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How to make the most money when selling your car

Everyone likes to get the best deal they can, whether it’s buying something or selling something online. Selling a vehicle is no different.

The difficulty is, it is often hard to notice the things that could be draining your car of value. With the greater demands of modern life, whether it’s family or work, we understand it is often tricky to keep on top of your car’s maintenance.

Car maintenance: the big difference

In reality, half a day’s work one weekend a month and a new attitude is all you need to make sure your car retains as much value as possible before a sale.

There are some things that you cannot control: inevitabilities, like increased mileage and age and the make and model of car you chose. You’re stuck with those.

But, giving care and attention to your car little and often will surprisingly help a great deal and, depending on manufacturer and model, it could be mean up to £500 difference.

The AA estimate that the average new car will have retained 40% of its value after three years (based on racking up a steady 10,000 miles a year). Though the rate of deflation becomes gentler and starts to tail a little the closer it gets to eight-years old.

Whilst you cannot forecast a manufacturer’s next product cycle and magically gaze into a crystal ball to see how the market will fare, there are sure-fire ways to help maximise retained value.

Retaining your car’s value

First of all, it helps to keep the vehicle’s mileage down. Limit usage to only necessary journeys, if possible. This is not always feasible.

Keeping organised and on top of your car’s servicing will help ensure your car is healthy and up to manufacturer’s standards.

Service records should be clean and up-to-date. You want to shy away reason to doubt the health of the car.

Subsequently, any repairs needed to the car should be dealt with immediately, so as not to affect the condition of any adjoining components or parts – costing you more in the long run.

Retaining your car’s value physically requires attention to your tyres and vehicle’s interior condition.

At least 50 per cent of cars that come into dealerships have tyres below the minimum required tread depth of 3mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre’s breadth.

Emphasis on keeping your car clean inside cannot be stressed enough. Smoking; scratches from dogs; and stains and spillages from children can affect the value of your car.

Close to 3 in 4 cars will suffer as a result of poor interior condition. One-time investment in seat covers and avoiding smoking in the car are huge money savers.

Finally, watching where you park and who you park next to is important. Two door cars, in particular, tend to have very long doors and can often be the unwelcome culprit of door-scratching.