How to ensure your car retains its value

If your eventual intention is to resell your car, then you are likely to be looking for ways of ensuring it retains its value while you own it. Although most cars depreciate in value simply by being owned, there are a number of ways to keep or even increase the value ahead of a resale.

Top ten tips

1. Choose a car that keeps its value well. This will often mean buying a popular car that does not go out of fashion and therefore retains its value in terms of market demand.

2. Stick to standard colours for your car. If you are tempted to re-spray it in an effort to keep its value up make sure that you use a colour that will be marketable in the future. Most frequently, this will mean a standard colour, such a dark blue or grey.

3. Look for a brand with good resale potential. Not all brands have the same resale value and if yours is from a manufacturer such as Honda or Volkswagen, for example, then the resale price is likely to be more stable.

4. Do not invest in fashionable extras. Just as some cars go out of fashion quickly, the optional extras that are fitted can also go out of fashion. In some cases, a once 'essential' addition can even reduce the resale price of the car.

5. Do not pay for recently released extras. As well as fashionable extras that can become outdated, there are extras that lose value because they are so popular that they become standard. In such cases, money spent can be money wasted, as no value is added to the resale value of the car.

6. Choose a popular body style. In some areas, an estate or a convertible body may be more or less popular. If you know the market trend in your area, you can judge which style is likely to hold its value best.

7. Look at classic cars. It is the classic cars that hold market value most effectively, even if the initial cost may also be a little higher.

8. Stay within the warranty period. A car that is resold within the time frame of the original manufacturer's warranty will generally attract a better price.

9. Keep the service history up to date. A full service history helps to keep the car's value up.

10. Drive carefully. Damage and obvious wear can reduce value dramatically.