This article originally appeared on Evans Halshaw.
Maximising the value of your vehicle
Unless you have managed to get your hands on a limited-edition car or one that is guaranteed to be a future classic, then chances are you own a vehicle that is going to depreciate in value.
Unlike everyday items, such as televisions and smart devices, the value of a vehicle is not solely affected by its age. If anything, there are a variety of factors that are taken into account when a vehicle is valued.
With that said, we decided to compile a list of factors that are considered when a valuation is provided through our Sell Your Car service. We have also included some advice to help you maximise the value of your vehicle come sale time, whether that is as a private sale or part exchange.
Age and Condition
Most cars depreciate in value as they get older, which should come as no great revelation. The reason for this is because the technology and drivetrain become dated compared to more modern examples, which offer better efficiency, more technology, and the latest safety equipment.
Although older cars still have plenty of life left in them if maintained correctly, their remaining working life is not as long as a modern equivalent. Unfortunately, unless you have bought an appreciating classic, this is not a factor you can influence.
However, on a more positive note, it does mean you can pick up some great deals on a variety of luxury used cars.
The condition of a vehicle heavily influences its value come sale time. Ask yourself, would you rather buy a car covered with dents and scratches, or would you go for the example that has been washed regularly and has no marks?
Essentially, any damage to the aesthetics or mechanics of a car is something that needs to be rectified before the car is put up for sale. In short, take care of the car throughout your ownership and the car will take care of you come valuation time.
Tip: Clean your car inside and out regularly using good quality products and rectify any visual or mechanical damage before you get a valuation.
Service History and Mileage
A car needs regular maintenance throughout the duration of its working life, which is nothing new. However, whether an owner decides to properly maintain their car is another matter entirely.
You also need to consider that the service history highlights any work that has been completed on the car. So, if you choose to opt for cheaper tyres and parts in general, it will become less desirable to prospective buyers.
Tip: An annual service through your nearest Stratstone retailer is a great way of taking care of your car, while maximising its value.
Put simply: the lower the mileage, the more desirable a car is, which reflects in its value. High mileage cars are more likely to require costly upkeep in the long run, which is why they are worth less.
Number of owners and specification
Number of Owners
The number of owners and its influence on the value of a car completely depends on the body type and its age. For example, it is considered acceptable if an older convertible car has had over five owners because it has most likely been bought for summer enjoyment and then moved on come winter.
However, your average three-year-old family hatchback with a high number of owners? That is more likely to raise an eyebrow. Think of it this way: a one-owner car is more likely to have been well-maintained compared to an example with numerous owners because they have kept it for longer, and will therefore have maintained the car accordingly to prevent costly faults.
Tip: If you can, keep an eye out for cars with a low number of previous owners, it will be worth more in the long run.
When a new car is released by a manufacturer, it is made available with a variety of different specifications: you may have seen these referred to as 'trims' or 'models'. Each specification typically brings a host of different gadgets and features with it, with higher-end models unlocking all the best kit.
As a result, cars with the highest available specification (i.e. all the goodies) are worth more than models with fewer toys/optional extras fitted.
Brand and Rarity
Car manufacturers that have more prestige, such as Aston Martin and Porsche typically carry a greater value than your everyday luxury brands, which include the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Although the brand appeal plays a large part in the value, it is the superior build quality, technology, and engine choices that help the more desirable brands maintain their value.
This is a factor that applies to any other item on sale. If you own a rare car, then it will be worth more than one that you see on a daily basis. However, do not be mistaken for thinking that it has to be something exotic to be considered rare, because some of the more affordable cars, such as a BMW 1M, are worth more than their regular counterparts.
Get your car valued with Stratstone
There you have it, the main factors that have an influence on the value of your car. Although there is not much you can do about the depreciation of your car, keeping on top of maintenance and taking care of the bodywork is essential for maximising its value.
Have you ever wondered what your car may be worth? Our Sell Your Car service gives you a no obligation valuation for your car in minutes. For more car buying advice and tips, keep an eye on our blog section.