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Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by John Robinson
Most people view cars as essentials, not as investments. The reason for this is that cars are used to get to and from work, for recreation, and to take our children to school. It’s hard to view something that’s used as much as a car is as an investment because they tend to break down and show signs of wear pretty fast. However, your car doesn’t have to show signs of wear and break down fast. If you view your car as a valuable investment (and treat it as such) then you can preserve it for a long time. Here is some advice for doing just that:
Covering Your Car
Before explaining why cars are a good investment, let’s discuss how to protect them. A lot of people just park their cars on the street, without thinking about objects falling from trees or even rain marking their car’s paint. The best way to protect against these things is by investing in a custom car cover, which can be customized to your car’s size so that it fits perfectly. Another advantage to having a cover for your car is so that people can’t see what type of car you have, which can reduce the chances of your car being stolen if you have a valuable make or model of car.
You should take your car to the mechanics to be serviced at least twice a year. Depending on where you live, it could be a legal requirement to get your car serviced. Make sure that the mechanic that you take your car to is experienced, trained, and licensed. Taking your car to an unlicensed and untrained mechanic is a very bad idea because by virtue of having no licensing or training, they are clearly unprofessional and can’t be trusted with your car, especially if you are treating it as an investment.
While you should take your car to a mechanic twice a year for professional servicing, there is a lot that you can do in terms of routine maintenance at home. One of the best ways to maintain your car is to take a quick course in mechanics so that you don’t have to take it to the mechanic’s shop for every single problem. Learning to fix your car yourself will save you a lot of money. Some people take their car to the mechanic for small problems like lightbulb changes, which can cost upwards of $50 at a mechanic’s shop.
If you aren’t going to be using your car for long periods of time, then you should store it in a proper garage, under the supervision of a security guard. You can pay lease long-term car storage. The cost of placing your car inside a long-term storage garage isn’t that much, and you get the added bonus of not having to worry about your car being vandalized, which you can’t guarantee if you leave your car parked on the street in front of your house.
Even if you aren’t storing your car long-term, you should still keep it in a garage. If your home does not have a garage but you have room for one, then you should consider applying for a building permit so that you have somewhere to store your car. As mentioned previously, storing your car on the street increases the chances of it getting stolen or being vandalized. An alternative to a garage is building an outdoor carport and then securing your property with a gate and connecting fence.
One of the worst things that you can do is to allow your car to fall into a state of disarray. A dirty car can quickly become home to bacteria, germs, and worst of all, pests. A lot of people think that their cars are safe from pests, but this isn’t true. It is perfectly possible for cockroaches, other bugs, and even mice to find their way into people’s cars. If you leave dirt around, then this is a strong possibility. If your car is extremely dirty, then foxes, badgers, coyotes, and other animals could be attracted to it. You also need to clean your car’s exterior, to treat any stains or water damage.
If your car is powered by diesel, then make sure that you only ever use actual diesel. In some places, it is common for people to use red diesel. The use of red diesel can be very damaging to your car’s engine, not to mention it is illegal. Despite how expensive fuel is at the moment, you shouldn’t take any shortcuts, so that you don’t have to pay for fuel. Always use the fuel that’s right for your car, and never purchase it illegally.
You also need to make sure that your car’s battery always has enough charge. When your car’s battery needs to be replaced, make sure that you get it done professionally (or alternatively learn how to do it yourself). If you have an electric or hybrid vehicle, then ensure that your car’s batteries are always fully powered up. Failing to charge your car’s batteries could cause damage to them, which could in turn mean that you need to have them replaced. The batteries for electric and hybrid cars can be extremely expensive.
If your car has any problems with its engine, then you need to make sure that you take it in to a mechanic immediately. Ignoring any potentially serious issues with your car could result in it becoming unusable. A lot of people sadly do this, only to discover that the problems they were experiencing could have been easily resolved, but they left it so long as to render their cars unfixable. Emergency maintenance on a car should not be performed at home by yourself. It should only ever be carried out by a trained mechanic, with lots of experience.
