Person in blue shirt holding a clipboard over the open hood of a car

Maintenance Records; The Unsung Hero When Selling Your Car

Ah, yes. Maintenance records, a truly unsung hero in the used car market. These are one of the only things I know of that are able to provide you with cyclical value in the automotive world. If you do your due diligence before buying a car by gathering the maintenance records and checking them, it’s going to help you when it comes time to sell that same vehicle later. Which is why before I explain what they tell you about the car and how they help you sell your current ride, I’m going to first explain why you should never buy a used car unless it has maintenance records available.

Unfortunately for many, this is something consumers don’t bother with. If that’s your idea, then read on so I can change your mind and in turn, potentially save you from making a mistake in buying that used car with a mysterious history.

NEVER Buy a Used Car Unless it has Maintenance Records Available

When it comes to maintenance records, it might seem tedious to dig up the maintenance history of a vehicle. But in reality, it’s not.

All you need to do is call the dealership you wish to buy the used car from, and tell them you’re looking for the maintenance records. Better yet, go request them in person. That way, if they have any qualms when it comes to privacy — since it will have addresses and phone numbers of the previous owners of the vehicle — they can black it out with a marker after printing it off.

Why should you never buy a used car without maintenance records? Simply because those records tell you how well the previous owner maintained the vehicle. You wouldn’t want to buy it if the oil wasn’t changed for the four years the previous owner had the vehicle, would you?

What they Tell you About the Car

Maintenance records don’t just tell you the negatives though. If you see that used car you’re interested in has a great maintenance history, then you’ll be able to buy it without being paranoid about the engine blowing up on the drive home. If the oil, transmission fluid, and other routine maintenance procedures were followed to a T, high-mileage on a car doesn’t matter as much anymore.

Am I saying go out and buy a car with 200,000 miles on it? No, not unless it’s a Mercedes or a Volvo. But, don’t be afraid of buying one with close to 100,000 miles if it’s been taken care of properly.

How They Help You Sell Your Ride

In order for them to work to your benefit, you need to continue keeping up with routine maintenance at the dealership after you buy the car. If you take it to a corner garage or do something yourself, make sure to keep a running log, along with the receipts from everything you buy. Anything done third-party won’t show up in a dealership’s records.

When it comes time to sell the car, make sure you have those maintenance records available. Advertise it or bring it to the dealership and you’d be surprised with how much easier it is to sell, and the amount of value you might get out of the vehicle.

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