The desert we live in can easily damage cars over the years, diminishing their trade-in value. According to Josh “Chop” Towbin, co-owner of Towbin Dodge, keeping your car in top condition is very important in maintaining its retail value.
“If you can keep your car out of the sun for even a portion of the day, that’s a good thing,” Towbin said. “The sun can damage headlight lenses, molding, interior fabric and leather, obviously affecting its value. You can retain 15 to 20 percent of the value of your car just by keeping it in the shade.”
According to Towbin, white cars hold up best in the desert. They appear cooler and people are readily drawn to white for that very reason.
Tinted windows are also helpful in keeping the interior in great shape. They help the interior resist fading as well as keep drivers and passengers cool.
Sometimes people think their car won’t hold its value when it has higher mileage. Towbin says that does not matter as much as you think. Most dealers will take a car with high mileage as long as it appears well-kept and clean, including carpet and interior as well as the exterior.
If you want to know how much your car is worth, the best place to check value is at Kelly Blue Book (www.KBB.com). Many dealers will give you a rate that is close to Blue Book if the car is in retail condition.
Additionally, Towbin said to follow the factory guidelines on car care. This includes oil changes and regular maintenance, which ensures the car remains in top operational condition. A clean car is also very important for trade-in value.
Finding a professional car repair shop is also important. Experience and efficiency is all anyone can ask for.
Finally, if you are in the market for a new car, this is a great time to get a deal. Many car dealers, including Towbin Dodge, are offering new cars at close to used-car prices.
“People really have an advantage right now,” Towbin said.
In addition, Chrysler, the manufacturer of Dodge and others, is offering a lifetime warranty on its cars. This warranty is backed by the U.S. government.
“This has never happened before and President Obama has given his support to this offer,” Towbin said. “You are not going to get a better warranty right now, so keep that in mind when buying your new car.”