Published September 2015

For What It’s Worth

5 steps to maximize resale your car’s value

Resale value is fluid. As consumer demand changes, so do used-car prices. While you can’t predict market fluctuations, here are five steps you can take to make the most of your vehicle resale opportunity.
1. Do your homework. Research the selling price of used vehicles in your market. Study various makes, models, and even trim levels to understand which vehicles command the highest resale value.
2. Shop with a strategy. Select a brand, model, and trim level with good residual power. Pick a conservative color — black, white, and gray are the safest choices. Choose options carefully, since luxury features and unique paint packages might not hold their value. Buy a vehicle that will appeal to the widest range of buyers.
3. Maintain your edge. More than brand or features, the overall condition of your vehicle matters most to used-car shoppers. Drive safely and avoid a collision, which decreases your resale value. Follow the proper maintenance schedule and keep all of the receipts. And most importantly, keep the mileage low.
4. When it’s time to sell, leverage online sites to help you assess the value of your vehicle. Then, get to work and make sure your vehicle is in top condition: Recondition “hazy” headlights, remove stickers and decals, clean out the console and glove box, and have your car professionally detailed.
5. Determine the disposal method that will get the best value. Vehicles in excellent condition are best for private-party sale; cars in rough condition may be candidates for donation.
More Information
To find out about AAA’s Car Buying program, call 1-877-943-3539 or visit
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