Whether you purchased your vehicle brand new from the dealership or opted for the second-hand route, it is inevitable that by the time you’re ready to sell up, the value would have depreciated. While it is almost guaranteed that you will not receive a return that matches your initial investment, there are a number of ways that you can ensure that you have plenty of cash to go towards your new set of wheels.
With this in mind, having provided car body repairs in Milton Keynes for many years, we have noticed a reoccurring question from clients – “how can I improve the resale value of my car” – and you’ll be pleased to know that we do have a handful of helpful tips.
Is It Possible To Increase The Resale Value Of My Car?
There are a wealth of factors that contribute towards the resale value of your car, from the age and mileage to the condition. You may also find that your highest selling price differs based on the demand for your specific make and model. Nevertheless, although these are not always easy to control, it is possible to give the value of your car just that added boost, ensuring that you receive the best price possible. This includes minimising the number of small defects that potential buyers can pick up and use to their advantage to negotiate. So, if you are planning to put your car on sale and beginning your preparations, then why suggest carrying out the following tasks:
- Book An Annual Service
- Regular Clean Your Car
- Keep Up With Maintenance Checks
- Repair Damaged Bodywork
- Ensure The Components Are Safe
- Repair Any Windscreen Chips
- Get Paperwork In Order
First and foremost, your potential buyers will always expect to see a full service history. Not only does this allow them to gauge an idea on the condition of your vehicle, but it also shows that components have been well-maintained. If any issues were uncovered, these would have been documented, allowing the new owner to have peace of mind that their investment will remain reliable for the next few years. Together, these help to make your vehicle more desirable when advertised. In fact, a car without a full service history can prove to be worth 40% less than the equivalent model with complete documentation.
Although unlike an MOT, a service is not a legal requirement, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with your local mechanic every year – most drivers opt for killing two birds with one stone and book their MOT and service in one slot. It is important to keep in mind that there are two different service types, interim and full, and your chosen route will depend primarily on the age of your vehicle. With age, the likelihood of problems creeping up increases, so a full service is recommended. During this, over 50 different components are checked, and these are aspects that are not covered during your MOT, such as the suspension, battery and fluid levels. If you’re unsure on the difference between an interim and full service, then we recommend taking a look at MyCarNeedsA.com.
You may be thinking “surely I only need to clean my car ready for its first visit from an interested buyer, right?” Unfortunately, while this is vital in making your car more attractive, regular cleaning from the beginning is imperative. Why? Because not only does dust, dirt and debris make your vehicle look grubby but it can also begin to deteriorate its condition. Pollen, tree sap and bugs, in particular, are filled with contaminants, which can start to eat away at your paintwork, making it look dull and leaving you no choice but to invest in a professional restoration. The winter months can also prove an issue as the increase of salt on the roads can cause rusting, which if left to spread to the components on the underside of your car, will lead to expensive replacement fees.
With this in mind, we advise cleaning your car every few weeks, depending on how often you use it and the road conditions that you typically drive in. While there is nothing wrong with leaving the hard work to the professionals, if you are planning to clean your car this frequently, it can prove costly. It is for this reason that every driver would benefit from investing in a home car cleaning kit, which includes all of the essentials – Halfords has a fantastic range of products to help you with this. We would, however, recommend taking your vehicle to be expertly valeted before selling up. This will not only ensure that it looks pristine when viewed by potential buyers, but it will also help your advertising photos to look more appealing.
As mentioned previously, when it comes to selling your vehicle, it is essential to keep the potential for buyers to spot issues at a minimum. Everyone will always try to negotiate a lower price, but if your vehicle is in full working order, then buyers will be far more likely to settle for your asking price. One proven way to do this is to ensure that you keep your vehicle well maintained from the beginning, spending time familiarising yourself with how to carry out simple maintenance tasks. This will allow you to spot problems in the initial stages and resolve them before they grow, keeping your vehicle’s history as clean and reliable as possible. These essential maintenance tasks include the following:
- Fluid Levels – Be sure to regularly check your oil and coolant levels, ensuring that they are topped up when they become low.
- Tyres – Both your tyre pressure and tread depth should be checked every month, as well as before a long journey.
- Air Filter – Ensure that your airflow is regulated by checking the condition of the air filters and replacing them when necessary.
