Don’t Lose Money: 12 Factors That Affect Your Car’s Value

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Are you in British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario and have decided to sell your car? Then don’t miss these 10 key factors for maximizing your profit!

Why Understanding Your Car’s Value Matters?

At Mintlist, we know that your car is a big investment. When you are buying, selling, or trading a car, the value is a major consideration. Age, make, and model aren’t the only factors that affect the value of your car.

It is important to be familiar with the criteria of the car market. Knowing these twelve factors can help you even if you don’t plan to buy or sell a car. Read on to discover the factors that bring the best offer for your vehicle.

1. Mileage: How Many Kilometers Are Too Many?

The number of Kilometers of a used car greatly impacts its value. This is one of the most important factors to consider. Generally, the higher the driving distance, the lower the value of the car. It’s basic math!

Higher kilometers usually lead to more damage to the engine, transmission, and other parts. This may in turn lead to expensive repairs.

Then, let us help you with a cheat sheet for mileage in the Canadian car market. As a general rule, cars with less than 19,000 kilometers per year are considered low mileage, and cars with over 24,000 kilometers per year are assumed high mileage.


Mileage <19000 KM Low mileage
Mileage >24000 KM High Mileage

Hence, if you’re looking to maximize your car’s value, try to keep your mileage as low as possible, and walk more often. It’s good for your health and your pocket!

2. Age of the car: How Old Is Too Old?

With time, things tend to become more valuable. Even cars! However, the age of the car is another critical factor for its depreciation. Your car tends to lose value as it gets older and older.

Outdated technology, more wear and tear on the engine and other components, and changing styles are all factors that make the car less reliable and more expensive to maintain.

Age of the car: How Old Is Too Old?

Additionally, newer cars often come with more advanced technology and safety features, which makes them more desirable to buyers. You should know that cars lose about 15-20% of their value each year.

Yet, some older cars may have value to collectors or enthusiasts, depending on their rarity or historical significance. Who doesn’t like to have a 1963 Porsche 911 in their garage? (Picture of this on the blog)

3. Condition: Why Appearance Matters?

The exterior and interior of a car are important factors in assessing its health. A healthy and clean-looking car is clearly more valuable.

Dents, scratches, and other damage can reduce the car’s value. Buyers prefer cars with minimal cosmetic flaws both on the outside of the car and the inside. They are willing to pay extra for cars that look clean and well-cared for.

Here are a few quick tips for a clean car:

  • Use fabric protection on the leather and plastic interior
  • Vacuum often (the floor, rear space, seats, and trunk)
  • Steam clean the stains on the carpets and mats
  • Clean the glass

Also, regular washing, waxing, and detailing can help maintain your car’s exterior.

4. Service and Maintenance History: How Regular Maintenance Can Boost Value?

A car with a well-documented maintenance history will be worth more than one with a spotty or nonexistent record. This includes regular oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, brake replacements, and other repairs.


Oil change For conventional motor oil:
every 3 months or 5000 km
For synthetic oil:
every 6-12 months or 8000 – 16000 km
Check car fluids
  • Washer fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Air conditioning coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Radiator coolant fluid/ Anti-freeze fluid
Tire rotations Every 8000 – 11000 km


Regular maintenance helps extend the life of a car’s parts. It also keeps the car running smoothly. This can help to prevent major repairs in the future. Most important of all, it helps preserve your car’s value.

5. Accidents or damage history

We wish that nobody should ever go through the trauma of a car accident, however, a car that has been in an accident or is in a very bad condition will generally be worth less than a car that has not been in a crash.

Even if you repair the damage, buyers may be wary of purchasing a car with a history of accidents. Additionally, even minor damage, such as dents or scratches, can reduce your car’s value.

The damage must be fully repaired and done properly. Otherwise, it can cause ongoing issues. It’s important to have your car repaired by a reputable auto body shop. This ensures that the repairs are done correctly.

6. Upgrades: How Options Affect Your Car’s Worth?

Upgrades or modifications to a car can sometimes increase its value, depending on the quality and type of changes.

In some cases, a car with a high-end stereo system or custom rims may be highly valued. It may be worth more than a car with a standard setup. Also, certain options in certain parts of the world are much more appreciated, such as seat warmers in the cold winters of Calgary!

