The Top 5 Things That Affect Your Car’s Resale Value

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Things that affect a Car's Resale Value

Many of our customers are often surprised to find out what they get offered for their vehicles. Whether they are selling it through a private party or trading it in at a dealership. There are specific things like the time of year, the vehicle’s mileage, and other things that will automatically affect the overall value. There are also several factors that can affect a car’s resale value that may be out of your control like a car’s paint color to the natural depreciation over the vehicle’s lifetime.

In this article, we will do our best to help you understand the used car market. We provide the top 5 factors that affect your vehicle’s resale value. Hopefully, by making some changes and taking your vehicle to the right shop, you will be able to get the most money possible when you sell or trade your car, truck, van, or SUV.

1. A Cracked Windshield

Car Resale Impact

Nobody wants to spend money on a vehicle that they are going to get rid of. But a cracked windshield can be a major eyesore. A broken windshield will make a car seem like it’s been poorly maintained. In some states, you can get a windshield changed pretty inexpensively because your insurance policy will cover it without you paying an insurance deductible.

Although some windshields are more expensive than others depending on attributes like rain sensors and integrated antennas, shopping around or having the right connection can save you money. Plus, buyers will automatically want to deduct an exaggerated sum from the overall price so that they can replace it themselves.

2. Faded Headlights or Burnt Out Light Bulbs

Before and after Headlight Restoration

A car with non-functioning headlights, signal lights, and also brake lights can be hazardous to drive. Any of these issues can cause an accident or can get the person diving a ticket. Nobody wants to purchase a used car that they have to take to a repair shop immediately.

If your car’s lights have fractured lenses or burnt bulbs, it is well worth the effort, time, and money to get them fixed before selling the vehicle. Replacing individual lenses and bulbs is not too difficult to do depending on whether a car has LED or HID Lights, there are many ways to save money, including used or aftermarket parts.

It is also essential to take care of your headlights if they have a dull haze or yellowish tint. You can save money by having them restored instead of having to replace the entire headlight assembly, which can get costly. At SA Auto Detailing, we can take care of any of the above issues, including professional headlight restoration.

3. Interior Odors

A person covering nose due to bad odor in car

Many of us can develop a type of numbness to specific odors, whether they be personal hygiene, perfumes or colognes, pets, food, and even smoke or vaping. But other people can smell them a mile away and can also be allergic depending on the odor.

So it is vital to get an interior detailing to make your car smell good and natural before putting it up for sale. Odors can penetrate in fabrics, leather, cup holders, and even on our windshields.

If your car has certain odors, not only can it devalue what it’s worth, it can drive customers away. Plus a professional detail will sanitize the interior to kill bacteria and viruses, making it safe for the new owner. That’s why we also recommend getting an interior detail when you buy a vehicle as well.

4. Missing Or Mismatched Components

A vehicle being inspected

Nothing screams out louder that a car has been mistreated than missing parts like buttons, knobs, spare tire, etc. Even if we think that it’s not a big deal, by not taking the time and a bit of money to make sure that the original parts are all there, we can lose out on hundreds of dollars. Most parts can be easily found online, at auto parts stores, or even salvage yards. A simple $10 part can make all of the difference.

Sometimes a vehicle will have mismatched parts because we had to replace something in an emergency. For example, mismatched tires can have a significant impact on a vehicle’s resale value. Having the wrong colored parts can also be an eyesore that can impact how a person feels about a car. At SA Auto Detailing, we can help get you a good deal on most parts, and our technicians can install them for an extra cost.

5. Car Scratches and Bumper Stickers

Before and after scratch removal

Some of us love putting cool bumper stickers on our vehicles, but other people might not feel the same way. And even though we might understand this, we come to realize that a sticker that has been on a car for a long time is tough to remove. A professional detailing shop has the methods, chemicals, and tools to remove just about any type of sticker without causing significant damage to the exterior paint.

The vehicles that have not been adequately detailed can develop light scratches and swirl marks that can become more apparent with time. These light scratches can make a car’s paint look dull and hazy, which can have a significant impact on its resale value. Paint Correction can bring back that shine and luster, which can make even the oldest car look like new. Paint Correction is the process of using a professional machine polisher to remove a razor-thin layer of clear coat to flatten out the paint. This process can remove 30-90% of scratches, depending on the level you choose.


If you are thinking about selling or trading in your vehicle and you want to get as much money as possible, then you might want to consider taking care of the above recommendations. If you need help figuring out what your car requires to increase its value, then contact us today for a free evaluation.

Depending on what your car needs, we can schedule a time to take care of any issues. This will give us time to get any parts if need be. At SA Auto Detailing, we’ve been helping people put hundreds to thousands of dollars in their pockets, and we can do the same for you.

Please visit our Car Resale Services page for more information.


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San Antonio Auto Detailing