Moving away from how to look after your car and onto why they are a good investment, the first reason is that if you buy a car that’s desirable, then it will nearly always appreciate in value. Cars grow in value over time, like any kind of investment. You do need to make sure that you avoid purchasing an undesirable car, however. A good way to gauge whether or not a car is going to appreciate in value is to research annual car polls and buy the ones that are ranked highest.
Cars that are kept in good condition are more likely to increase in value than others of the same model that aren’t. The best way to keep your car in good condition is to follow the advice outlined earlier on in this post. At a very basic level, ensure that your car is serviced as often as possible, drive it infrequently, and store it somewhere safe. Vandalism can destroy your car’s value, especially if it has a hood ornament or something of real value that’s a target for thieves. Make sure to use a cover also, for the reasons stated previously.
If you want your car to retain its value (and appreciate in value), then you need to avoid making any changes to it. The worst thing that you can do to a car is to replace its engine or change its interior. Some people do this and end up losing a fortune. You should always keep as many of your car’s original features as possible. If you do have to replace anything or make changes, try to use original parts for your car, which you can find online. Original parts for classic cars can be very expensive, which is something that you should be aware of.
Some models are much more desirable than other ones, as already mentioned. It can be very hard to predict which model of car is only popular today but won’t be in the future. As mentioned in an earlier section, browsing magazine rankings of the best and most desirable cars of the year is one good way. You can also consider looking at features and designs. Being able to identify a timeless design is an extremely effective way of determining whether or not a car will be desirable and sought after in the future.
If you want to invest in a car that’s going to appreciate in value, then your best option is a classic car. It is well known that classic cars increase in value, depending on the make and model. As with modern cars, not all old cars appreciate in value. If you are going to invest in classic cars then you need somewhere very secure to store them, because they are often targeted by thieves. The security systems installed in classic cars can be easily overcome, which makes them very appealing to criminals.
Tips for Collecting Cars
If you are going to collect cars, then an extremely effective way of reducing the amount of money that you have to spend on a car is to buy a car that’s in need of repairs and rebuild it yourself. You will have to buy all of the parts for repairing the car yourself but in some cases, the parts can actually be cheaper than the car yourself. It is worth reiterating the importance of buying original parts. If you are going to rebuild a car, then only ever use original parts, so that your car is as authentic as possible. If unoriginal parts are used people might not buy them from you in the future.
If you are going to rebuild cars, then finding original parts is likely your main concern (or it should be). In order to find original parts the best place to look is eBay. It is very common to find used and spare car parts on eBay, even for very old vehicles. Make sure that you always verify a part’s authenticity before using it. You should also ensure that the seller is reliable and has good reviews. All e-commerce sites publish their users’ reviews publicly.
Whenever you are buying cars as investments, you need to make sure that you haggle with the people that are selling them. There is absolutely no point in trying to purchase a car for the price that it’s listed for because this is nearly always inflated and not the car’s true value. Haggling will help you to reduce the amount that you have to pay for the car and increase your equity in it. Most people selling cars or car parts online will be open to haggling. Make sure that you make reasonable offers.
If you are viewing buying cars as an investment, then you need to know when it’s the right time to sell. A lot of people make the mistake of holding onto their cars, even when it’s not sensible to do so. Trends come and go—some cars are worth more after a film’s release because the main character of the said film drives it for example than they are a few years after the film’s release. Make sure to stay ahead of trends and always know when it’s the right time to sell your car and make your profit.
Similarly, you also need to know when it’s the right time to hold your car. This is the hardest part for a lot of people that are investing in cars, sadly. Most car investors sell at the wrong time and hold at the wrong time too. The best way to determine whether or not you should be selling or holding is by looking at the current market and researching your car’s value. Make sure to only ever sell if you are able to recuperate the money that you have paid, and then some. Selling for a loss defeats the point of viewing your car as an investment.
Cars are valuable investments and should be protected. If you fail to protect your car, then it could lose a lot of its value, and even become worthless. If you plan on investing in cars, then do careful research and buy a make and model that’s desirable (and that will continue to be desirable long into the future).
Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.