Car depreciation: six ways you’re wiping the value off your car

Car depreciation: six ways you’re wiping the value off your car
Smoking’s bad news for your health… but did you know it’s terrible for your car too?

Light up in your vehicle and you could be diminishing its sell-on value by as much as a staggering £2,000.

We’ve put together the top six ways in which you’re ruining your chances of a fair return on your car – read now, or don’t say you weren’t warned.

Smoking in your car

A car that has been smoked in on a regular basis can leave behind both a lingering smell and physical damage to the interior, making it difficult to trade in or sell privately.

Cigarette smoke becomes ingrained in the upholstery and trapped in the air conditioning system, which can be incredibly difficult to remove, requiring a professional valet and special equipment to clean.

In the most severe cases, the internal fabric and seat cloth may have to be stripped out too.

This process alone can cost hundreds of pounds.

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Skipping regular maintenance

If you neglect your car, you can’t hide it forever.

Regular fluid, filter and belt changes make the engine run smoother, while washing it routinely prevents a build-up of rust.

Regular maintenance is a must, not only for safety and reliability while you’re driving the car but to increase its resale value in the future too.

If you fail to have your car serviced regularly, and never clean it, it will wear out faster.

You should also keep comprehensive records of the car’s service history, including oil and filter changes.

When you come to sell your car, this information helps to show that you’ve taken good care of it.

Written proof of maintenance work increases the value of any used vehicle.

READ MORE: 12 hacks for spring cleaning your car

Substandard part replacement

Some amateur mechanics have been known to try their hand at fixing their car themselves, using second-hand or cheaper non-genuine parts instead of brand new ones.

If you’ve ever repaired your car with used parts rather than the manufacturer’s originals, it could devalue its overall price and increase the bill for future repairs as they could wear out in half the time of genuine parts. If you need repairs, then why not consider using an RAC Mobile Mechanic, who will visit you and possibly save you time and money.

READ MORE: Top mechanic scams and how to avoid being ripped off

Painting it a garish colour

Surprisingly perhaps, a car’s colour can have a big impact on its resale value.

While that bright orange respray might have seemed like a good idea at the time (when you wanted to make a statement), you might end up regretting the decision when you try to sell it.

A flashy colour or one that was never on the model could put off potential buyers.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to stick with the original colour if you decide to repaint your vehicle.

Neutral colours such as silver, white or black tend to maintain their value best, while bold colours such as red, yellow and green might not be worth as much since there is a smaller pool of buyers looking for those hues.

Taking your dog out in the car

does having a dog knock value off my car?

Like smoke, pet odours often linger and could give the impression to a buyer that you haven’t taken the best care of your vehicle.

If you’ve used the back seat for transporting pets, try to neutralise the smell and remove any visible pet hair.

If there are hairs ingrained in the nooks and crannies that you can’t get out, it’s likely to bring down the value of the vehicle.

That’s unless you can find a buyer that is also a dog owner who plans to use the back seat for their pet too.

READ MORE: Pets and breakdowns – what you need to do

Driving when you don’t have to

Do you pop down to the shops in your car when it’s only a 10-minute walk?

Drive to work every day when you could share a lift with a colleague?

Mileage affects resale value, so stop to think before using your car.

Do you really need it for that particular journey?

Walk, bike, take public transport or share rides whenever you can.

Did you know, you can get fined for moving out of the way of an ambulance?

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