If you're thinking of selling a used electric car, petrol car or diesel car, you've probably wondered what they are worth. Certain factors affect the value of any used vehicle. Let's take a look at these factors and how they affect the sale price of a used car. We’ll also review used car trends in the UK to help you determine current market conditions.

Used Car Prices: Trends for 2022

Prices for used cars have risen for the 26th consecutive month in the UK, with a used car's average price jumping by £3,400 in a year.

Several factors have contributed to this rise in prices, namely the lifting of the lockdown and the supply shortage of electronic components globally. As a result, the new car market has been challenged to keep up with demand, leading to higher prices and demand in the used car market. Amidst continued concerns about COVID-19, many opted to drive instead of taking public transportation. These challenges contributed to sluggish new car sales in the UK. March 2022 marked the weakest March in years, as evidenced by the 14% decline in registrations of new cars in Britain.

Used car sales in the UK have also been affected by the pandemic. However, the market performed better in 2021, with a growth rate of 11.5% and sales exceeding 7.5 million cars.

Lacking affordable new cars to choose from, more and more people are purchasing used cars. This is good news for you if you're considering selling your electric, petrol or diesel car.

Resale Value of a Car: 7 Factors That Influence It

Below is a list of factors affecting car depreciation rates and resale values. Understanding these factors can help you obtain the best price for your car when you do sell it.

1. Vehicle brand

A vehicle's brand may be a major factor in determining how much your used car is worth. A brand's reputation creates demand in the car market, so it is no surprise that resale values differ according to brand.

Often, prestigious brands known for their reliability and quality are trusted more than less prestigious brands or brands unknown to the public. For instance, used Toyota cars are considered reliable, with the manufacturer even being named the world’s most valuable car brand in 2020. Another example is used Audi cars, which are seen as both luxurious and high-performing.

2. Vehicle age and condition

A buyer can tell how well you maintain your car based on its interior and exterior condition. Depending on the condition of your vehicle, they may try to bargain for a better price.

Cars that have not been well-maintained are not attractive to buyers. Automobiles with ripped leather seats, broken electronics, scratches or dents are undesirable and will be less valuable as a result. Meanwhile, some buyers may perceive a mishmash of tyre brands or tyres of various ages as careless handling of the car. To maximise the value of your vehicle, invest in new tyres when they go on sale. A good set of tyres, regardless if you're selling or trading, will give you an advantage.

Regularly detailing your car's interior can also help enhance its resale value. Make sure the vehicle is washed, dings and dents are repaired and any paint issues are addressed.

Another factor that affects the resale price is the age of your vehicle. Older vehicles are generally less valuable than new ones, except for vintage and classic cars.

For used electric cars, there’s the matter of diminished battery performance, which can impact their resale value. Ageing batteries typically come with a decline in range and performance.

3. Vehicle class and segment

Convertibles and sports cars sell best in places with warm climates, as they are practical to use there all year round. Off-road vehicles and SUVs enjoy greater popularity in areas with chilly climates and rough terrains.

High-efficiency vehicles will retain their value better when there are high gas prices. On the other hand, low-efficiency cars do better when gas prices are low.

4. Colour

If the body of your car is painted in unorthodox colours, you may have trouble selling it. Flashy and bright colours are not always favoured by car buyers. Black, white, grey and silver are the preferred colours by the majority. Buyers also tend to go for used cars with more subtle colours such as muted blue, green or red.

5. Mileage

Car mileage is another factor that significantly affects resale value. A car with a high mileage implies it’s been driven extensively. Thus, a high-mileage vehicle will be worth less when it's time to sell it than a car with fewer miles. Low-mileage cars appeal more to buyers, so they’re likelier to pay more for them.

6. Add-ons and aftermarket modifications

Modifications can enhance the value of a car, but they can also reduce its value. Tinted windows, leather seats and a security system are a big plus, as they enhance the overall driving experience. In contrast, oversized rear wings and flashy body kits often have the opposite effect. To be on the safe side, stay away from add-ons that may affect the engine or safety features of the car.

7. Maintenance and service records

Your car’s service records provide proof of its quality maintenance. Storing your service records can prove useful when you show them to a prospective dealer or buyer later on.

When a car is well-maintained, its resale value is higher because the buyer won't have to pay higher repair costs to fix scratches or rust. So keeping your car serviced on time is one way to preserve its resale value and make buyers more inclined to give you a better deal.

Buying a new car isn't just about its resale price, but it’s still an important factor to consider. Knowing the factors that impact your vehicle’s resale value can help you make more informed decisions and keep your car’s resale value high.

Got a van you need to sell? Whether you’re looking to sell your used BMW cars, used Kia cars or cars from other brands, Big Van World is the place for you. Our goal is to offer our customers the most value, whether they’re purchasing or selling a used car. Get a free quote now, or contact us for more information.