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  • Writer's pictureAutowash

CLEAN MONEY: Car Cleanliness Helps Retain Resale Value

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

When it comes to owning a car, most people understand the importance of regular maintenance and repairs to ensure optimal performance and longevity. However, cleanliness has a significant impact on the financial value of your vehicle, especially when it comes time to sell or trade. In other words, maintaining a clean car can have a real-world influence on your bottom line! Let’s explore the financial benefits of keeping your car clean and why regular car washing can pay dividends for you in the long run.

  1. First Impressions Matter: According to a study conducted by AutoTrader, potential buyers of used cars form their opinions within the first few seconds of seeing a vehicle. Humans are, after all, visual creatures and a clean, well-maintained, car conveys a sense of care and attention to detail by the previous owner. On the other hand, a dirty car may raise concerns about the overall condition and maintenance by the previous owner, even if it is in perfect mechanical condition and simply needs to be cleaned. This first impression can mean a difference of thousands of dollars to the seller!

  2. Protection Against Wear and Tear: Regular cleaning not only keeps your car looking good but also helps protect it from long-term damage. Dirt, grime, and debris can accumulate on the exterior, leading to scratches and paint damage. Additionally, neglecting to clean the interior can result in stains, odors, and wear on upholstery and surfaces. By investing time in cleaning and maintaining the visual appeal of your car, you minimize the risk of long-term damage, ensuring that it remains in top condition, which positively impacts its resale or trade-in value.

  3. Preventing Rust and Corrosion: Road salt, mud, and other contaminants can accumulate on your car's undercarriage, leading to rust and corrosion over time, and rust is not exclusive to winter or cold climates! Caked-on mud and contamination that holds moisture against the surface can lead to premature rust and corrosion. Regularly washing your vehicle helps remove these harmful substances, reducing the risk of corrosion. Preventing rust not only preserves your car's structural integrity but also maintains its value when it's time to sell or trade it in for something new.

  4. Demonstrating Proper Maintenance: A clean car reflects a well-maintained vehicle. When selling your car, providing a record of regular cleaning and detailing can indicate to potential buyers that you've taken good care of it. This can positively influence their perception of the car's overall condition and prompt them to offer a higher resale value. Telling any prospective buyers that you’ve washed the car exclusively at Autowash locations tells them the car was truly loved and cared for properly!

Certainly, we could tell you all the amazing things that car washing can do for your resale value, but then there are facts that support our claim. Here are just a few pieces of statistical information that demonstrate regular car washing is good for your car resale bottom line.

  1. A survey conducted by Kelley Blue Book found that 77% of respondents believed that a clean and well-maintained car would be worth a higher price than a similar vehicle that was dirty.

  2. According to a study by the University of Texas at Arlington, used cars that appeared to be clean and showed the exterior was properly cared for can command prices up to 20% higher than those cars in average or poor aesthetic condition.

  3. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology revealed that potential buyers are willing to pay up to 10% more for a clean car compared to the exact same vehicle if it were dirty.

Keeping your car clean goes beyond aesthetics; it directly affects its resale value. By maintaining a clean and well-detailed vehicle, you not only enhance its visual appeal but also protect it from wear and tear, prevent rust, and demonstrate proper maintenance for potential buyers. The financial benefits of retaining resale value through cleanliness are supported by studies and surveys conducted by reputable institutions as well as anecdotally conveyed to our team regularly by Autowash members. So, taking time to maintain a clean car isn’t just about how it makes you feel or how you look going down the road. As it turns out it can pay off in the long run when it's time to sell or trade it in on something new. Autowash makes retaining that resale value easy! Our 20+ locations feature the industry’s best in touch-free and self-serve car wash equipment and chemistry. Use the app to purchase your washes and save with automatic discounts, or join our membership program and wash as much as you like for one fixed, low monthly cost.

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