When Should You Start Thinking About Your Cars Resale Value?
When you first get a car there will be some things you probably wonít think about for a while, such as how much it will be worth when you eventually come to sell it. That's perfectly understandable, but if the eventual resale value is something that does concern you, it might already be a little late to start thinking about it when you take delivery. So, when exactly should you start to think about protecting your car's resale value?
Think before you buy
If you're buying a particular model simply because you love it or because you've always wanted one, then you're probably not going to be too concerned about what it will be worth when you eventually decide to sell your car and get something else. However, if you've been shocked at how little youíre being offered for your current trade-in and you donít want to get stung like that again, you need to think about what you are buying before you buy it.
Several important factors affect the resale value of a vehicle, but it all starts with the actual vehicle you choose to buy. The brand, trim level, engine, gearbox and colour can all have a huge bearing on how much you get for it when you come to change it, so you need to factor all this into your buying decision.
What are the rules?
Unfortunately, there are only very few hard and fast rules I can give you to follow that will minimize the amount of depreciation you will have to endure, but there are some. First of all, some brands hold their value better than others, and it's not always the sexiest and most prestigious brands that hold their value best, but it often is.
Among the best brands for holding their value are Audi, Porsche and VW, and hybrid and electric vehicle models are now very much top of the tree. Despite legendary reliability problems, some Land Rover models like the Evoque and Defender are also good for resale values.
Colour is important
The colour you go for can have a big impact on the car's eventual resale value, but what's good and bad can shift dramatically. Just over ten years ago I would beg buyers not to buy a white vehicle because I didnít want to give them the terrible news when they came in a couple of years later to change it and I might have to tell them how much it was (wasn't?) worth. That was the correct advice for about 20 years up until about 2010, but white became popular again back then and remains so today.
On the other hand, if you really insist on pink, yellow or beige for the colour of your next car, donít say I didnít warn you!
Trim levels and features
If someone buys a new car in a low trim level and then adds a load of options to turn it into something better, the only winner will be the sealer they're buying it from and whoever buys it used in the future.
Vehicles are valued on which model they are, and even if you add thousands of pounds worth of options such as leather upholstery, a sunroof and sat-nav, a base model will still be valued as a base model. If you want a better specification, go for the trim level that has the features you want as standard.
After you purchase
Of course, there are plenty of things you can do once you've bought a car that can protect its resale value. These include not smoking in it, not doing too many miles in it if you can avoid it, getting any dings and scratches to the bodywork repaired as soon as you can, keeping up with routine maintenance and maintaining a full service history.
Depreciation is a fact of life of owning a car, but thinking about it earlier will help you keep it to a minimum.