When buying a car from a used car dealer, there’s a lot to consider: make, model, age, kilometres, colour and so on. While some of us buy second hand cars with the intention of having them until the end of their days, used car dealers are seeing more and more people intent on trading them in or selling them on after a few years. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to follow these 5 tips to retain your second hand car’s value.
Choose Your Car Carefully
Consider brand, model and colour if you want your second hand car to hold onto its value. Brands and models with a reputation for being reliable and efficient will be worth more, even if that means they initially cost a little bit more as well. While colour can be a great way to express your individuality, a lipstick pink or neon green second hand car isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Just ask any car dealership: popular neutral colours like black, silver and white are far easier to sell.
If you want a car that retains its value, you have to treat it well. Regularly wash your car’s exterior and keep the interior tidy and clean. Don’t smoke and avoid long trips with smelly dogs to keep your car smelling nice. Fold down the seats properly so you don’t damage the seatbelts, which can be difficult and expensive to replace. And a special tip for our NZ summers – avoid touching your car right after applying sunscreen as it can damage the paint job.
Maintenance and Record Keeping
Just as you should be taking care of the car’s body, you need to undertake regular maintenance of your second hand car’s insides. Check and change the oil regularly, fix any engine problems swiftly, and keep an eye on the cam belt and suspension. Record all WOF’s and any work that has been done to the car as this will show the buyer the car’s history and prove that it is well taken care of.
A used car that has been in a serious crash is not desirable, but even small bumps and bruises can lower the value of your vehicle when it comes time to sell. Not all dings are avoidable, but drive and park with care. If you do have any dents or scratches, get them taken care of right away by polishing them out, respraying the area or seeing a panel beater.
Limit Joy Rides
Just as you probably looked into the car’s mileage when you bought it from the car dealership, your buyer is likely also taking kilometres into account. Mileage is an important factor for those in the market for a second hand car and used cars with high miles will be worth less. Don’t worry about regular use or occasional road-trips, after all your car is to be enjoyed, but go easy on the joy rides.
Unless you plan on driving your car into the ground, following these tips to keep the resale value up is a great idea. Used car dealerships like Near New Cars also have trade-in policies, so retaining value on your car can see you having some more money for your next one!