Tips for Maintaining Your Car’s Resale Value

It is well known that new cars start to lose value as soon as they are driven off the dealer’s forecourt, or indeed while they’re still there. Over the course of ownership, vehicles will lose further value as they age and their condition deteriorates. In this guide, we will share tips on maintaining your car’s resale value and we will answer other questions about the car resale value topic.

Top 10 tips to maintain your car’s resale value

There are a number of measures you can take to help maintain a car’s value and ‘increase’ the resale value.

  1. Regular maintenance: Making sure your car is well-maintained is arguably the most important factor in a vehicle retaining its value. So make sure you stick to the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals and also address any other maintenance needed.
  2. Wash and wax: Periodically washing the vehicle and adding a wax coating can help keep it clean for longer. Over time, it can also help protect the paintwork on a vehicle and help prevent corrosion.
  3. Keep the service record up-to-date: Making sure that after each service your vehicle’s service record is updated is key, also make sure to get records of any other repairs done on the vehicle. All this will assist in showing your vehicle has been well-maintained over time.
  4. Limit unnecessary mileage: This may sound counterintuitive as of course you purchase a vehicle to drive it, but it is worth limiting mileage in your vehicle that is not strictly necessary. Mileage is one of the key determining factors, and one of the most visible, contributing to a car’s valuation so it’s worth trying to make short local trips by foot or bicycle where possible. Substituting short car trips with a walk or bike ride is also good for the overall health and condition of the battery and engine.
  5. Do not smoke in the vehicle: A vehicle with a neutral odour will generally maintain its value better than one in which consistently has been smoked. It is very hard to rid the car of tobacco fumes (and discolouration), so best to avoid it altogether.
  6. Avoid accidents: Perhaps an obvious one but signs of accident repairs (or getting a write-off category recorded on the vehicle) can truly impact a car’s value in a significant way.
  7. Maintain the bodywork: Making sure that your bodywork stays clean, and clear of scratches and dents can help limit car depreciation. In particular, well-maintained bodywork can contribute to keeping corrosion at bay.
  8. Avoid damaging alloy wheels: Damaged alloy wheels, in the eyes of many, also signify careless driving and may raise questions about how the vehicle was driven and maintained over time. In turn, limiting the potential for maintaining a vehicle’s resale value.
  9. Keep the vehicle clean: keeping the vehicle clean inside and clear of any clutter can also increase the likelihood that your vehicle will maintain its value. Over time, the regular cleaning will show as the upholstery will keep its shine and is cleared of food debris and drink residues.
  10. Park the car in a garage: Like washing your car regularly keeping your car parked in a garage can help maximise the time the car stays clear of debris, bird droppings and acid rain. All of these contribute to paintwork decay, and ultimately corrosion, avoiding this is a key element in maintaining the vehicle’s resale value.

How does a car accident affect resale value?

Generally, a car that has been in an accident will have a lower value than one that hasn’t been in one. It will depend on a number of factors, including the extent of the damage, whether there was structural damage and how it has been repaired.

If the extent of damage was such that the vehicle was an insurance write-off, the vehicle will be classified as such into write-off categories corresponding to the damage on the car. Eg. a cat D is a write-off with the lightest damage.

What determines car resale value?

There are a number of factors that determine the resale value of a car, but generally the make and model of the vehicle, age, mileage and general condition are the key factors.

Ultimately, resale value is about supply and demand as well, so a very well-kept car that’s not particularly popular will command lower prices, unlike a very popular and scarce model that may be in a bad condition.

When buying a car it is therefore recommended to also think about how previous types of cars have kept their value and what that may mean for the car you’re looking to buy.

How to check car resale value?

Checking your car’s resale value can be done online in few ways:

  • Online classified ads: Easiest is to go onto a classified ads site and enter your vehicle make and model to see a range of comparable models. You will be able to filter for the mileage and match for any additional extras your vehicle may have been fitted with.
  • Online car valuation tools: There’s various options out there when it comes to sites that keep a record of sale prices and give an estimate, an example of this is Parkers.
  • Online car dealers: With online car dealer sites like CarWow or Cazoo you can get an estimate of what you could get for your vehicle by popping your reg number in their valuation tool and getting a price.

If you’re in the market looking for a used car and unsure of whether you’re getting your money’s worth? It’s worth considering getting a pre-purchse inspection check with the help of a third-party expert. ClickMechanic’s pre-purchase inspection checklist focuses on physical inspections and the car’s current condition such as damage, maintenance and safety.

Marketing at ClickMechanic

Meet Kurt, an automotive industry expert with over 13 years of experience. He currently leads the Marketing & Growth team at ClickMechanic, of which he has been an integral part of for the past decade. He has been involved with most parts of the business helping grow the company to new heights, from the creation of the innovative quote engine, and operations, to content and growth marketing automation.

With his extensive background in car repairs and customer support, Kurt is well-positioned to share his expertise on automotive technical topics. A car aficionado from an early age, his physical journey in the automotive world began with his trusty VW Golf 4, which took him on memorable adventures throughout Europe during his student days.

Outside of work, Kurt is a maker, as well as a design and technology enthusiast, embodying a unique blend of creativity and precision with an international outlook. He has a keen interest in the latest advancements in car maintenance and clean vehicle technology, as well as a heart for classic cars. His favourite classic cars include the Lancia Fulvia Series 2 and the Citroen DS, showcasing his appreciation for timeless automotive craftsmanship.