How to get the best value for your secondhand car
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For some, a car is simply a mode of transport, a replaceable item or a figure on an accountant’s ledger.
Others may look to buy a vehicle with a commitment to see things through to the bitter end.
If you’re one of the many who now buys a vehicle the way you would a washing machine, and have stripped the emotion out of a purchase, you’ll be seeking a vehicle that has a good resale value if sold privately, or as a trade-in for your next vehicle acquisition.
Brand: Some brands maintain their value better than others. Consumers are drawn to reliable brands with proven track records, and will generally pay more knowing they’re in safe hands.
A prime example is the classic Toyota Corolla. It’s known as a reliable, efficient vehicle and is New Zealand’s most popular selling vehicle for a reason, right?
Cars with less than stellar reputations — or those that at have had rocky issues — have poorer resale values.
Colour: If you were buying an appliance, what colour would you choose? Brushed stainless, right?
Unfortunately, we can’t all get behind the wheel of a Back to the Future DeLorean so choosing a neutral colour can be seen as somewhat important.
Sure, having a Champion Yellow Suzuki Swift or a Sun Fusion Toyota CH-R might get you noticed on the street and give you the wow factor, but when it comes to resale, you limit your audience.
Stick to something neutral like white or silver.
Modifications: If you want to put a giant wing on the back of your car, lower your suspension or tint your windows, keep in mind that the less a car resembles the stock version from the factory, the lower your resale value could be. Not everyone has the same taste.
FIVE WAYS TO MAINTAIN A VEHICLE’S VALUE
●Treat your new car as though you borrowed it from a boss. If you have a spill, clean it up. Cosmetic damage, interior stains and general wear and tear all add up.
●If your car has been victim to parking by touch using the bumpers, it could be beneficial to have the affected areas resprayed. Small touches like this will enhance the appeal of your vehicle on the market.
●Maintain your car’s service schedule and keep records to prove it. Doing this will improve the value of the car by reducing any concerns or issues a potential new owner or dealer may have with the vehicle and its history.
●Maintenance is important. Cars that are running roughly or have smoke coming out of the exhaust will have a lower resale value. Same goes with cars that have squeaky suspension, leaking oil or other mechanical issues.
●Mileage and age are equally important. If you come to sell a vehicle, ensure it still has a reasonable life left. You might have decided to wait three years down the track to sell it, but if the mileage is shooting up due to a change of circumstances, you might need to sell it sooner if your grand plan is to sell the vehicle privately.
If you don’t plan on driving a car until it’s dead and destined for the wreckers, you would be wise to do what you can to maintain your car’s resale value.