or crash can reduce the resale value of your car, as repair costs contribute to depreciation. Crashes are also reported on your VIN by your insurance company, which will then show up on any future vehicle history reports.

8. Own it as Long as Possible

Because depreciation only affects you when you begin selling your car -- and because depreciation percentages go down every year -- you won’t have to worry much if you own the vehicle for a long time. Try to drive the car at least 7 years, which is when it will have lost most of its initial value, but the rate of depreciation slows considerably. 

7. Keep Mileage Down

With every mile you roll on the car’s odometer, the risk of failure increases. Consider driving your vehicle only when necessary -- if you are taking a lengthy road trip, it might be worthwhile to get a rental car instead, for instance. Any act you take to reduce your mileage can minimize vehicle depreciation over the long haul.

6. Clean Regularly 

It may seem too simple to be true, but keeping your vehicle clean can reduce its depreciation. Hand-washing your car between seasons, applying wax, scrubbing the floor mats, preventing stains, and even parking in your garage will increase its resale value over time. Smoking in your car will have the opposite affect.

5. Don’t Pick a Funky Color

Standard car colors are best-sellers, while the bolder paint choices will be tougher sells. Colors like white, black, gray and dark blue are popular. More unique colors, like yellow, bright red, or maroon, have a smaller market. Keep this in mind when buying or building your new car from scratch.

4. Avoid Aftermarket Modifications

Add-ons such as aftermarket audio systems and non-OEM spoilers won’t increase your vehicle’s resale value -- in fact, they may actually hasten your car’s depreciation. Not all buyers will want to pay a premium for one of these aftermarket modifications, so it’s best to keep your car as standard as it was when you purchased it.

However, sometimes having your dealer add and install OEM parts or accessories to your car will increase its resale value. It’s best to research those resale values per trim level to see if modifying your vehicle is a financially sound idea.

3. Check for Tax Write-Offs

Utilizing your vehicle for business purposes may allow you to tell Uncle Sam to take a hike. If this is the case, even if your business isn’t entirely lucrative, a portion of your vehicle’s five-year depreciation can be claimed on your income taxes. 

But check with a tax professional for legal advice, as you don’t want to take a tax write-off you’re not allowed to; that’s inviting the audit fairies to come for you.

2. Sell at the Best Time

Understand the market before putting your car up for sale, as certain times of the year are best for sellers. For instance, between spring and fall, more people buy used sedans, crossovers and coupes; in the winter months, more people buy trucks and larger SUVs. (And avoid selling your car around the holidays.)

Also, you may lose resale value if your car’s manufacturer has discontinued your vehicle’s model, gone bankrupt or merged with another brand, or any other unusual event occurs. Although you can’t altogether plan or prepare for these situations, they can cause your car to depreciate drastically. 

1. Maintenance is Key

The absolute best way to minimize your car’s depreciation is to get under the hood regularly. Used car shoppers want to buy a vehicle they can rely on, and if you haven’t kept detailed records of maintenance and repairs, they’ll be less likely to trust you as a seller. Even if you aren’t planning to sell, it’s imperative that you keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. 

Maintaining your car isn’t difficult, either. Form a relationship with the Braman Miami service center, and we’ll have your back by informing you of upcoming maintenance needs and recording all services accurately. 

For future sellers in the South Florida area, visit any of our Miami car dealerships for regular and routine maintenance. Braman Miami performs auto service on all makes and models, including luxury brands like BMW, Cadillac, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce. Contact your nearest Braman service center in Miami or schedule your appointment online to secure the most convenient day and time.