By some estimates, the value of your motor vehicle can depreciate by as much as 65 per cent in the first three years of ownership. In fact, one rule of thumb is that your shiny new car loses as much as 20 per cent of its value the moment you drive it off the showroom floor. But even given those numbers, there are some things you can do to preserve the value of the car for later resale or trade-in.
Here are some suggestions:
- Take it for regular services with an authorised dealer One of the best ways to conserve the value of the car is to maintain it properly. The way that you prove you have maintained your car properly is by taking it for regular services with an authorised dealer. Your dealer will fill out a service history each time you take the car for its service – usually once a year or every 10,000-15,000km. A purchaser will expect to pay less for your car if you cannot produce a full service history.
- Don’t smoke in your car
Since no one wants to buy a car that smells like a dirty ashtray, smoking in your car will severely reduce its resale value. Besides the smell, cigarette smoke can cause interior surfaces to fade and there is also the danger of dropping your cigarette and burning a hole in the upholstery.
- Take it easy on the brakes and the accelerator the harder you drive your car, the more wear and tear it will show. Try to avoid excessive revving, hard braking and sharp acceleration to avoid rapid deterioration of components such as the braking system and the engine. Driving smoothly will also help you to use less petrol.
- Park it undercover if you can
If you have a garage, park your car inside as much as you can to protect it from the elements. Sun, rain, hail and falling branches can all damage your car over time, hurting its potential resale value.
- Buy your car in a marketable colour
Even if you think the car with the shocking pink or vivid orange finish would be a great reflection of your personality, cars in neutral colours such as white and silver and black tend to hold their value better.
- Don’t accessorise
Aftermarket performance enhancements and accessories may give your car a little more oomph and personality, but they are not good for its resale value. They are best avoided.
- Repair any dents and scratches ASAP
Even one or two small dents and scratches can drive down the value of your asset. If your car takes a little knock, you should, therefore, have it repaired as soon as possible.
Fixing a dent or scratch straightaway:
- Keeps issues from worsening. On older models, it can prevent corrosion and rust, depending on the depth of a scratch or dent.
- Ensures it looks its best for when you want to resell it.
- Stops you from gathering more dents and scratches until it no longer feels worthwhile to take care of them.
The challenge, of course, is that the cost of minor repairs will usually fall below the excess on your insurance policy. Besides, claiming from your insurance for every little ding would result in the loss of no-claim bonus, increase your assessed risk profile and hence the premium you pay, and impact in your claims history.
This is where specialised maintenance products like The Unlimited’s Auto Prestige can help. They offer you a separate product to repair light scratches and minor dents as well as small rim, mag, and interior repairs. This makes it simple for you to take care of small and unsightly problems with your car to safeguard its value.
By Jadie Naicker, Head of Product Innovation at The Unlimited