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How to Get the Best Resale When it's time to sell or trade in your used vehicle, you'll want to get the most money possible for it. In this article, we'll discuss the most common factors that contribute to a vehicle's resale value.


Having the right documentation can make a big difference in the final amount you receive. What sort of paperwork can be the most helpful for determining a car's value?

  • Paperwork from when you bought the car, showing the purchase price
  • Car history report, if available
  • Service records or receipts from maintenance, repairs, or upgrades
  • Insurance paperwork

These documents don't increase the value of your car directly, but they serve as verification of the other factors that can impact the resale value of your vehicle.


Your car's odometer reading often correlates to its resale value. The fewer the miles, the more the car will be worth. Even higher-mileage vehicles can maintain their value, though, provided that you keep records of their maintenance and repair routine.

Make and Model

Some cars are known for holding their value. The Honda Civic, for example, has been traditionally regarded as maintaining its value over the course of many years.

Maintenance Routine

Have you kept up with routine checkups and oil changes? If so, it can dramatically increase the value of your vehicle. The reason is simple: The better the condition of your car, the more it will be worth.

This is also where having the right documentation comes into play, as your car's service records will verify the condition of your vehicle.

Last-Minute Maintenance

Last-minute maintenance can improve your car's value. What sorts of improvements can you make before you trade your car in?

  • Change the brake pads
  • Servicing the transmission
  • Replacing the tires

These things can add value since the next owner won't be responsible for covering these costs personally.

Additionally, small repairs can improve your car's value, in addition to its aesthetic appearance. Fixing a broken taillight or an electrical problem will increase the value of your vehicle.

Repair History

Has your car been in a serious accident, or otherwise required major repairs? Your vehicle's repair history can send red flags to potential buyers. Dealers may similarly undervalue a car with a history of damage.

Car owners can mitigate this by providing paperwork on their car's history and maintenance routine, which will contain details about the nature and extent of its repairs.


Some car owners install upgrades to their cars that can increase the final resale value. For instance, you might install a Bluetooth-enabled entertainment system to allow drivers to connect to their smartphones. Safety features such as a backup camera can also add considerable value to your vehicle.

Interior Condition

To maintain the interior of your car, avoid the following:

  • Smoking
  • Eating or drinking in the car
  • Leaving trash in the car

These are usually red flags that can drive away potential buyers and drive down your trade-in value at a dealership.

In Conclusion

The better the condition of your car, the higher the value. Car owners can demonstrate a car's condition by documenting its history, including its original sale price, its maintenance records, and any upgrades that have been made.

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