Any car loses value over time. How much it loses is, to some extent, up to you.
There are lots of things people commonly do, or don't do, that can pound down a car's eventual resale value much faster than the simple passage of time and ordinary wear.
If want to keep your car's resale value as high as possible, perhaps you shouldn't get that monster stereo system installation or munch on that burger with fried onions while you're in the driver's seat.
Toss maintenance records
It's easy to scrap that oil change receipt or forget to have your dealership initial your service manual for the 50,000 mile check up. But the best way to ensure a buyer that your vehicle was properly maintained and cared for is through documentation. Taking care of your car's engine is great. But without proof, all that work won't be worth much at trade-in time.
Pick a wild color
That metallic purple paint job may seem attractive on the sales lot, but many times car owners find it harder to sell those exotic-colored cars later on. Instead consider a more popular color such as black, silver or white, recommends KBB.
Get unpopular options
Picking out options on your new car that suit you may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to include equipment that other buyers will want such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), alloy wheels, a CD player or leather-upholstered seats.
Eat and go
It may be unavoidable at times, but eating in your seat is a fast track to damaging the interior of your car. If possible, consider the mess potential of any foods you might eat in the car.
KBB also recommends passing on the vehicle personalizations for your new car or at least keeping them to a minimum. Who's going to want to buy a car with your nickname emblazoned on the trunk lid?
Let the interior go
Neglecting your vehicle's interior is one way drivers can ruin their car's resale value. Instead make sure the upholstery and mats in your car are in good shape.
Pump up the volume
Your driving experience may not be the same without that extra subwoofer or those upgraded speakers, but replacing the factory stereo, especially if it means carving away parts of your car, may jeopardize your vehicle's resale value.
Buying mismatched tires and forgetting to have them checked and rotated regularly is another trap many car owners fall into. Buy a complete set of the same brand for both safety and to maintain your car's resale value, KBB suggests.
Ignore those door dings
That scratch or ding may not look like much from the outside, but they could have a lasting impact on your car's value if not fixed in a timely fashion. Often those blemishes are the first step toward rust and could result in expensive damage to your car over time.
Choose poorly from the start
It's tempting to pick the car that grabs your eye at the dealership, but make sure you pick a vehicle that has a good projected resale value. KBB says if you do your research ahead of time, it could save you money down the road.