Whether your car is old and beaten-up, or still shiny with not too many miles on the clock, you’ll want to get the best price for it when your time together comes to an end. Potential buyers will take a variety of factors into account before deciding to either turn their nose up at your asking price or hand over the cash.

Whether you’re planning to trade in your vehicle or resell it privately, keeping it in good condition is essential for maximising its value. And, if you are planning to purchase a new vehicle, you should keep in mind these points that could affect its future resale value.

1. Good looks sell

Presentation can make or break a sale in a variety of situations and when it comes to selling your used car it’s no different. Lifting your car’s curb appeal is key to convincing a potential buyer, so your vehicle’s exterior and interior should be given a thorough clean to maximise its appeal.

When it comes to the exterior of your car, take a careful look at any scrapes or bumps and consider getting any spots with missing paint resprayed.

Vacuuming interior flooring and wiping down any hard surfaces with a car cleaning kit will give a buyer the best impression of your car, especially if they are giving it a test drive. Make sure you remove any rubbish or personal items to help give your car a brand new feel.

Along with your usual interior cleaning routine, you should take time to clean areas which are usually ignored, such as the boot, bonnet openings, doors and the engine bay.

If this sounds like a bit too much effort, you may want to pay for a local car grooming service to give your car a meticulous clean.

2. Stay on top of vehicle maintenance

Keeping your car up to date with any repairs or maintenance will put you in a better position to negotiate a good price for your vehicle. Simple things, such as getting an oil change or replacing brake pads, will give the impression that your car has been well maintained.

Even getting a mechanic’s safety check on your car will give you a price estimate for any maintenance you are unwilling to do. Having an idea of how much work your car requires will help you avoid being lowballed by a buyer due to the need for repairs.

Make sure you keep receipts and service records too, in case a buyer wants to see them. This will help neutralise any concerns about your car’s history.

3. Pick a make and model that holds value

Some vehicle makes and models hold their value more than others. This is something you should take into account when selling your car – and ideally before you buy in the first place. Brand recognition plays an important part in consumers’ decisions, particularly when it comes to vehicles. Certain car manufacturers and models have widespread reputations for either positive or negative reasons, which can affect how consumers value your car and what price you can expect when you sell.

Car buyers want to feel confident they’re choosing a vehicle which is reliable and won’t cost an exorbitant amount to maintain. This is why you see an abundance of Toyota Corollas on our streets. The Japanese model is the highest selling car in New Zealand, likely due to its reputation as a dependable and efficient option.

4. Keep an eye on mileage

Keeping tabs on the mileage your car is clocking up is a good way to judge when to put your car up for sale. For a buyer, mileage acts as an indicator of a vehicle’s condition, as higher mileage cars will have suffered more wear and tear.

Certain car components are given a recommended life expectancy by manufacturers; these are often judged by how many kilometers your car has travelled. Potential buyers will take this into account when making an offer. Selling your car far in advance of the point where a buyer would expect you to have replaced any key parts – such as a cambelt replacement – will help you get the best price for your car.