It is true that some cars or car models (such as Toyota Corollas) hold their values well, while others (such as Kia) do not but whatever car it is, taking the following steps would help it to relatively hold its resale value. But do you know exactly what you can do to protect your car?
Here are six tips on retaining the value of your car:
1. Be Kind to Your Car: You may feel tempted to show off your car by careless speeding, abrupt braking and increasing the music in your car but it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep your speed below the recommended limit, which is usually 100Km/hr on highways and varying limits depending on stipulated limits and prevailing driving conditions.
At the same time, do not exceed 3,000 rpms. Cars should never be left to idle for long periods, but don’t start a car and go as you need to let it idle for at least a minute for straight engines and 3-5mins for turbos and superchargers.
It would also be best to avoid heavy loads on the drive train by limiting what you put in the trunk and roof rack, and don’t tow trailers too. This is why it is risky to buy most Nigerians used vehicles is this, and some drivers tow other vehicles with their vehicles that is not designed to do so.
Keeping your car clean always with automobile friendly detergent, water and other tools is the cheapest maintenance you can do to your car.
Always service the oil and other parts timely and use genuine parts and correct oil type.
2. Get a Comprehensive Insurance: Accidents happen, no matter how careful you are, you may still be involved in an accident. Use a reputable Insurance Company who will use reputable repair centers if the need arrives, as this will ensure that repairs are guaranteed and that original and manufacturer authorized parts are used. Also, in case of an accident and your car is written off, you do not lose out, as the insurance company may give you another car or pays you a percentage of the value.
Third Party insurance is actually no insurance. Most Nigerians however take this policy, which is of little or no help to them.
3. Keep a Log of Your Repairs: A car log is a great way to keep tabs on your car’s health. By making a note whenever you do oil change, change any parts, or top-up gas, as you will be able to see if the gas mileage worsens, which is an early warning sign of likely problems. Also, use a good mechanic always.
A car seller who keeps a log of his car gives the buyer an impression of a well used car.
4. Be Gas Savvy: Before filling up, ask whether the gas is filtered at the pump, and how often the station replaces pump filters. If you don’t get satisfactory answers, find another station. But since it is hard to get honest information about this, stick to newer or reputable fuel stations.
Also, if you see a petrol tanker filling up the tanks at your fuel station, avoid filling up there for a few days because the turbulence of the filling process can stir up sediment, which can clog up your car’s fuel injectors and fuel filters, which can result in poor performance at best, and potential repairs.
5. Loads Off!: If your car key shares the chain with several other keys, it can cause ignition switch failure. Nigerians are guilty of this as they can have their shop keys, house key, keys to the house in their villages and office key in the same bunch.
Rather separate the car’s key from the others to lighten the load, and to ensure you drive only with the car key in the ignition. The first sign of ignition switch failure is when your ignition key sticks when you try to turn on the car.
6. Avoid Unnecessary Wear and Tear: Avoid abrupt braking, uneven acceleration, slow down at bumps, too much honking of the horn (a typical Nigerian driver’s driving habit), give considerable distance between cars in front of you, horning before overtaking (always observe the “Look-Signal-Move” routine), avoiding unnecessary mileage can also go a long way to avoid possible accidents and weather damage to the exterior of your car and park your car in shades or use a tarpaulin. Wear and tear reduces the resale value of your car.
What do you think?