Not all vehicles are created equal. Although they’re all at the mercy of depreciation, some can retain a good percentage of their value five years into their lifespan.
Besides the make, age, and condition of the cars, specific features can also retain, if not improve, their value in the market. This way, as an owner, you have better control over the sale or trade-in.
Here are the four features that may bring in more money later:
1. Automatic Transmission
It’s a no-brainer: between automatic and manual, the former is the easiest to drive. Probably the only time that you wish you’re driving a manual is when you’re using a sports car. That gives you some bragging rights, plus you can feel the power and speed with manual transmission.
However, if you want a transmission type that retains good market value, you go for automatic. In a 2021 report by Research and Markets, automatic will have the fastest growth than manual, continuously variable, and dual-clutch.
Automatic transmission is also more favorable for individuals with disabilities. There are at least 60 million living in the United States.
While you can convert a vehicle with manual transmission into automatic, it may be expensive. Some experts suggest you just directly buy an automatic car to save yourself the headache and money problems.
2. Infotainment System
Road trips, especially in the United States, are synonymous with feel-good music and other forms of entertainment. Otherwise, the activity’s boring.
And probably Americans love it so much they’re willing to pay more for it, especially when they can also access much-needed car controls on the same panel. Research and Markets revealed that the market value for this feature could reach almost $80 billion by 2025.
In fact, the demand can be so significant that automakers can create a whole new revenue stream with it that’s different from the sale of the vehicles.
Newer models seem to have cool infotainment systems, but what about if you have older vehicles? There are many experts in the installation of car stereos. They can modify the setup according to your preferences or budget.
They can also sync other types of tech in the vehicle, like Bluetooth and GPS. These specialists don’t recommend that you do this DIY. Usually, mistakes are costlier.
3. New Tires
When people buy cars, they usually check for mileage—but they also look into tires. Many vehicles have already reached the maximum mileage before their warranty runs out, but they still look and feel good because of the condition of the wheels.
When tires are in excellent condition, it also sends a message to the future buyer that you’ve taken care of the vehicle. They can still squeeze in a few more years, even from a 5-year-old car.
When is the best time to change vehicle tires? Probably one of the most popular tests is the Lincoln. Change it when Abe’s head is already hardly visible.
However, a new study suggests that you may have to do it way early. This is after the researchers found out that tires tested with a penny took much longer to come to a stop. So instead of a penny, use a quarter.
But while we’re on the subject of cars and wheels, you may want to upgrade their aesthetics by switching from steel wheels to alloy. They can make the vehicle appear more luxurious in no time.
Inasmuch as auto manufacturers want to paint their vehicles with every shade in the Crayola, the vast majority stick with black, white, and silver. After all, these are the most in-demand colors for cars.
In a study by CarMax, among cars sold between 2017 and 2018, around 50 percent were either black or white. However, the best-selling color was black, which accounted for over 20 percent of the sales.
White followed at 19 percent. Gray came next at 17 percent, and lastly, there’s silver, where at least 14 percent of the cars were sold during the period.
When it comes to vehicle body type, only two colors stood out: black and white. The former was the preferred color for coupes, sedans, convertibles, and sports cars. Those who bought minivans and wagons likely picked white.
Why are these colors in demand? Some experts think they’re pretty good at hiding dirt and dust. But it could also be related to color psychology. Black, in particular, is usually associated with luxury (think of a black label or black-tie event).
Depreciation happens whether you have the best-looking or most efficient vehicle in the market. But you can do something to offset the cost by investing in value-added features.