If you’re lucky enough to have recently taken delivery of a ‘16’ plate car, then you’ll already be aware of the bad news. We are sorry to mention it again, but the value of your new car is likely to have dropped by at least 20% the very moment that you drove it off the forecourt. The price could even drop by as much as 40% during its first year.
But it’s not all bad news. You’ve got a brand spanking new car and that can bring a lot of joy. On the practical front, it will most likely not break down any time soon and the MOT centre is not somewhere you’ll be going for quite a few years.
If you’re a little bit concerned about what I’ve just told you about depreciation, then sit back and relax as it’s not really within your control. Particular makes and models will go down in price faster than others. But there are some things that you can do that will help the value of your car to be maintained. Here are some of those things:
Keep it serviced regularly
Those cars that come with a full service history can command a higher price. This history is evidence that the car has been well maintained and is less likely to have major mechanical issues. So ensure that you get your car serviced at least once a year according to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
Keep it well maintained
Your car will be kept in good condition if you perform a little maintenance at home once in a while. You don’t have to spend hours under the bonnet each week, but you could do a few simple tasks that will make all the difference. For example, check the oil levels once a week. You should also check that the water level in your radiator is being maintained so that you can rest assured there are not cracks or any serious engine trouble.
Another regular task should be checking your tyres once a month. Look for signs of wear and tear and damage. They should also be inflated to their correct measurement. Otherwise your underinflated tyres could mean that your tyres will suffer from up to 30% wear and tear and your pocket will be paying out for a 20% increase in fuel consumption.
Keep it clean
Cleaning your car is important due to the amount of salt that is used on roads, in particular in the winter time. In addition there is also a lot of dirt and other residue that your car can collect including summertime bug splats. Paintwork can be damaged and rust can form. Be sure to regularly wash your car from top to bottom. Treating yourself to a professional value or car wash service will also help to keep it in good condition.
Keep the miles low
One of the biggest factors in sending prices down is high mileage, no matter what the condition or service history is. Try to keep miles down and take part in work car-sharing schemes, this will also save you money when it comes to petrol and maintenance too.