More car owners are keeping their vehicles longer due to improved technology in modern automobiles. However, holding onto a vehicle longer also means more exposure to dings, dents, and scratches. Does detailing increase a car’s value when you decide to sell it?
The Value of a Car Detail Beyond Aesthetics
First and foremost, a car’s value is dependent primarily on the condition of its parts. You should regularly take your car to an auto mechanic. Routine tune-ups will retain the health of vital operating components, such as the hose and belts, brakes, suspension, radiator, etc.
A vehicle detailing, however, can play a secondary factor, especially when trading in your car at a dealership. A dealer will list the car as in excellent, good, fair, or poor condition based on Kelley Blue Book guidelines. A dealer will actively look for imperfections to give the lowest classification possible in order to reduce the trade-in value.
Of course, dealers will immediately look for mechanical defects. Afterwards, they will look for faded paint, clouded headlights, nicks, and other superficial blemishes. A dealer may list a car as poor if—aside from major operational defects—it has clear signs of oxidized paint, rust, medium-sized dents, upholstery stains, etc.
This doesn’t mean the aesthetics have to be perfect to achieve an excellent condition rating. You may be able to get away with a few light scratches here and there if everything else passes with flying colors.
Will a simple detail or wash and wax elevate your car from poor to excellent? On its own, no. However, we do recommend bringing your vehicle to Henry’s Auto Detail for a restoration before selling. A detail may increase a car’s value provided all major parts are in working order.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Serving Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Woodway and south Snohomish County