4 Car Depreciation Hacks Courtesy of Kelley Blue Book

Genevieve Fraser
· 3 min read
Buying a car
often comes with the risk of depreciation (a.k.a loss of monetary value due to the vehicle’s age and usage). In fact, most cars lose approximately 20% of their original value within their first year on the roads.
While some depreciation is unavoidable, there are several things you can do to slow it down and hopefully
get yourself a better price
for your vehicle if you ever decide to sell.
Below are four best practices that
Kelley Blue Book
suggests to help your car retain its value.

Keep up with regular maintenance for your car

Making sure your car is well-maintained can combat depreciation.
A properly maintained car reflects how responsible you are as the owner. Not only will it help keep your car looking good, but also ensures that the car is safe for drivers and passengers.
has some easy-to-follow
basic maintenance tips
that can get you started.
These include:
  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining your tires
  • Checking the fluids, like coolant and fluids for brakes, transmission, windows, and power steering
  • Changing the oil filter
  • Checking the brakes, belts, and hoses
  • Reviewing your car insurance and roadside assistance policies
With a bit of care, you can keep your car in good shape to negotiate a more profitable resale than you might otherwise be with a poorly-maintained vehicle.
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Customizations can cost you down the road

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Many people enjoy personalizing their cars’ look, sound, or performance with
aftermarket modifications
. This can set your vehicle apart from the pack, but this isn’t always ideal when it comes time to sell.
As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and your dream customization might not be the same as someone else’s. With each added customization, your resale market narrows. Not to mention, your
car insurance premium
may be affected.
Some mods can actually lead to a voided warranty. The addition of a sunroof is a common cause of this, according to
The Appraisal Lane
However, factory modifications carried out where your vehicle was made will generally add trade-in value to your vehicle.
Tax breaks can help to combat car depreciation
There are a number of tax breaks out there to help car owners offset the costs of depreciation, including ones for folks who drive their vehicles for business purposes.
also suggests some other options that you might be eligible for. If you have a hybrid or electric vehicle, you could get some money back for your fuel-efficient investment in the form of a tax credit.
If you feel so inclined, you could
donate your used vehicle
to a charity and receive a tax deduction for the car’s market value in return.

Sell the car yourself

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Setting your own price and handling the sale can help you get more money for your car than you might otherwise at a dealership, especially in the current market. But it also makes you responsible for the heavy lifting.
And no, we don’t mean that you’ll have to carry the car to its new owner. You should do some research to determine what you could reasonably expect to get for the vehicle, and you should make sure you are comfortable with setting up and responding to advertising, the terms of the sale, and the
location of the handover
Reviewing your
car insurance
package is another great way to save money, as you might be paying more than you should.
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