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7 essential tips for maximising your car's resale value, according to a dealer

Plus the biggest mistake you can make, according to Kearys’ Dan Cronin.

Image: Shutterstock/Gengwit Wattakawigran

FINDING THE RIGHT car for your needs, lifestyle and budget can be a tricky process.

We want to help streamline the search. As part of our Insights series, every week we’ll take a different car-buying question to the experts at the heart of the motor industry.

If you really need your current car to be a large chunk of your payment towards the next one you buy, it’s worth paying attention to how you ensure it maintains its value.

This week, Dan Cronin, Sales Manager at Kearys Renault Cork brings us through everything you should consider if you want to make sure your car packs a punch when it comes time to trade in or sell it on.

As Cronin explains: “Resale value and wondering what your new car will be worth in say, three years is a massive deciding factor for customers.”

1. Don’t forget the big three

When it comes to valuing a secondhand car, we’d look at the general condition of the car (bodywork and things like that), the service history of the car and lastly the mileage, which can dramatically affect the value of a car if you let it go high before you bring it into us. We’d also always look inside the car and outside for scratches and dents.

2. Go to your dealer for services

The biggest mistake customers tend to make is not keeping up their car in relation to those three. If we have a customer who hasn’t bought from us, we don’t know the service history or whether the scratches and dents have ever been dealt with.

3. Try not to tip over 30,000 kilometres a year

a-l-117960-unsplash Source: Unsplash

On any secondhand cars, the maximum mileage would generally be around 30,000 kilometres a year. Once you hit 80,000 or 90,000, try not to go over 100,000 kilometres as it will make it much harder to sell. It wouldn’t mean it had to be scrapped but it would have a very negative impact – you’d be looking at getting €1,000-€2,000 for it.

4. Service once a year or every 20,000 kilometres

The most important thing with wear and tear is to get it serviced regularly – it depends on the manufacturer but it’s recommended to do it either once a year or every 20,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

5. Get scratches repaired right away

If there’s a scratch, you don’t want to leave it exposed for too long as the car could rust. Go to any bodywork shop and get it fixed straight away. They might have to respray or replace a panel, depending on the scratch.

6. Three years is the ideal time to sell

shutterstock_714680170 Source: Shutterstock/fatir29

If you’re looking for maximum resale value from your car, selling it after three years is probably best. With PCPs for example, you’re guaranteed 40% of the original selling price as long as you don’t go over the mileage agreement. If you tell a dealer you do 15,000 kilometres and you’re actually doing 30,000 for example, that’s not guaranteed.

7. Get a mini-valet before heading into the dealer

Even small stuff like getting a mini-valet to get your car in crystal clean condition or replacing the seat covers can make a difference. If you’re a smoker I would consider treatments to eliminate the smell of smoke, which could have a determining factor on the value of a car.

More: Need a bigger family car? 5 dealer-approved tips for choosing the right one

More: 6 essential tips for buying a used car that won’t let you down

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