What affects the resale value of a car?

Are you considering selling your car? Or maybe thinking about buying a second-hand one yourself? Either way, you will have an idea of what you want to sell or buy it for and a few key things about what you are looking for in terms of features and condition if you are in the market to buy. Which got us thinking… What affects the resale value of a car? It’ll be on your mind too, so we thought we’d focus this month’s article on just that. Read on to find out how to maximise your money.


As with anything, a well-known and respected brand will get you further than one which will lose its value faster. For example, a Mercedes or Audi will do better in terms of retaining value than a Honda or Toyota in the luxury car market, but if you are looking for a mid-priced vehicle then these brands are among the best for value retention. No matter what the condition of the vehicle, brand will go a long way when it comes to determining price.

Mechanical condition

A car that is in good running order will always fetch a higher price. Evidence of regular servicing and maintenance will also go a long way towards commanding a higher value, so check the logbook and don’t skip on getting a regular service.


It’s a well-known fact that a high mileage will reduce the value of a vehicle. It’s a simple equation – more miles equals more wear and tear and, therefore, a greater likelihood that something will go wrong or need replacement down the line.


The condition of the exterior of the vehicle is important. A dent, no matter how small, will reduce its value. If you are selling then a professional wash and wax will help show it off in its best light. Get any dings and dents repaired and touch up any paintwork that is faded or peeled. Lose the bumper stickers too – what one may find funny another may find offensive, so it’s best to play it safe and get rid of them.


It goes without saying that the interior should be spotless too. You wouldn’t want to buy a car that has an odd, lingering odour or looks like it’s been used as a place to eat and sleep for a while, so why would you expect anything different from a buyer if your car isn’t in top shape?


How likely are you to buy a canary yellow car if it isn’t a Lamborghini? Or a bright pink or purple vehicle? Eccentric or hard-to-maintain colours are more likely to drop the resale value of a vehicle, no matter how fun they may look or be to drive. For a car that you know you will want to sell on in a few years stick to the more standard white, silver, black, or dark blue for best value.


The right season will help keep the price up. Try to sell a convertible in the middle of winter or a 4×4 in the height of summer and you could be losing out. If you’re looking for a great deal, then shop out of season as the seller is probably looking for a quick sale.


Get a final service if you are selling or check a vehicle you are considering purchasing at Bromley Vehicle Test Centre. Book your car in by giving us a call on 020 8460 6666 or give us a bell with any questions.