5 Habits That Depreciate the Value of Your Car

5 Habits That Depreciate the Value of Your Car

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Car depreciation is the decrease in the monetary value of your vehicle over time. Experts believe that a new car will depreciate by 5 to 10 % the moment you drive it off the lot and another 10 to 20% by the end of the first year.

Although every car is subject to depreciation, it can be slowed down with good driving and car maintenance habits. If you're planning to purchase a new car and want to maintain its resale value at an appreciable level, avoid these five habits:

1. Constantly driving over the speed limit.

Regularly driving your car past the speed limit can accelerate the vehicle’s wear and tear, especially if you’re always hard braking and redlining.

Hard Braking

Harsh braking causes the brakes to overheat and prematurely wears out the brake pads and brake tubes. It can also trigger the car’s anti-lock braking system even when not needed, stressing the system faster. Moreover, it reduces tyre traction and damages your driveshaft.


Constantly revving the car’s engine to redline puts it under tremendous pressure and generates a significant heat that can blow the engine and damages the valve train and transmission. Car manufacturers set the redline of an engine for a reason: to avoid sudden and dramatic exceeding of the car's peak power and torque delivery.


Driving hard puts you at greater risk for accidents. A history of collision damage on your car will negatively affect its resale value.

2. Rarely washing and cleaning your car.

Neglecting your car cleaning duty can lead to the buildup of dirt, grime and rust that eat away at your vehicle’s paint and makes it look dull. The dirtier your car is, the more unpresentable it will look and the worse its condition come selling time.


Car experts recommend washing your vehicle once every two weeks and performing car detailing at least four times a year. Wash your car more often than the recommended frequency in the winter and if you live near the sea or in an area with a lot of salt to prevent salt buildup, which corrodes the metal and causes rust.

Car Engine

A clean engine makes a used car look newer and well-maintained. When performing regular cleaning, pay special attention to the engine bay, where dirt can build up, absorbing moisture and promoting corrosion and premature wear in the pulleys and bearings. Regular engine cleaning also helps you get rid of debris that causes hot spots to form on the engine and its components, as well as helps you detect small leaks, cracks and other problems that can cause damage over time.


Waxing, which gives your car a sparkling glow, is recommended at least every two months. Aside from the glowing finish, the wax provides a layer of protection from the destructive effects of the elements.

Car Loan

3. Car Customisation and Personalisation

Aside from the considerable loss when factoring in the price of the enhancement parts and upgrades to your vehicle, personalising your car is not a financially wise move if you plan to sell it in the future.

What Appeals to You May Turn Off Others

Modifying your car’s engine and body ala Fast & Furious may give you a sense of gratification, but it won’t help you make good money. This is because custom modifications are very personal. There’s generally only a small percentage of the population who share your interest, thus slimming down the number of your car’s potential buyers.

Design Integrity

The original parts of a vehicle--engine, battery, brakes, suspension system, fuel tank, frame and tires--are made to fit perfectly. They are all built and tuned according to the standards set by the manufacturer. Customising a car destroys its design integrity.

More Damage Than Good

There’s always the risk of improper installation or putting on a faulty part with car customisations. If not done properly, it can do much more damage than good to the vehicle. For instance, changing the car’s air/fuel ratios may make the engine run on not enough or too much fuel, which can both cause long-term damage to the vehicle.

Prospective buyers might also question the modification procedures and you might find it difficult to prove that all enhancements were done by a professional.

4. Having your car “fixed” by a non-professional mechanic.

Seeking car services from non-professional mechanics, regardless if they’re your friends or acquaintances, can lead to mistakes that could cost you more money in the long run.


You might think you’ve saved money by paying an unqualified technician a lesser rate than a professional would ask, but most of the time there’s a lot of guesswork involved. If they’re not certain which parts need to be replaced or fixed, they could potentially cause new problems that can be more difficult and costly to undo.

Quality Assurance

By having your car fixed by licensed mechanics from accredited auto centres across Australia, you can be assured that your vehicle will be handled by professionals. Accreditation types for automotive professionals vary so it’s wise to check the mechanic accreditations in your state before deciding on the kind of automotive pro you need.

5. Neglecting your car service records.

Failing to keep your car service records can lead to you having a hard time proving that your vehicle is in good condition when it’s time to sell the car to a private buyer.

Records Validate Responsible Ownership

Showing paperwork validates your responsible ownership of the car and gives the buyer an informed knowledge of the vehicle. Additionally, you won’t have to answer questions like “has the car been properly oiled?” because your well-documented service history will show that your car has been well taken care of.

Stronger Negotiation Position

The service records also give you a stronger foundation for negotiation around value because you can easily prove to buyers that the car is well-maintained. A savvy car buyer will be happy to pay a bit extra for the reassurance of owning a car in good condition.

Owning a new car is easy, as long as the financials work for you. Get your new vehicle fast through Positive Lending Solutions. Our team of expert brokers will find the best car loans for you and negotiate with lenders on your behalf. Fill out the Pre-Approval form or call us on 1300 722 210.

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