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Retaining Value: The Most Valuable Cars of 2018 and How to Preserve the Value of Your Car

In my last article, I explored some of the many things car owners can do from home on their own schedule to maintain their old car until they drive it into the ground. Unfortunately, however, no matter how much attention we give a car, it will inevitably one day need to be replaced with something a little more economical, spacious, safe, or just new in general. For those that use this time to start shopping for something brand new, this article aims to shed some light on the brands that hold their value better than the rest of the new cars on the market, and some of the simple things you can do to maximize the value of your old car when you sell it or trade it in.

We all know that depreciation is one of the biggest unavoidable expenses that comes with owning a car. No matter how well you maintain the car, how little you drive it or how clean it stays, the second it drives off the lot it loses an enormous chunk of its value- and it continues to lose value over time after that. Not all cars are created equally, however, and there are some makes and models that tend to retain more of their value for longer. For a careful driver that keeps up with cleaning and maintenance, that could mean a couple hundred or couple thousand extra dollars come resale or trade-in time. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Kelley Blue Book’s top picks for 2018 regarding makes and models that retain the most value over time.

2018’s Top Makes and Models

Starting with the top make for 2018, the KBB voted Toyota as the best brand regarding vehicle value. Toyota is known for producing affordable cars, trucks and SUVs that are long- lasting, greatly increasing their value when being sold as used cars. Of the KBB overall top ten vehicles, the top three were the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner taking first, second and third respectively. All three of these vehicles, according to the KBB, will retain over 50% of their value after five years (the average car only retains around 30% of its value in this time). In fact, KBB estimates that the 2018 Toyota Tacoma will retain a whopping 61.1% of its value after five years! Some other honorable mentions that will retain over 50% of their value after five years are the Jeep Wrangler, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado (all 2018 of course). If you’re looking for something a little flashier, consider buying a Porsche. For the second year in a row, KBB named them the best luxury brand to buy in regard to value.

Clean Money: Increasing Your Old Car’s Value

Now before you run off and buy your new car, consider these tips to increase the sell or trade value of your old ride by as much as a couple hundred to a thousand dollars. Besides the vehicle’s driving history and mileage, one of the biggest factors in determining the value of your old car is the condition of the interior and exterior. Regular washing of your car and waxing a few times a year is a small, simple investment that can preserve the factory quality paint job on your car and leave it sparkling for years to come. And don’t forget about those wheels! They typically see the most dirt and grime and may be one of the harder parts to thoroughly clean, but few things are more noticeable than sparkling clean rims. Make sure that you always use products designed for washing the exterior of your car when you do give it a bath- normal household cleaners may not give you as thorough of a wash and may even harm the exterior of your car.

Tune- Up Your Value

Besides regular washes and waxing make sure you stay on top of any minor exterior work you may need to perform. This can be especially hard to do towards the end of the car’s life, as it’s easy to adopt an attitude that the next owner can fix the minor problems. However, buffing out minor scrapes and scratches and touching up small flaws in the paintjob can be done quickly and easily from home and taking care of these issues throughout the life of your car can help prevent further cosmetic damages down the line (i.e. rust, discoloration, etc.). Small dings and dents can also be taken care of at home, and besides helping to prevent further damage they help your car look like it’s in better condition and was cared for throughout its life, thus adding value.

A few simple tricks can also help keep your car’s interior in great condition, adding a lot of value come time to sell. One quick, simple way to keep your car looking new is a one-time investment in seat covers. For $100 or less you can get something durable and effective that will help prevent tearing, stains and odors from showing up around your car’s interior. KBB also suggests that smokers try to keep the cigarettes out of their car, as cigarette smoke and odor is tough to remove and stands out to buyers. Finally, watch where you park your vehicle. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to fading, discoloration and cracking on parts of your car’s interior.

Besides taking care of your car’s cosmetic problems, make sure you stay on top of service and maintenance throughout your car’s life and you keep records. Always make sure to complete routine oil changes, tire rotations, etc. and save your receipts. Being able to prove your car was well-maintained can help increase its value significantly. And like cosmetic damages, don’t leave minor problems to the next owner. By taking care of simple things like fixing lights, changing wiper blades, and so on can help show how well the car was taken care of, and add value to your car.


With this information, you’re better prepared to stretch your dollars come time to trade in your old car for something new. Not only have we covered 2018’s top value-retaining makes and models, but with the simple tips in this article you can increase the value of your old car by a couple hundred or couple thousand dollars when it’s time to trade it in. Now it’s time to bust out the soap, wax, glass and interior cleaners and get to work!

Holbrook Auto Parts takes pride in serving new parts and tested, high-quality used parts to the Detroit area. If you need parts to keep your car running longer or want to show it a little extra love before selling it for something new, don’t pay more at a big box retailer. Stop by Holbrook Auto Parts and save!

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2 thoughts on “Retaining Value: The Most Valuable Cars of 2018 and How to Preserve the Value of Your Car

  1. Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!

    1. Thanks for the heads up!

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