Are you wondering how badly your car might depreciate over time? Here are some questions to ask yourself if you intend to maintain or even improve the value of your car.
There’s more to a car’s value than its make and model. You might also think a visibly pristine car in working condition will always fetch a pretty penny. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the only consideration as there’s a wide range of factors to internalise when it comes to a car’s valuation.
1) What’s the Resale Value?
(Photo credit: Perodua)
Resale value is a vital point to consider before you make a buying decision. It’s one of the most influential factors in determining what you will be able to get back when you decide to move on from it later on in your car ownership journey.
Good resale value is an attribute of the more popular cars in Malaysia. This demand is due to factors such as practical features, its performance and designs favourable to the Malaysian market. The Perodua MyVi is a perfect example, with many locals receptive to its reliability and good performance at a low price range.
The car’s brand plays a big part in resale value too. Malaysian nationalism is strong amongst the people and locals are very proud of hometown manufacturers such as Proton and Perodua. This keeps these brands in demand, playing a role in securing a good resale value over time.
Japanese car manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota are also very popular due to their reputation of being very reliable and the low cost of maintenance.
2) Lustrous Gold or a Clean White Ride?
(Photo credit: Porsche)
Another point of consideration before buying a car is its colour. A lot of research has been done linking a car’s colour to its rate of depreciation. Different countries have different general preferences of colours too.
The general rule of thumb is to go monochrome. Black, grey and white are ‘safe’ colours when it comes to value, with white taking the biggest slice of the car colour choice pie in Malaysia. It is worth noting that yellow is globally the colour with the lowest depreciation value and the term ‘Resale Red’ is often only applicable to high-end convertibles.
The worst colour you can opt for? Gold! To quote J.R.R Tolkien, "all that is gold does not glitter."
3) Are those modifications worth it?
(Photo credit: Unsplash)
The car modification or ‘mod’ scene in Malaysia is vibrant with many car mod enthusiasts embarking on different unique customisation projects on their cars.
Many of these projects are influenced by car culture in other countries such as Japan. You can spot multiple cars at local car shows with inverted spoilers mounted under the car boot that reeks of the popular Japanese ‘Kyusha’ culture.
Lowered or ‘stanced’ cars with extreme camber is also a fan favourite in the world of car modding, a nod to street drift racing culture started by outlaw groups such as the Japanese Bosozuku.
(Photo credit: Kaki Kereta)
You might be tempted to implement an MZ spoiler with a Passo front bumper on your MyVi to boost its aesthetic appeal. Or maybe you’re seeking some functionality instead, swapping out boring, average stock seats for some aftermarket racing car seats in your vehicle for that added flair and acclaimed safety that comes with it.
Then there are performance mods like supercharger kits you could install to increase horsepower turning that MyVi into a much more comfortable version of the 1997 Dodge Viper GTS (an exaggeration, of course).
(Photo credit: Kaki Kereta)
However, similar to car colour choices, desirability is subjective and you are usually better off keeping your car mainly stock. Not to mention the legalities and illegalities of some of these mods which will turn off potentially more risk-free buyers. Overmodding would therefore result in lower car value as you limit yourself to niche markets when you decide to put it up for sale.
4) Is it safe?
A car’s safety features greatly matter when it comes to its car value. Some common features that you should ensure your car has are Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) systems, Forward Collision Warnings (FCW) and serviceable basic features like good seatbelts and reliable airbags.
For the Malaysian market, features such as adaptive headlights would be beneficial for those dust cloud countryside roads and it prevents blinding oncoming drivers on small two-way roads at night. Installing a dashboard camera would also be good for pesky insurance claims in the event of a traffic accident.
Keeping your car up to date with safety standards and common safety accessories will help ensure that it remains attractive when you put it on the market.
5) To smoke or not to smoke?
(Photo credit: Pexels)
Vehicle cleanliness is also another vital factor when it comes to a car’s value.
Imagine a hotel room with mysterious stains on the carpet and walls, with cockroaches wandering about and a pungent smell you can almost taste with every breath you take. Would you pay RM2,000 a night for that room even if it came with 4K flat-screen TVs and a bathtub? No!
The same goes for your car. Keep your interiors clean, regularly vacuum its carpets and wipe down the seats. Minimize eating or leaving food in your vehicle as they attract pests and smoking produces tar which sticks onto the surfaces of your car interior. So no, don't smoke in your vehicle, please.
It’s also important to keep your exterior in pristine condition. Drive safely and take your car for a wash and wax every once in a while. Try to avoid dirt roads if you can as the sand and rocks you drive on can chip away at your paint job.
You should also pay attention to where you park your vehicles. Keep them in the shade to minimize sun exposure that can fade the car’s colours and park away from heavy vehicles due to the risk of dents and scratches.
It shows when someone takes pride in maintaining the upkeep of their vehicle and these cars will normally fetch higher prices than those that look and smell like they belong in a scrapyard.
6) Should I get that warning light checked?
Yes, yes, yes! Warning indicators on your dashboard is your car’s way of telling you it needs some attention. You may think that everything’s fine as long as the car is still running but you’re just lying to yourself.
Fix issues fast and take your car to the workshop for servicing regularly to ensure that it always runs smoothly. These servicing records can also be points of assurance for potential buyers that the car won’t give them any issues post-purchase.
With these questions in mind, you will be able to get top dollar when you decide to sell your car in the future. Third-party platforms are a good way to go in finding out your car’s evaluation before making any decisions. Check out Motorist's car valuation services for a quick and easy way to find out what your car is worth!
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Read more: How to Sell Your Used Car for More