Let’s face it. Cars are liabilities, and even if you bought it cash or paid it off and owe nothing, it still is a depreciating asset.
Depending on the make and model, new vehicles can lose their value by about 10% to a much as 30% per annum. In fact, value depreciation starts the second they leave the showroom floor. According to car experts around the globe, they can lose anything between 9 - 11%. That’s quite astounding.
How a vehicle’s depreciation rate is determined
To maximise the resale value of your car, it helps to understand the factors that influence the rate of depreciation:
- Make and model
- Vehicle specifications
- Trim levels
- Physical appearance
Generally, there are two levels to consider when maximising your car’s resale value: Before purchase, and after purchase:
- Before purchase is researching makes and models.
- After purchase involves maintenance and new fittings.
Popularity of make and model
Car owners understand that lower mileage and regular maintenance is the key to a long-lasting vehicle. But apart from regular maintenance, did you know that some brand of cars fetch better trade-in values than others?
If you want to maximise the resale value of your car, before you buy, do your research to find out which makes and models have the best resale value in South Africa. Typically, you will likely find the following brands among the top spots:
Do bear in mind that it is the trim and the vehicle’s specifications that are important, therefore the model, and not just the make of the vehicle is crucial when choosing for resale purposes.
Yes, the condition of the vehicle is no doubt important. But so too is the shape and colour. Some vehicles will have broader appeal to the general vehicle consumer market, and did you know that colour plays a huge part in the decision-making process?
In warm and sunny South Africa, light-coloured cars are more sought-after, with white being the most popular. The colour white is also more visible to other road users which is always a big safety factor.
It’s not enough to only attend to your car once a year or so when its service is due. Have it checked regularly and don’t ignore any warning signals thinking it’s too small to be bothered with. A small issue can turn into a bigger and very expensive one.
To maintain the physical appearance of your car, ensure that dents, cracks, and scratches – no matter how small – be fixed as soon as possible. Windscreen chips can turn into a fully cracked windscreen. Fixing dents can avoid the risk of rust damage setting in as well as your car starting to look old and tired.
Interiors are easily neglected. Just like the exterior, make a point of repairing any tears, cracks, or holes as soon as you notice them. Wax and shampoo is your friend. Give the upholstery a regular deep cleaning to prevent dust and dirt setting in.
While all of the visible areas of the car is gleaming, don’t forget what’s under the bonnet. A clean, smooth-running engine is a buyer’s delight.
Be ultra-diligent about servicing your car when it’s due. Keep the service book up to date with stamps by the service centre. Log any work or improvements done to the vehicle and file all receipts.
Achieve that ‘new’ look and feel
Before you finally sell, check that everything is as close to perfect condition as possible. If the floormats look a little worn, replace them with new ones. Check the battery, is it almost at the end of its lifespan? Check the tyres’ and tread. There’s nothing like brand new, good quality tyres that make a potential buyer excited.
Vehicle depreciation is inevitable. But there are a number of things you can do to slow down the rate of depreciation, both before and after purchasing a car.
Bring your car in for a free vehicle check at a Supa Quick service centre near you. Make these a part of your regular maintenance schedule, both for your safety on the road and to maintain the value of your car.
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