- Windscreen Wipers – If these are no longer serving their purpose, and there is visible damage, then it will be essential to replace your wipers.
- Bulbs – Much like the lights in your home, bulbs in your vehicle can also blow. If your headlights, rear lights or indicators are no longer working, bulb replacement must be arranged.
Having specialised in car body repairs in Aylesbury and the surrounding areas for many years, we can most definitely confirm that the condition of your bodywork can impact the resale value of your vehicle. Scratches and dents are one of the most common defects that potential buyers will look out for, so do not be surprised if your car is inspected with a fine-tooth comb. If they are to spot even the smallest of issues, potential buyers will quickly begin to calculate repair fees in their head, meaning that you can be almost certain that their negotiation tactics will follow. It is for this reason that you should schedule bodywork repairs to any cosmetic damage before putting your car up for sale. Although this may be an initial investment, it will work towards your advantage when setting a price, leaving no room for negotiating a lower alternative.
When it comes to repairing bodywork, there are a number of services available and the best fitting solution will be based on the scale of your damage. For instance, if it is merely paintwork repairs, then these will be relatively cost-effective and quick to complete as just the damaged area can be treated. Dent repairs can also be completed within a shorter turnaround thanks to new technology, which supports paintless dent removal. This involves reshaping the panel by manipulating specific areas using metal rods and body picks. You can find more information on paintless dent removal over on our previous article.
Regardless of the scale of the project at hand, it is imperative always to enlist the help of a specialist technician, who can guarantee seamless results. While many drivers opt for disguising the damage through DIY solutions, these can be very noticeable to potential buyers, lowering your resale value. In leaving the work to professionals, on the other hand, results will be virtually undetectable. If you are looking for a reliable car body shop in Towcester or the local areas, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Scuff n Scratch. With over ten years of experience, our team are always more than happy to help you to prepare your vehicle for selling up.
Although the visual appeal of your vehicle is essential, the safety of the components will be far more important to potential buyers. There would be nothing worse than selling your car only to find out that problems that you ignored placed the new driver in danger. It is for this reason that we would recommend scheduling any necessary repairs before you begin advertising. Do not neglect issues with the idea that they are now the next owner’s problem as you would be surprised how much information they can find from a few clicks on the internet. On the GOV.UK website alone, you can search a vehicle’s registration number, which will provide you with the full MOT history, including any aspects that must be monitored and repaired if necessary – be prepared for those viewing your vehicle to ask about these during their visit.
While making repairs is always advised, there are some instances where they may not apply. For example, if you have an old vehicle that requires expensive repairs, you should spend time weighing up your options before going ahead. If the cost of repairs, labour and parts are far more costly than the value of your car, then it may not be worth the investment. In this instance, there will be alternative routes such as trading your car in or scrapping it, which would be much more convenient. Jamjar.com has put together a helpful article with more details on whether it is worth fixing your car.
Much like damaged paintwork, chips and cracks on your windscreen are sure to encourage potential buyers to begin negotiating a lower price. Not only this but failing to repair issues with your windscreen can also prove a problem for you as the driver, impacting your vision and increasing glare. Moreover, as the colder months approach, the freezing temperatures can cause damage to grow, making the problem more tedious and expensive to resolve. You may also find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you allow cracks, in particular, to spread across the glass. According to The Highway Code, your windscreen must be well-maintained and in good condition, meaning that failing to repair the damage can be classed as a motoring offence. More information on the consequences of driving with a cracked windscreen can be found on Screen-Tech Windscreens.
Last but most definitely not least, to guarantee that you receive the best possible selling price, it will be vital to ensure that all of your vehicle paperwork is in order. Those seriously interested in your car will ask you for documentation proving that it has been looked after well while in your ownership. This ideally should start from the moment that you purchase your car and we would recommend keeping a folder filled with your vehicle’s important information. Included can be anything from your MOT certificates to receipts for any repair work.
Selling Your Car Made Easy!
The secret behind upping the resale value of your car is being proactive, whether this may be through regularly inspecting the condition of your vehicle or ensuring that you are organised when it comes to paperwork. Ultimately, potential buyers want to receive value for their money, and with hundreds of cars available, they will not be short for options. This means that you need to ensure that your offering stands out from the crowd and provides them with everything that they are looking for with no need to negotiate.