One of the best ways to hurt your car's value is to customize. That stereo that requires rewiring and those funky rims might be expensive, but they will actually depreciate the value of your vehicle.
"Car-buyers should also recognize that the cost of some potentially expensive features like premium audio systems will be difficult to recover at trade-in or resale time," Nerad said. "The same holds true for 'custom' features and vibrant and/or less popular paint colors."
Furthermore, customizations will often void the warranty on a new car. The goal is to keep the car valuable in the same condition in which you bought it.
All-About-Car-Selection.com suggests that you can keep your car valuable by making repairs with brand name parts.
Not only does this adhere to the manufacturer's specifications, but also it will reduce the wear and tear on your car for resale. Although some generic parts might be just as good, pay a few extra dollars to keep your car valuable.
No. 1: Park it
If you had your choice between two cars in comparable condition would you choose the one with 85,000 miles or the one with 45,000 miles? Chances are you would choose the one with lower mileage, even if it was a year older.
Keeping that in mind when using your car will help you recoup more money when you sell it or trade it in.
"The number of miles you drive you car contributes to the wear and tear on it -- inside and out," Payne said. "Not only is having low mileage a great selling point for a used car, your car will probably look a lot more attractive to buyers compared to other cars on the market made the same year."
Payne also recommends parking your car in a garage to protect its paint job from exterior wear and tear. If you don't have a garage, consider a car cover to protect your car from sunshine and inclement weather.