10 factors that reduce your car’s resale value


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The article identifies 10 critical factors that reduce your car’s resale value that you might overlook.

The used car market is like a choosy person needing great care and attention. That's why as a seller, you should be aware of how to make your car "shiny" in the eyes of your potential customers.

There is no doubt that many second-hand cars, despite having similar features or even being the same model, have greatly varied resale prices, dependent on a lot of factors like the owner's driving style, the car's conditions, or even colors. Because there is no way that two different cars' history and conditions can be precisely the same, their values are obviously different. 

In this article, we will discuss 10 critical things that sellers should take notice to keep their used cars valuable.

1. Mileage

A used car with lower mileage is undoubtedly appreciated more than one with higher mileage level. When buying a used car, people prefer the least-used vehicle, in other words, the possibly lowest mileage. As a result, the lower mileage rate your car has, the more money you gain from your vehicle resale. That's also the reason for the widespread odometer fraud that many buyers are vigilant about.

A digital dashboard with mileage

The lower mileage rate your car has, the greater amount you can take back from your vehicle resale

2. Superficial condition

A superficial condition, or a car's aesthetic value, imply its appearance or its outer shell in general. In the used car market, it is the first concern of customers when considering a car.

Remember that even just a little bit broken piece of your car window can affect the resale value tremendously. A lousy car with some rust, scratches or cracks will undoubtedly suffer from a limited resale pricing. In other words, the more visually impressive your vehicle is, the more worth it is to your prospective buyers, so keep your car as new as possible.

car with cracked windshield

A lousy car with some scratches or cracks will undoubtedly suffer from a limited resale pricing

Besides, the interior is also a determining factor that a seller definitely cannot ignore. Having your car washed and examined thoroughly to make sure it has a perfect interior is utterly essential to your vehicle's potential value. Crummy interior like broken interior panels, failing lighting system, scratched leather or strange smells will undoubtedly make your car less attractive beside clean, neat ones.

3. Mechanical condition

As its name suggests, mechanical condition is related to a car's functioning performance, particularly how smoothly it can operate. Following the scheduled maintenance closely is exceptionally crucial to ensure its perfect mechanical performance and high resale value. Don't let situations like rough running, rising smoke from the exhaust, leaking oil pump, or noisy suspension occur. If not, you will certainly have to lower your resale price much than desired.

Besides, it is evident that customers usually prefer cars with informed records and good maintenance, thus are willing to pay more for such vehicles. That's why a car that is attached to detailed documents proving careful and proper preservation tends to gain much more appreciation and higher price than a vehicle with no history.

4. Rust

Rust is an enemy that destroys both a car's exterior condition and mechanical condition. Also, any dings and rock chips need to be fixed to avoid possible dust hazards. Noted that a car with rust will undoubtedly bear an extreme decrease in the resale value.

A car with rust

Rust is undoubtedly an enemy that destroys both a car's exterior condition and mechanical condition

5. Collisions and repairs

Collision record is surely a minus point of your car's residual value. The higher number of accidents and repairs that your car is involved in, the higher value decrease from which it has to suffer. 

If you meet with some collisions when driving, it is better to find ways to reduce the possible loss in your vehicle's resale value. Getting your car repaired thoroughly and giving detailed evidence of the fixes can help solve the problem partly.

6. Paint color and customizations

Your vehicle color, unfortunately, also is one of the critical factors that affect your potential resale value. More neutral colors like silver, black or white are usually more desirable to customers than ‘unique' colors like yellow or pink. Therefore, when you buy a new car and intend to resell it someday, it would be wiser to prioritize more popular colors.

car in white color

More neutral colors are usually more desirable to customers than ‘unique' colors like yellow or pink

Customization, such as putting a giant back wing, adding more colors to your windows or respraying your car makes your car become too personal and tends to exert a possible negative impact on your car's value. That's why if you want to resell your car at a higher price, it is better to keep it as close to the original design as possible.

7. Geography

Different locations can lead to distinction in customers' priority of vehicle features. In warmer areas, convertible (cars with a roof that can be taken off) and coupes (two doors rather than four doors like traditional cars) are preferred and more valuable than a standard pickup truck.

A coupe car

In warm areas, a car with a convertible and coupes is more preferred than a standard pickup truck

On the other hand, for people living in snowy and rainy weather, a traditional car with practical features would be more reasonable. Besides, a car used in areas with mild climates would hold a higher value compared to its counterpart that has experienced harsh weathers. In case you are living in a hot climate area, 

8. Supply and demand

Like any other marketplaces, supply and demand in the used car market also have dominant and direct influences on a vehicle’s resale price.

Examples of cars with demand exceeding supply are vehicles made in limited numbers and special edition. As a result of the unique feature, the used cars will have competitive advantages over other mass-produced ones, thus gaining higher values.

Besides, popular features also vary among different types of cars. For example, while people normally prefer automatic transmission when buying mainstream cars for its simpler handling and operation, manual transmission offering exciting driving experience will be in higher demand when it comes to sports cars.

9. Brand image

Apparently, cars from popular and reliable brands gain more value than ones with less outstanding reputations or troubled past issues. Typical examples of impressive car models are Toyota trucks, which have superior reliability and quality of their brand image. Consequently, despite being less powerful and more straightforward than their counterparts, Toyota trucks maintain their high position in the resale market. 

A Toyota truck with hills behind

Toyota trucks maintain their high position in the resale market

On the contrary, Hyundais with reputations for being cheap and low quality are much less appealing, therefore, suffering from lower resale prices.

10. Incentives

Surprisingly, the initial price of a car when it is new also determines its resale price. When you buy a new car with significant incentives and sales, don't expect that you can gain more when reselling it. Keep in mind that a vehicle with big incentives and low initial buying cost correspondingly seems less valuable to customers in the used car market.

Driving Smart: Prep Your Car for Sale

>>> Check out: Check out the top 10 best-selling used cars in Nigeria​

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