Put The Brakes On New Car Depreciation

  • BCA advises motorists on what to look for in new cars to get the best value back in the future

With the new registration plate hitting the roads on 1st September, leading auction specialist BCA (British Car Auctions) is advising new car buyers what steps they can take to maximise the value of their car in the future.

“Probably the last thing on a new car buyer’s mind is what their purchase will be worth in the future” said Tim Naylor, spokesperson for BCA.  “But while no one can avoid depreciation, you can put the brakes on by following some simple guidelines.  Buy well now and you will reap the benefits when you come to sell your car.”

Key points highlighted by BCA include maintaining the car properly - preferably with the supplying dealer - as a full service history can add hundreds of pounds to a used car’s value.   It’s also important for motorists to be aware that modifying their car once purchased could devalue the vehicle.

Naylor added  “The current trend in customising cars can have a detrimental effect on the vehicle’s value when it comes to selling it.  Non-factory paint schemes and retro-fitted body kits limit your market of potential buyers, while ‘chipping’ the engine might even void the car’s warranty”.

BCA handle over 1.3 million used vehicles annually and are expert in ensuring vehicles sell for the best possible price on the day. For those wanting to avoid steep depreciation and one day sell on their vehicle for a good price, it offers the following top tips:

BCA Top Ten Tips On Protecting The Value Of Your vehicle

1. Maintain and service your new car regularly, ideally with the supplying franchised dealer.  A fully stamped service book will typically add several hundred pounds to a car's value at three to five years old.

2. Don't buy a low- or base-spec model - they are more difficult to sell as used vehicles.  This is particularly important on executive models - examples with cloth trim and a distinct lack of extras will struggle compared to their better-specified rivals when it’s time to sell.

3. Limited Editions with quirky paint schemes and garish interior trims can date quickly.

4. Choose a factory-finish that suits your car, preferably in a metallic paint.  Some rule-of-thumb guidelines include:

  • Avoid matt, flat finishes - they look tired very quickly.
  • Sober colours generally suit bigger cars, but black always looks funereal.
  • Saloons in beige or white inevitably look like taxis a few years down the line.
  • Small cars generally look better in bright colours.
  • 'Fashionable' colours date quickly.

5. Avoid modding your car - your taste will inevitably be different from potential buyers in a few years time.  Aftermarket body-kits and wheel-spinners are generally a turn-off for used buyers.

6. Don't chip the engine - used buyers will presume the engine has been thrashed and you may void your warranty.

7. Buy a popular make and model - it is likely to still be popular when you come to sell it.  

8. If possible, avoid buying cars registered very late in December - it will be ‘last year's model' in a matter of days.  If you get a great deal, it’s less of a problem, however.

9. Be wary of buying 'run-out' models, where the manufacturer is imminently going to introduce a new or face-lifted model.  Your car will look old very quickly.  Once again, getting a great deal is vital.

10. Keep your car in good condition, repair damage before it deteriorates and prepare your car thoroughly before you sell it.  Used car buyers like cars that look - and smell - like new.   With the latter in mind, don’t smoke in your car.

BCA has auctions around the country, six days a week.

31 August 2007 Staff

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