A vehicle is an asset. In most cases, it’s an asset that goes down in value over time. This happens for a number of reasons, many of which are out of your control. But there are some things that will decrease your vehicle’s value faster than normal. Here are seven of them:

1. Skipping maintenance

Ignoring your vehicle’s maintenance schedule is a great way to decrease its value when it comes time to trade it in. A mechanic can always tell when a vehicle has been neglected, and people who skip oil changes, routine maintenance, and don’t replace worn or broken parts are likely to see their trade-in value drop unnecessarily.

2. A discontinued make

This is completely out of your control but if you’re unlucky enough to own a vehicle made by a manufacturer who has gone out of business, your value will definitely take a dive. Recently discontinued makes include Scion, Mercury, SAAB, Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn. However, if you’re on the buyer side and looking for a deal, these makes are always available at discount.

3. Mileage

Even if your vehicle is only a few years old, higher mileage will mean a lower value. Of course, you need to drive as much as you need to drive, just keep in mind that when it comes time to trade in or sell your vehicle, if you’ve been using it more than the standard 12,000 miles per year that the average driver puts on their car, you’re likely looking at a lower value.

4. Dings and dents

If you’re one of those people who park their car as far away from everybody else as possible to avoid dings, then you’re not going to suffer like some others when it comes to its value. Small (and big) dents and dings make a vehicle look beat up and unattractive, decreasing its value because buyers take the appearance and cosmetic flaws into account when shopping.

5. (Un)desirability

There are some cars and trucks that people simply don’t want. Whether it’s because it’s a particular body style or color, or just an unsuccessful and unpopular model, if you’re unlucky enough to own an undesirable car, you shouldn’t expect to get much for it when it comes time to trade it in.

6. Smoking

Smoking has been decreasing among the general population for decades, which means people are less and less tolerant of vehicles that have been smoked in. Unfortunately, the smell is very hard to get rid of, which means a potential buyer is likely to recognize that a vehicle has been smoked in whenever they open the door. If you’re a smoker, it’s in your best interest to make sure you avoid smoking inside the car.

7. Too many modifications

Modifying your car can be really fun, whether it’s cosmetic modifications, performance modifications, or both. But not only are you never going to get the money you’ve invested into modifications back when you sell or trade-in your car, there’s also a high likelihood that the value will actually decrease as a result of your add-ons. This is because not everyone will be interested in a modified vehicle, especially when the modifications have been significant. So enjoy your ride and hook it up if you’d like, just remember that it might cost you more than a few bucks.


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