Drive safely. Collisions decrease car resale value, even if the damage is repaired.
Follow the maintenance schedule. In addition, complete all safety recalls (they’re almost always free) and keep all service records. CARFAX Car Care sends you maintenance reminders, alerts for open recalls and shows you vehicle service history. Consider keeping hard copies of receipts and paperwork in a DIY car maintenance binder to keep a historical archive of work done. Proof of routine maintenance could help car resale. If you don’t have your receipts, ask your mechanic for a statement that summarizes your visits.
Don’t ignore minor repairs. Fix dents, scratches and dings immediately, before they worsen.
Preserve the interior and finish. Avoid eating or smoking in the vehicle to prevent unpleasant smells and stains, and have the vehicle detailed regularly.
Park in a garage or covered carport. If you can, protect your car from harsh weather that can wear out the paint, fade the interior and decrease the resale value.
Keep the mileage low. Driving at or less than an average of 13,500 miles per year will help maintain the vehicle’s resale value; driving more will lower it.
How AAA can help: Need a trustworthy mechanic? AAA Approved Auto Repair Facilities meet certain standards, and AAA Members get 10% off labor (save up to $50) and a 24-month/24,000-mile guarantee on parts and labor. Plus, members get a free multipoint vehicle maintenance inspection upon request.