Americans Are Keeping Their Cars Longer
The average American keeps a new car for 5-6 years before trading it in or selling it to purchase another car, which is 18 months longer than it was in 2006. People are keeping their cars longer because they are built better, most loans are for the duration of 60 months to help keep payments low and due to the weak job market. As people keep their vehicles longer they are exposed to more wear and tear, such as parking lot door dings, scratches, rust from salt and other winter chemicals and UV damage from the sun. Most people are not aware of the role these elements play on the gradual decline in the external appearance of their once new and shiny vehicle.
Damaging Effects of UV Rays and The Environment
The largest factor in vehicle damage is UV Rays from the sun. Automotive paint systems have UV inhibitors that absorb the harmful rays to help extend to life of your paint, but over time these inhibitors get used up and cause your paint to become cloudy or hazy. This is best seen in headlight lenses, ever notice a car with yellowed, hazy or cloudy lenses? This is caused by UV damage, as the UV inhibitors fail the surface goes from crystal clear to oxidized and cloudy. Typically, UV inhibitors in automotive paint have a half-life of 5 years, which means 50% of the inhibitors have failed after 5 years.
This all can be prevented and prolonged by properly detailing your vehicle and applying a wax/sealant/coating on the surface at proper intervals. Waxes, sealants and coatings are a layer of protection that bonds to the surface of your paint. They include UV inhibitors that protect your paint and help extend the life of your paint’s UV inhibitors by absorbing the UV rays. They also add more shine and gloss to your vehicle to greatly improve its appearance.
More information can be found here:
- Why Does My Paint Look Dull And Boring? And What Can I Do About It?
- How Paint Contamination Works Against Your Car & Paint.
- How To Tell When Your Car Needs Waxed.
- The Automatic Car Wash: How To Ruin Your Vehicle.
- The Importance of Auto Detailing.
How To Increase Resale & Trade In Values
On average the differences in resale or trade in value of a used vehicle in fair to excellent condition ranges from $1,500 to $5000. Often people will take very good or excellent care of the mechanical aspects of their vehicle and slack on the physical appearance and condition. The combination of both of these variables determines the condition of the car and how much more the car will sell for, along with the speed at which it will sell. There is a reason when you buy a used car at a dealership it is clean and shiny, the cars sell faster than ones that are dirty with dull paint. The dealerships invest money into having them detailed and you should to.
A Few Examples:
For each example I used 13,000 miles as the average miles driven per year and multiplied that number by the age of the car. All example vehicles are priced with stock options, so values are not representative of vehicles that have more or all options, as they will have higher resale values. I also chose vehicles that were in the top 5 best selling from that particular year.
Rough Trade-In: Significant mechanical defects requiring repairs in order to restore reasonable running condition; paint, body and wheel surfaces have considerable damage to their finish, which may include dull, faded or oxidized paint, small to medium size dents, frame damage, rust, or obvious signs of previous repairs; interior reflects above average wear, with inoperable equipment, damaged or missing trim, and heavily soiled /permanent imperfections on the headliner, carpet, and upholstery; may have a branded title; vehicle will need substantial reconditioning and repair to be made ready for resale; some existing damage may be difficult to restore.
Average Trade-In: Mechanically sound but may require some repairs/servicing to pass all necessary inspections; paint, body and wheel surfaces have moderate imperfections and an average finish which can be improved with restorative repair; interior reflects some soiling and wear in relation to vehicle age, with all equipment operable or requiring minimal effort to make operable; clean title history; vehicle will need a fair degree of reconditioning to be made ready for resale.
Clean Trade-In: No mechanical defects and passes all necessary inspections with ease; paint, body and wheels may have minor surface scratching with a high gloss finish; interior reflects minimal soiling and wear, with all equipment in complete working order; vehicle has a clean title history; vehicle will need minimal reconditioning to be made ready for resale.
Clean Retail: This means a vehicle with no mechanical defects and passes all necessary inspections with ease. Paint, body and wheels have minor surface scratching with a high gloss finish and shine. Interior reflects minimal soiling and wear with all equipment in complete working order. Vehicle has a clean title history. Because individual vehicle condition varies greatly, used of NADAguides.com may need to make independent adjustments for actual vehicle condition. Note: Vehicles with low mileage that are in exceptionally good condition and/or include a manufacturer verification can be worth a significantly higher value than Clean Retail price shown.
**Descriptions taken from NADA Guides Values.
It’s clear that both a shiny, glossy physical appearance and a mechanically sound engine greatly increase the trade-in and resale value of a vehicle. Whether you just bought a new car and want it detailed and taken care of properly throughout your ownership or you are looking to revitalize your current vehicle to be ready for sale, proper auto detailing does increase the value of your vehicle in most cases many times more than the small detailing investment.
To find out how much money you could earn visit: NADA Guide: New Car Pricing and Used Car Values.