It is a well known fact that the very second you drive your new car away from the dealership its value plummets. Within the first year of driving your car, it could depreciate by up to 40%, which will slowly climb upwards toward 60% over the next two years; so a car which cost you £20,000 will go down to £12,000 after the first year and will only be worth £8,000 after the third.
When the time comes to sell your car, it's not just its true value that will have an impact on the price people are willing to pay, but its perceived value too, and this is true whether you are selling it outright or if you've decided to part exchange it; so it is in your best interest to make your vehicle look and actually be in as good a shape as possible. It is near impossible to improve the condition of a poorly run car, so the thought of resale should be in your mind from the first day you own your car and should influence the way you behave toward it.
In fact before you even get round to choosing your new car it is possible to take certain steps that will work to your advantage when it eventually needs to be valued. Additional features or luxuries are your best bet when it comes to this; as features such as integrated AC, metallic paint, in-built sat nav, leather interior, automatic transmission, parking sensors, rear-view camera, etc. all help a car to hold on to its initial value; though they will also make the initial purchase more costly too.
Cars with an obvious or perceived advantage, for example hybrid cars with their impressive fuel economy, will also retain a higher resale value as their low running cost will be attractive to a lot of people; especially those who many not be in the financial position to buy a new one, but will be willing to pay more than the average trade-in price for a second-hand one.
These points are not really very useful to you if you are trying to get a good price for your car at this very moment however, and though there is nothing you can really do to improve its value in terms of thousands, there are steps you can take to increase its value and possibly gain a few hundred extra.
There are two ways in which you can quickly increase the value of your car: make it look good and make yourself look good. Selling your car is like selling anything, the person buying wants to get the best deal – which is where making the car look good comes in – and does not want to have to spend any more than they have to – which is where you come in.
4 Ways To Make Yourself Look Good
By presenting yourself as a good driver, and more over as a good, trustworthy person, you will foster a positive impression of yourself in the mind of the person you are selling to. This goes further with resale than part-exchange, as those who work for organisations will have fixed amounts that they can offer, with only room for a small amount of give or take; but it is still useful for getting the higher end offers.
Making yourself look good and coming over as likeable is easy to do, and is something that many people are capable of doing, it's making yourself look like a good, conscientious driver that some may have trouble achieving. There are many things you can do to give this impression, but we find the following are the most important:
- Have All Your Paperwork: A car comes with a lot of paperwork, including a users manual that details how the car and all of its features work. Having all the car's paperwork, including any other relevant documents such as an in-date, preferably recent, MOT certificate will go a long way to showing you treated your car with care and consideration; especially if all the information is kept neatly organised in a ring-binder or folder.
- Clean Your Car: It may be a rather simple thing to point out but you will be surprised how many people do not bother to give their car a good clean before trying to sell it. By offering up a dirty car, the prospective buyer will assume that you are not willing to shell out the cash to clean it because it will not be yours much longer; and if you are not willing to pay for it to be cleaned what else are you skimping on?
- Vacuum The Interior: Most people will have a clean-looking exterior but a messy, crumb-ridden interior which will denounce how much the owner truly cares for their vehicle. As the car's prospective user, it is likely that the person buying will see the inside of the car more than they do the outside, so it will be important to them that the interior is aesthetically pleasing. Having a clean interior will also show that you cared for all aspects of your car, not just that which other people could easily see.
- Added Value: Once a price is agreed upon refilling your car with clean oil, water and petrol will serve as a gesture of good faith to the car's new owner, and may possibly pay off in a big way. This may seem pointless, and it is a little bit of a risk, but by filling up the car to maximum the buyer will not have to spend their time and money doing so, most people will often acknowledge this and repay your kindness by covering the cost of the fuel and then some
4 Ways To Make Your Car Look Good
There is no point making yourself look good if your car is in bad shape, in fact presenting yourself one way and presenting your car in another may only serve to invite scorn, and win you a reputation similar to that of an typical used-car salesman. A good transaction is a simple one, and the last thing you want as a seller is to be put on the defensive by a potential buyer who has noticed scratches and scrapes that you have tried to brush over.
When trying to get a good price for your car both you and it must be above reproach, we have already given you some ideas regarding how to come across in a positive light, but now it's time to give you some useful tips on how to place your car under an even brighter one:
- Repair Alloys & Replace Caps: The state of a car's tyres are indicative of a drivers care, ability and even their lifestyle and financial status. If your car's alloys are covered in scratches or other kinds of damage then it will suggest that you are a poor driver, and that the car has gone through a tough time since it was bought. If on the other hand your hubcaps are different from one another, look cheap or are not even present, it may give the impression that you live or work in a bad area, giving the buyer the impression that you require money more urgently and will possibly be willing to accept a lower selling amount.
- Fix Scratches & Dents: Whilst these would have once been costly problems to fix, these days scratches, chips and scuffs can be filled in with various, affordable fillers; whilst minor dents can be fixed for around £150, which is considerably less than you would lose trying to sell the car with a dent.
- Restore Plastic: Quite a bit of plastic goes into a car, and fortunately plastic is incredibly easy to revitalise, all you need to do is rub on some bumper & trim gel, which is available on Amazon, eBay and various retailers.
- Clean The Engine: Most buyers, whether they know anything about cars or not, will ask to see the engine. An engine is essentially a car's heart, so even if it just looks healthy, there is a sense that the car as a whole is healthy; likewise if the engine looks grimy and unlooked-after the same will be assumed for the rest of the car.