It’s an unfortunate fact of life that new cars lose their value. And I mean really quickly.
A pretty generous estimate is that your car loses 10% of its value the moment that you drive it off the forecourt. If you drive it for a year, it’ll have lost 40% of its value!
Trying to retain a car’s resale value can feel like holding onto water but that’s where this blog comes in!
For this blog, I’ve collected some of the most common mistakes people make that hurt a car’s resale value. Avoid these things and you’ll be able to sell your car for the most money possible when you want shot of it.
1. Buying a car that loses value really quickly
Just as some cars seem more vulnerable to particular engine faults and technology problems, some are particularly prone to losing value or depreciation.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is buying an auto that depreciates in value really quickly. Electric cars, for example, are particularly bad for this. The all-electric Renault Zoe loses 82% of its value over three years, which is crazy!
If you’ve bought a car like this with the intention of selling it later on, you’re bound to be disappointed at the offers you receive.
To get a feel for depreciation and resale values, just check used auto sites and compare the advertised prices to the list price of each model.
2. Driving too far
Cars are essentially a complicated collection of moving parts. The more those parts move, the more wear they experience and the more likely they are to fail.
That’s why a car’s mileage is a big factor in how much money you’ll be able to ask for it. The general rule is the further you drive a car, the less it’s is worth.
However, you’ve got to balance that against the utility and pleasure of driving. If you need to drive to work and like to drive for fun, you’ll probably wrack up the miles pretty quickly.
3. Not maintaining your car properly
This is a really obvious point, but your car isn’t going to be worth much if it’s a complete wreck by the time you’re looking to get rid of it.
It can be tempting to try and get all of the issues solved in one go, just before you’re ready to sell but that can actually prove counter-intuitive in the long-term. That’s because all of the repairs that are made to a car show up in its service history and having lots of these added to the record just before selling makes the car look like a wreck and can put off buyers.
It’s better to carry out repairs gradually and over time with regular servicing at periodic intervals, so that they don’t all appear on the service history at the same time.
4. Driving your car too hard
This point is very similar to the previous one but it’s really important so it deserves it’s own point.
If you drive a tiny city auto like a rally driver, expect your engine to suffer some serious wear and tear.
How fast you accelerate, how hard you brake and the type of terrain that you drive in will all seriously impact how much wear components take and, therefore, how much value your car retains.
5. Kitting your car out with specialist equipment
Everyone likes to customize their vehicle but sometimes this customization can have a much more far reaching effect on the value of your car than just how much it costs you in the short-term.
Personalising your car with really specialized, niche equipment can actually end up lowering the value of your car as fewer people will want to buy it.
Say you have back problems and you buy a special, custom ergonomic driving seat to improve your comfort when you’re driving. It cost you a lot and you add the price to the final amount that you’re asking for when you sell the car. But no-one bites.
Why? Because your customizations have made the car so niche that it’s worth less to general buyers.
Unless you happen to find another motorist with back problems, you’ll probably struggle to sell it at your initial asking price. Being restrained when it comes to customising your car is a good way to avoid a situation like this from happening. By all means customise your car, but use discretion and try not to overdo it.
About the Author
Tom Butcher is a freelance writer, covering a wide range of topics, including finance, business and motoring. At the moment, he is helping LeaseFetcher tell the world about car leasing.