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Critical Factors That Affect Your Car's Resale Value

Mukulika Mukherjee
Wish to buy a new car by selling your old one? Naturally, you would want your old car to sell at a good price. Well, here are a few factors that have a big impact on your car's resale value, and you should consider them carefully.

Did You Know?

The color of your car can go a long way in determining its resale value!
When you buy a new car, you should take a moment to consider whether you wish to sell the car in the near future i.e. within the next few years. Why? Because if you do, then you should go for a car that depreciates little over the years. There are various factors that affect depreciation and the resultant resale value of a car.
If you are unaware of these factors, you might be shocked by the low resale value of your car when you try to sell it.
While most people believe that the sole factor that decides the resale value of a car is its current working condition, nothing can be further from the truth. This story gives you a brief understanding of the concept of depreciation of automobiles, and what you can do to increase the resale value of your car.

6 Critical Factors that Affect the Resale Value of a Car

While there are several factors that influence the resale value in one way or the other, there are a few of them that are the most critical, and a car owner simply cannot afford to overlook them. So, what are they? Let's find out.


Given a choice, most people would like to opt for brands like Toyota and Honda, because of the reputation of impeccable quality that these brands have come to be associated with, and this is definitely not without reason.
The models of these brands are known to be low on maintenance and efficient, even after the car is a few years old. Most people are well aware of this, and tend to favor these brands when purchasing a pre-owned car.
Hence, if you wish to sell your car at a good price a few years down the line, it is safe to go for reputed brands, even if they carry a bigger price tag. To know which brands would be considered timeless by prospective future buyers of your car, all you need is a little research.
The brand name does play a pivotal role in determining the resale value of a car, and some names can fetch you close to 60% of your initial cost, and that too after a span of 3 years! Can it get better than that?

Color of Paint

This may sound unfair to some, but the fact remains that you should choose a car that's painted in one of the more 'popular' colors, instead of some color that you take a fancy to.
While it's fine to go for any vibrant or bold color if you don't intend to sell the car, you should stick to the basics if you see yourself trading it for another vehicle in future.  Colors like white, silver, black, red, gold, and other classic colors never cease to be favorites and are a safe bet.
However, there is one exception to this rule, and that is the collectible or limited editions of a specific model, which are only available for a limited period and are highly sought-after in the coming years.

Condition of the Vehicle

When we think of the factors affecting the resale value of pre-owned cars, the first that comes to our mind is the condition of the car.
The fact that a car that looks as good as new fetches a higher resale value than a car that is in a relatively poor condition, is universally acknowledged. Make sure there are no visible dents, scratches, rust marks, and other signs of damage on your car's exteriors.
Also, deep scratches or marks caused due to accidents in the past can drastically bring down the resale value. Weird stickers on the windshield or the windows can give your car an unpleasant appearance that your prospective buyer may not like.
The best thing to do is to get your car serviced regularly to nip prospective problems in the bud, and ensure that your car is in a good shape.


So, you have a car that is in perfect condition, and hardly looks like it has been used before. Is that enough to fetch a good resale value? Well, unfortunately not, because the mileage is a very important factor in this regard.
The mileage is nothing but the total number of miles run by your car from the day you first used it. To prevent a high mileage playing spoilsport on the resale value that you expect for your car, you should cut down on the number of long trips on your own car. Remember that the fewer the miles run by your car, higher the resale value it is likely to fetch.

Features and Add-ons

When it comes to pre-owned cars, additional features that come for a price can be tricky, as most buyers are on a strict budget, and aren't much interested to pay for features they might deem as unnecessary.
However, this does not include features such as GPS that makes navigation easier than never before, even in a city you know little about, which can interest many prospective buyers. The same holds true for power steering, central locking, air conditioner, or a music player.
You should also think twice before you add accessories that are meant to enhance the look of the vehicle or enrich the experience of the people sitting inside. So, when considering to add features to your vehicle, just step back and consider which are good investments and which are not.


The resale value of a car also depends on the location where you intend to sell it as well as the season. For example, people living in regions that experience very cold climates prefer four-wheel drive cars, while people in certain areas prefer convertibles, others prefer SUVs.
The best idea is to research a little on the likes and dislikes of the common people in your region, and invest in a car accordingly, if it's a high resale value that you seek.
Now that you're aware of the various factors that influence the resale value of cars, just considering these pointers can help fetch a good resale value for your car.