How to Get the Most Value Out of Your Car

Girl showing her new carCars are not like other property like houses; they don’t gain value over time. As a matter of fact, unless a production car becomes a collectible, it will start to lose its value as soon as you own it.

Only the very rich (professional athletes, celebrities, millionaire business owners) ever truly consider collecting vehicles because — let’s face it — they’re a bad investment. If you own more than one car, you might be losing a lot of money on insurance, parking and maintenance.

To maximise your ownership of a vehicle, you have to stick to a few rules.

Buy What You Need

A large SUV with a V8 engine is fine if you have a large family and you live in the countryside, or if you use it to carry big items for your business. Living alone in a city with limited parking spaces and heavy traffic, however, is a different story. A compact car with an engine geared toward fuel efficiency rather than speed should be plenty of car. Pay more attention to what you really need the car for than to the trends.

Find a Reliable, Fuel-Efficient Model

Your car may look great, but if it’s always breaking down on you, you will soon despise it. Repairs and maintenance cost money. High-tech, attractive cars usually demand higher insurance premiums. A simple, reliable if boring daily driver is what you need. Flashiness isn’t what you’re shooting for, anyway.

Keep it in Good Condition

Even the most reliable cars need maintenance and care. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as far as maintenance and parts are concerned. You will find those in the owner’s manual. Take your vehicle in for car service at LRC Automotive in Rotorua if it’s up for periodic maintenance and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, such as a strange noise, a different feel when you drive, a busted light, etc. You can learn to do a few things yourself, but it’s always safe to ask a professional mechanic to do it if you’re unfamiliar with the problem. Don’t forget to vacuum and wipe the cabin and wash the exterior to prevent allergens, critters, paint oxidation and rusting.

As for Buying…

It is usually more cost-efficient to buy a late-model used car and drive it for as long as it runs than a brand-new car that will lose half of its value after two years. A used car is not as pricey to insure, and if you are careful you will find one that is very close to brand-new condition for a fraction of the original selling price. You can also check out certified pre-owned choices.

If you’re uncomfortable buying a car with a history you don’t completely know, you can still buy brand new. This is where very thorough research comes in. Find the car you want — hopefully a reliable one with very good value for money, like an Accord or a Camry — and negotiate with as many dealers as possible. You should also consider buying toward the end of the year, when dealers want to beat quotas and are more flexible with prices.

Being a wise car owner can save you from a lot of unnecessary costs, from fuel to maintenance. Know how to care for your car so you can enjoy it for miles.