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Getting a good resale value for your old car

02 February, 2010

Depreciation on the value of a vehicle is the bane of every owner and the obvious reason is that it is the biggest cost, which becomes evident only when it is time to sell the vehicle. It is a factor that used car buyers manipulate to their advantage and car owners dread.  Market value of a vehicle is basically fixed by the age of the vehicle and the distance covered. When the new vehicle supply is in demand, the resale value may be attractive but if the supply is regularized then resale value will come down. Market value of the vehicle is predominantly determined by the age of the vehicle and usage. Some other aspects that play a role in depreciating the value further are:

  • Vehicle from coastal areas
  • Metro city usage / Hill terrain usage
  • Commercial usages.
  • Is the vehicle in name of an individual or a company? The former will command a higher resale value
  • Nature of the profession of the owner/s.
  • The service facility and spare parts cost.
  • High end cars value is less mostly since takers such vehicles are fewer in number and their economic status allows them to go for new vehicles.
  • No life tax paid means leads to less value.
  • No comprehensive insurance also means less value.
  • External look viz., condition of tyres, body, etc.,
  • Accident repaired vehicles.
  • Obsolete models.


Tips to delay depreciation and ensure a good resale value for your vehicle

Previous owner:
It is important to be aware of the antecedents of the previous owner. Better still, it is even a safer bet if the seller is known to you.

External appearance:
Needless to mention, the overall looks of the vehicle such as the paint, dents, scratches, tyres etc are the obvious factors to consider.

Profession of the previous owner:
The kilometers driven and also the condition of the roads over the vehicle has been driven are very important. In this case, the profession of the previous owner/s would probably be the most important factor, which would determine the depreciation of the car. An individual whose profession requires long hours of driving everyday would subject his vehicle to considerable wear and tear over time as opposed to a retired gent whose daily outing would be restricted to the market to buy vegetables or the club.

Maintenance of the vehicle:
Was the vehicle regularly maintained and is there a proper record of oils, filters, plugs changed. Some car owners are obsessive about their vehicles and maintain a methodical record about the frequency of servicing, however minor it may be.

Any previous accidents?
Does the vehicle have current comprehensive insurance? This will also give an insight into the driving record of the previous owner.

Who is the prospective buyer?
Selling your vehicle to someone who wants it for personal use will be more profitable than giving to a used car dealer who being an astute businessman is used to driving a hard bargain and will in most probably browbeat you into giving into his asking price.

In the final analysis, the time trusted method to slow the onslaught of depreciation in a nutshell would be to research the car that fits your budget, ensure that it is the best in its category and would also retain the public's demand in the foreseeable future. These factors will surely help you retain the vehicle's worth to the utmost and also ensure that your car is grabbed at a great price when you have to sell.