Upgrades: How Options Affect Your Car's Worth?

However, upgrades that are poorly done or not in line with the original design of the car can decrease value. Some countries have regulations that prohibit car owners from upgrading the engine or making changes that alter the car’s original status. These regulations make it difficult for car owners to modify their vehicles.

Here is the list of some illegal modifications in Canada according to the Motor Vehicle Act:

  • Tinted windows/ Glazing windows
  • Changes in the color of headlamps and tail lamps
  • Widened or noisy exhaust mufflers
  • Any height modification more than 10 cm (4 in)

Do your research if you are thinking about making changes to your car. Make sure it is legal. Also, think about how the changes may affect your car’s value.

7. Brand and model reputation: Why It Matters What You Drive?

The reputation of a car’s brand and model is the reason people change cars. Some brands and models are known for their reliability, safety, and resale value, while others may have a less desirable reputation.

If you want luxury, go for the Rolls Royce! Performance? BMW get it DONE! Volvo is the safest cradle for your beloved child, and stepping out of an S-class Mercedes has classy all over it! Cars from reputable brands, such as Toyota or Honda, typically have a history of reliability. Don’t forget Tesla, if you like green energy!

Although, it should be noted that certain cars are hugely popular in the Great white north, such as the Honda Civic, the Toyota RAV4, the Ram P/U, and of course, the F-series of Ford.

When selecting a model, consider various factors such as its characteristics, how well it works, and its overall popularity.

8. Market trend and demand for the specific make and model

Suppose you have the best car, yet it isn’t in high demand. Therefore, you are in the best position you can be in, but you must go with the market flow.

Market demand for your car’s make and model highly impacts its trade-in value. Car models that are in high demand are worth more than those that are not. For example, Canadian buyers are usually willing to pay more for a clean Ford F-150, even if they have higher mileage or are older.

The demand for your car can be affected by various factors. These include the popularity of the make and model, the presence of similar cars in the market, the economic environment, and even the climate.

9. Fuel efficiency and emissions rating: To be electric or not?

Fuel efficiency and emissions ratings are becoming increasingly important when assessing a car’s value. This is a serious issue that cannot be ignored.

Cars with better fuel efficiency and lower emissions ratings are more desirable to buyers. They are also worth more than cars with poor fuel efficiency and high emissions ratings. This is due to rising fuel costs and environmental concerns.

Electric cars are now becoming popular. Most of them provide high performance. Furthermore, they offer the satisfaction of a clear conscience. This is because these cars are more environmentally friendly and can save their owners money on gas.

Also, some cities and states offer incentives for purchasing environmentally friendly cars, which can increase their value.

10. Availability of replacement parts and repair costs

The availability of replacement parts and repair costs can be another factor in maximizing the value of your car. Cars that are easy and affordable to repair will be worth much more. Therefore, if a car is known for having expensive or hard-to-find parts, buyers may be less willing to purchase it.

11. Location: Why Your Zip Code Matters?

Location and the place you wish to sell your car can influence the demand for your car, and as a result, also the price for it. Factors such as climate, terrain, and local demand for specific makes and models can all impact a car’s value.

It’s essential to research the local market trends to get an accurate estimate of a car’s resale value. However, you should note that Mintlist provides services to users from British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, for now!

12. Color: How Color Can Retain Value?

Believe it or not, the color of a car is also one of the determining factors that buyers are keen on when offering a price.

Color: How Color Can Retain Value?

Neutral colors such as white, black, and silver are popular colors among Canadian drivers and have higher resale values than bright or unusual colors. Certain colors, such as yellow, orange, and purple, have a lower share of the market.

Additionally, the color of a specific make and model of a car can also be influential.

Final Thoughts

Aiming to sell or exchange your vehicle, or wanting it to stay in good working condition for a long time? Numerous factors can influence a car’s value. Understanding them enables you to make informed decisions regarding maintenance, upgrades, and resale.

You can maximize your car’s value and get the most out of your investment by taking good care of it. This includes monitoring the mileage and age, keeping it in good condition, having a maintenance history, and avoiding accidents.

Ready to sell your car? Get Mintlisted to get the most accurate and attractive listing for your car for the best value!

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