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How Detailing Affects Resale Value

Make a small investment today, reap big rewards later.

When we talk about resale value, we are almost always talking about mechanical issues. Things like mileage, upcoming service requirements, and previous accidents that might cause the vehicle to fall into disrepair in the future. Something we should discuss as well, though, is how detailing can affect your resale value. There are a few things to consider, and we map them all out below.

Time is Key

Car owners are hanging onto vehicles for longer than ever before, on average 5-6 years. After that, they may either sell it or trade it, at which point the degree of care, upkeep and maintenance will really matter in the dollars and cents department.

During those 5 or 6 years, your car will have been exposed to UV rays, salt, interior wear and tear, scratches and door dings, all of which have an effect on the decline in your vehicles appearance.

Exterior Damage

The biggest culprit in exterior car damage are the UV rays from the sun. Over time, that factory layer of UV inhibitor gets gradually worn down, allowing more and more UV rays to affect your paint, causing it to become cloudy and patchy. This effect is especially evident with headlights, and you’ve probably noticed “foggy” or cloudy looking headlights caused by oxidization from the sun.

Appearance Sells

Less costly than a new paint job, properly detailing your vehicle will prolong that glossy new car shine, and protect it from UV rays. This means washing and following up with a protective layer of wax/sealant on the surface at regular intervals. Sure, you can do a Hail Mary detail the day you decide to trade your vehicle in, but the results won’t be anything like if you’d detailed it on the regular.

Waxes, sealants and coatings are specially developed to bond directly to paint, and they contain UV inhibitors that buff up the factory UV inhibitors to absorb the UV rays.

The Difference in Value is Huge

The difference between resale or trade in value of a used vehicle in “fair” condition and a trade in deemed “excellent” condition might surprise you. It ranges from $1,200 to $5000. People tend to ensure the mechanics of their car are good, but will often neglect the exterior condition and appearance of their vehicle, leaving the buyer or dealership to use their imagination and visualize your car without the defects.

In reality, both the mechanical and the appearance directly affect how much a buyer is willing to pay for your used car, and how fast it will sell. Clean, shiny cars that give the appearance of being well maintained, well cared for sell faster than cars with dull, clouded paint.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Don’t wait until you decide to trade in or sell to get your car properly detailed. Whether you just purchased a new car and want some tips on maintaining it’s appearance or you’d like to revitalize your daily driver, contact Island Detail and Color and speak to one of our friendly, professional detailers.

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