Your car’s resale value and how it is affected

Car ownership advice
Used car resale value

Nowadays, it’s very easy to get a free car valuation online by simply inputting your vehicle’s details.  But how do second-hand buyers determine the resale value of your car and what it is actually worth?

Here’s a quick guide to the main things they consider for resale value, as well as some pointers on what you can do yourself to make sure you get as much money as possible when you sell your car.

1.  Age

Just like with us humans, the older a car gets, the more likely it is that problems will start to occur!  This can then result in expensive repair work, breakdowns and general inconvenience for any new owner.  Classic cars are the exception to the resale rule, of course, but generally, the older a car is, the less money you’ll get for it.

2.  Mileage

As with age, mileage is a key decider in establishing the resale value of your car – a vehicle that’s covered a lot of miles will be more ‘worn down’ than one that’s hardly made it off the driveway.  You can try and combat mounting mileage figures by only using your car when it’s really necessary.

3.  Popularity

The fact is that big-name brands and models sell better with second-hand buyers, so it makes good sense for you to choose such a car yourself when you’re buying.  But you should also remember that there’s always the possibility that, if the second-hand market becomes saturated with your particular make of car, you won’t get as much.  Still, it is often best to play the resale odds by going for a better-known manufacturer.

4.  Colour

Choosing a powder blue car because it’s your favourite colour might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it won’t serve you as well when it comes to resale value.  Cars in unusual shades won’t usually fetch as much as those in more traditional (and popular) colours like red, white and silver.  That’s because dealers know that it’s harder to sell a car that’s not a crowd pleasing colour.

5.  General state and condition

A lot of little repair jobs can add up to a big difference when it comes to the price you’re offered for your car.  Consider whether it’s worth investing some time (and maybe some money too) in bringing your car up to scratch – maybe topping up the oil, windscreen washers and coolant reservoir, filling up the tyres and covering any scratches.

6.  How you sell, and who you sell to

There’s many car selling options now, from putting an ad in the local paper to going online.  For most sellers, the easiest and most hassle-free option is still to go to a reputable second-hand dealer to try and get a fair price for their car.

Dan Skate works on behalf of The Car Buying Service. You should visit the Car Buying Service and check out their sell a used car online feature and enter your mileage. Check out their Facebook & Twitter pages to stay up to date.

1 Comment

  1. A very clear article. I always have an interesting time when I trade in my car. As a high mileage person I trade my car in at three years old with over ninety thousand miles on the clock. Last time I traded in I had removed some vinyl lettering from my car damaging the lacquer on a couple of panels. This really interfered with the resale value but it was too much hassle to get the thing touched up professionally. Car dealers always insist on any livery being removed before trading in so if you’ve got lettering on your vehicle be very careful when removing it. The water based paints now used on cars don’t seem to be as tough as the oil based paints.


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