When you purchase a brand new vehicle, you lose 10-15% of its resale value the minute you drive off the showroom floor. Older cars also depreciate at an alarming rate, losing value with every passing year and each extra kilometre on the odometer.

As your prized automobile will probably be the second biggest investment of your life (after your home), you should take steps to minimise your losses when it comes time to upgrade.

In this article, we cover five ways to protect your investment by optimising the resale value of your car.

1. Purchase Wisely

The journey towards retaining resale value begins the moment you purchase the car.

On the whole, popular, widely-sold models retain value better than obscure cars. Purchasing a car that’s common throughout Australia makes maintenance cheaper and the car easier to offload. Prestige cars can be an exception if they’re attractive to automotive collectors.

Be sure to consider the colour. While you may think a “hero colour” like Vermillion Fire makes your car look tough, the future owners probably won’t share your tastes. Aim for something subtle like grey or white over a gaudy shade to appease your style.

If purchasing new, go easy on the optional extras. The future buyer mightn’t be too enthusiastic about that fancy sunroof. Furthermore, after-market performance modifications like large exhausts can spook buyers.

2. Keep Up With Your Maintenance

A complete service history is a sure-fire indication of a well looked after car. As expensive and inconvenient as regular servicing can be, there’s no better way to convince potential buyers that your vehicle is, as you claim, in A1 mechanical condition.

Find an honest and reliable mechanic in your area and have them service your vehicle at each recommended interval. It’s not enough to just do oil and filter changes—you’ll need to stay on top of your parts replacements (i.e. timing belt changes), too.

If your mechanic forgets to stamp your logbook, take it back straight away. That tiny little signature is proof you’ve spared no expense in maintaining your car.

3. Take Care of the Aesthetics

Aesthetics are crucial when offloading a used car, so make an effort to keep your ride in pristine condition. Use undercover parking wherever possible as wayward fig plums and bird droppings can wreak havoc on your paint job. Extended UV radiation will also fade the exterior and interior with time.

Avoid smoking inside your car and take precautions when transporting your four-legged friends to avoid lingering smells and odours. In some situations, it’s worth placing down mats or covers to protect your upholstery.

If you’ve got a high-value car, fork out for a professional cleaning and detailing service before listing it for sale. At the very least, a thorough vacuum, wash, and wax go a long way to restoring a vehicle’s aesthetic appeal.

4. Repair Any Panel Imperfections

Dings and dents are an inevitable part of car ownership, and even the smallest scratch will detract from a vehicle’s value. While older, low-cost cars probably aren’t worth addressing, it pays dividends to repair the panels on a prestige automobile.

For optimal results, get a paintless dent removal service, a high-tech process that restores a damaged panel to showroom condition.

It’s also worth investing in a car paint match service, where a special camera determines the true shade of your panel and a technician blends in the appropriate paint for a flawless finish.

5. Create An Enticing Listing

A high-quality listing will attract a wider buyer net, ultimately resulting in a favourable price.

Take the time to create a compelling listing that focuses on the benefits rather than the features. For example, “a full-service history ensures hassle-free motoring for years to come.” Or, “it comes with cruise control for optimal comfort on those long-distance drives.”

Photos are just as important as the text. Use a high-quality camera (most modern, top-end smartphones will do) and shoot from multiple angles. Smooth, even lighting is essential; aim for early morning or late afternoon and avoid photographing in the shade. Add filters to correct colour imbalances if need be.

How Brighton Panel Works Can Help

If you’re looking for panel beaters in Melbourne or paintless dent removal in Melbourne, Brighton Panel Works is here to help. With over 50 years of experience in the prestige motor vehicle repair industry, we’ve got what it takes to get your car looking like new.