The moment you drive your car away from the forecourt, the depreciation in the thousands of pounds that you spent purchasing a brand new car can be staggering. However, from that initial hefty outlay of cash, you can ensure that you retain as much value in your new vehicle as possible. Whether you have purchased a swanky new convertible, a sensible all round SUV or an executive saloon, there are common ways of preserving the value of your car.
There may come a time in a few years when you might want to upsize your vehicle. Perhaps your personal circumstances will change, and you’ll need a more rugged off roader rather than your nimble little inner city car. Or maybe you will simply want to upgrade to the latest model. Whatever your reason for selling you will want to ensure that you recoup the maximum amount you possibly can to put towards your next purchase. So how do you go about limiting the depreciation of the value of your car?
- Doinks, Dents, Chips, And Scratches
There is nothing more off putting to a buyer than going to look around a car and seeing a wealth of chips and scratches covering the beautiful chassis. It gives the impression that the owner has little time for their vehicle and cares even less about its appearance.
Scratches and chips are common and can happen through no fault of your own. If you’ve ever been following a gritter truck in the winter on a ice laden road, you will know of the untold damage that salt can cause. Tiny chips can occur on your body work revealing the metal underneath the metallic paintwork. It is vital that you repair these chips and scratches straight away. Get a professional company out to your home to work their magic. For a minimal cost, you can have your bonnet or doors looking like new again in no time.
If you’re unlucky enough to have a tiny dent or two in your bodywork, look into getting it suctioned out, leaving you with a shiny new looking car, perfect for any potential purchaser to come and have a look around.
You will often come across adverts stating that a car has an FSH or full service history. By ensuring that your vehicle is sticking to its yearly car servicing schedule, you are giving the buyer confidence that you have taken care of the car. If you can prove that your car has had regular annual maintenance checks, you are demonstrating that your car has continually received a good bill of health. If your car needs a new exhaust or a new cam belt, keep the receipts to show purchasers. Make sure after every service that you receive a stamp from the garage in your servicing book to record each visit to the mechanic.
Ensure that you carry out regular basic maintenance checks yourself. Check your tyre pressures, oil level, and washer fluid every week. It will take ten minutes, keep you safe while out driving and will get you more clued up about your vehicle.
- Consider Extras
If you are purchasing a brand new car from a dealer, think about any extras that they offer. This may cost more upfront, but these extras could help your vehicle retain its value and make it easier to sell in the future. Think about metallic paint, parking sensors, cruise control and extra anti accident technology. These little added luxuries can enhance your car and put it head and shoulders above the rest on the used car market.
- Take Care With Your Vehicle
Your new car will be so perfect that you may be wary of driving it and just stare at it on your driveway for a few days. You will be surprised, however, at how quickly the novelty passes and you will be whizzing around in your new car in no time. You will soon lose that new car smell and have to contend with the humdrum chores of the weekly food shop and ferrying the kids off to swimming lessons.
Whenever you are out and about, it’s important that you take care of your vehicle. Be wary of where you are parking, especially in crowded areas like shopping malls. Even though it may be the most convenient spot, the one closest to the shop can also be the most dangerous with many less considerate drivers parking close to you and potentially knocking your doors. By selecting a spot just that little bit further away, you’re away from the crowds lessening your chances of a scratch or dent.
- Miles On The Clock
Although it may be difficult, try to consider the option of driving a little less. If you are stacking the miles up, any potential purchaser may consider you a heavy user of your vehicle. The more miles on the clock mean less life in the engine for car buyers which, in turn, means a lower resale value for you.
Think about altering your driving habits so you can claw back some miles. If you are planning on going on a vacation, fly or go by train instead of car. If you are going by car on some longer journeys, it might be an option to hire a car instead of taking your own. The cost of the car rental may be less than the depreciation that the mileage of your journey will impact on your car.
- Wash Your Car
Don’t just get your car valeted the week before you’re going to list your pride and joy on eBay if it hasn’t been washed in the two years that you’ve had it. It’s vital that you have a cleaning routine for your vehicle. You wouldn’t live in a filthy house so you shouldn’t be driving a filthy car. If you don’t fancy washing it yourself, take it to a car wash where you can get the interior and exterior of your vehicle looking like new.
Many people neglect the inside of their car, but your potential buyer won’t. Crumbs, stains, and smells do not create a good impression and will see your buyer walking away instead of purchasing. If there is a major spillage on the back seat, clean it up and sort it out immediately rather than letting the stain sick into the fabric and the smell to linger.
- Tricks Of The Trade
Prior to selling your vehicle, ensure it is photo ready. Give it a good wax and buff up the shine on the paintwork. If the bumpers are black but have faded over the years, invest in some spray that will reinvigorate them and make them look like new. Get some lubricating spray out if there are any creaky doors and make sure under the bonnet looks neat and tidy. Any serious buyer will want to take a look under the hood and see the engine running whether they know what they are looking at or not.
- Get The Advert Right
Remember you are trying to get the highest possible price for your vehicle. To ensure that you achieve this you need to write an advert that will entice the buyers. List all of the positive features that your car has and highlight any extras such as sports packs and in built sat nav systems. List the mileage and the full service history and make your price clear. You could have the finest example of your model of car on the market in your local area, but you need to communicate this to potential purchasers.
When people come around to look at your car, you may get the type that is simply nosy and just wants a free test drive of your vehicle. Try and suss these people out straight away with a couple of clear questions. Ask them why they are planning on purchasing the vehicle and if they have a deposit on them that day ready to put down if they are interested. Any answers that don’t sit well then politely make your excuses and tell them you won’t be selling.
Those purchasers that are more serious will want to feel like they have got a bit of a deal so always price your motor above the figure you want to achieve to allow some room for negotiation. Have the lowest amount you are willing to go to and stick to it. If the person looking around your car wants it, and your pricing is realistic, then they will pay. If not, don’t feel pressured into taking a lower amount. Another buyer will come along.
Purchasing a brand new car is an expensive luxury. However you are paying for a vehicle that has never been driven before, should be infinitely more reliable than a used car and will give you many years of enjoyment. Ensure that you follow this guidance to guarantee that you can preserve the maximum value possible for your vehicle.