Cars can depreciate in value as soon as they leave the dealership. See our useful tips for maximising the value of your new car.
Common advice suggests that cars can lose up to 20% of their value as soon as they leave the dealership. Despite this theory, there are a few useful tips to help minimise further depreciation – starting before you’ve even bought the car.
1. Choose wisely
If you think you might sell your new car within a few years, keep its resale value in mind from the very beginning.
Do your research on which models hold their value. Try Glass’s Guide as a starting point.
While the brand’s reputation for quality and reliability will obviously impact your resale value, you may be surprised by other factors that come into play. Models bought in large numbers by rental operators, for example, have lower resale value.
Colour will play a big part in the sale of your car, and black, white and silver are the safest options if you want a quick sale. According to Autotrader1, people delay buying a car if their preferred choice is not available.
Black exudes style and has proven to be timeless just like the little black dress or classic suit. White has the highest visibility on the roads so gets the safety vote. Colours like pink, purple and orange might reflect your personality, but it may take longer to find a buyer with similar tastes. If you need to sell quickly, you may be forced to discount.
Also keep in mind that metallic paint can cost extra initially but is not necessarily worth more than a matte colour on the used car market.
Look into the fine print of the car’s warranty. In most cases, the warranty will be based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), not the owner, which means the new owner can access the warranty after resale. This signals the manufacturer is confident in the quality of the car.
Choose your optional extras wisely – they should be relevant to the model of the car you are looking at. Paying extra for a sunroof in a regular family car is unlikely to increase the value, but in a luxury car it’s expected.
With the advances of in-car technology, it’s difficult to say how 2016 technology will be viewed when you come to sell. But even the inclusion of slightly outdated technology shows the prospective buyer that this is a superior car.
2. Maintaining value
Taking care of your car will keep its value up.
Have it serviced by a reputable mechanic who will update and stamp your logbook, proof of how well you’ve looked after it.
Keep it in a garage if possible. If you can’t, be conscious of where you park it. There’s a reason the car space under the fig tree is always empty.
Wash and clean it regularly. Astute buyers can tell the difference between a car that has been regularly attended to and the one that had the last minute makeover.
And avoid smoke and animal hair – both are close to impossible to get out of a car.
3. Before selling
Having the car professionally detailed and steam cleaned before selling can add hundreds or thousands to the selling price.
Try to sell before the car clocks over 100,000km – or before the end of your new car warranty. If you’re selling privately that warranty can provide valuable peace of mind.
And according to Choice2, you are likely to get a higher price by selling it privately, although you have to be prepared to put in the time and effort.