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Tips on combatting car depreciation

Making sure your car is serviced regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements, as a full service history (FSH) is one of the key factors used car buyers and traders look for. This is because it means the vehicle stands a better chance of remaining in optimum mechanical order for as long as possible. Engine oil should be replaced as often as it's feasible and the air filter, spark plugs, coolant, brake fluid and linings, cambelt, battery, screenwash and power steering fluid should also be changed at suitable intervals throughout your car’s life.

Give your car regular TLC so it will be seen as a safer investment by prospective future buyers, compared to a rust bucket that's clearly been neglected. Make sure your car gets washed regularly as this will prevent dirt, grease and grime having a negative effect on the bodywork and other components, such as brakes. Responsible car care also includes regularly making sure your tyres are correctly inflated and aren’t showing signs of uneven wear.

Get a professional to check and repair any damage if your car has any knocks, even if they’re only relatively minor. Cold temperatures or dirt can worsen what was originally only surface damage.

Keep your car as close to its standard specification as possible, refraining from changing the alloy wheels, seats, steering wheel, body kit, windows, lights or other components. This is because private and trade buyers prefer cars that still feature their original parts, as they're easier to sell, compared to cars modified to someone’s personal tastes4.

Only drive your car when you need to, as this will help to keep your mileage down. Cars with lower mileages tend to command higher resale values. Broadly speaking, cars that cover more than 12,000 miles per year tend to lose their value more quickly.

Park in a garage or off the road at home if possible, as this will reduce the risk of your car getting damaged, whether deliberate or accidental from things like bicycles, pushchairs, couriers, passing traffic, debris or the weather.

Park your car out of direct sunlight during the daytime if you can5, because the sun’s rays can damage a car’s paintwork over a sustained period and can cause bleaching to occur on the upholstery inside.

Treat your car with care, trying not to start and stop it too often during cold temperatures, as this will put extra strain on the engine and other components. Instead, try to plan your time, so your car will be used for longer periods each time you set out in it, giving it the chance to warm up properly.

Smooth driving is another way of preserving the life of a car. Gentle cornering and steering, along with smooth braking and acceleration, also help reduce the stress it’s placed under and will extend the life of the tyres, brakes and other parts.

Combatting depreciation when it’s time to sell your car comes with its own additional tips, but if you want to extend the life of your car for as long as possible, much can be achieved by following this advice.

 

 

 Nº of Burglaries per 10,000 population1Average amount paid per claim2% without Home Insurance3% of residents who feel their city is unsafe3
Bradford 126 (2) £2,446 (2) 29% (2) 58% (1)
Manchester 135 (1) £2,073 (7) 31% (1) 29% (1)
London 86 (1) £2,832 (1) 26% (1) 21% (1)
Liverpool 102 (1) £2,001 (1) 28% (1) 8% (1)

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