Margaret Pittelkow: Even if you're holding on your current vehicle, it won't be too long until you move on. Here is AAA's guide to getting the highest resale value for your ride.
To obtain the best resale value, owners should focus on keeping up on all aspects of the vehicle. The interior, exterior and especially under the hood, should never be ignored. Wash the vehicle every two weeks and wax it at least twice a year.
Depending on climate and driving conditions, be sure to rinse out the wheel wells and undercarriage. Finish with a good coat of wax that looks great, protects the finish, and helps reduce paint fading. If you get chips in the paint, be sure to fix those quickly to avoid rust.
Have small windshield chips repaired before they turn into cracks that require replacement. Exterior flaws are the first things buyers see and it could dramatically affect first impressions.
Wipe down dusty or soiled surfaces with a damp cloth; follow with a UV protective coating on vinyl and rubber surfaces. Vacuum regularly and lightly shampoo as needed. Clean stains from seats and interior surfaces immediately. Use protective flooring and seat covers to help preserve the original quality of upholstery.
Finally, improve the resale value of a vehicle by saving all of its maintenance records, organize them in a file or just keep them in the glove box. Either way, being able to produce a record of proper maintenance and repairs during ownership of the vehicle can add hundreds of dollars to a vehicle's sales price.
Extend the life of your vehicle's interior and exterior and you'll enjoy the benefits when you sell.