Tips On How Consumers Can Save On New Cars


A new car begins to lose value the moment you drive it away from the forecourt. In most occasions, you can expect a new car’s value to drop between 10% and 40% in the first 12 months alone. There are plenty of factors, however, which dictate how much value will be lost and how fast the car will depreciate.

By staying on top of your new car’s maintenance, servicing and cosmetics, you can ensure that your car retains as much of its original value as possible. Therefore, when the time comes to sell your car in exchange for a newer model, you can recoup as much money as you can. Here, the vehicle finance specialists at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance look at some of the best ways you can ensure your car retains as much value as possible.

Key points

  • You can expect a new car’s value to depreciate between 10% and 40% in just 12 months.
  • If you’re hitting 10,000 miles a year, your car’s value could have dropped by up to 60% after three years.
  • Modifications are far more likely to reduce the value of your car than increase it.
  • Using non-dedicated car cleaning products could damage your car’s cosmetics – so always use dedicated car shampoos.

Stay on top of servicing

Servicing can be the bane of a car owner’s life – it’s all too easy to forget about giving your car an annual service, along with MOT, road tax and insurance. However, by sticking to your car’s service timescale, you’re limiting the likelihood of its value dropping significantly. The service timetable is designed to ensure that your car’s most vulnerable areas don’t fall into disarray – failures in these areas can easily reduce your car’s value.

Watch the paintwork!

Even if you’re being careful with your car, dents and scrapes to the bodywork eventually accumulate over time. Often, this cosmetic damage is not even linked to how well you’re driving – pebbles flying off the road or motorway can cause minor damage.

Keeping an eye on these dings and dents, and investing in targeted cosmetic repairs is a great way to ensure your car maintains its value. Leave this one to the pros – DIY paintjobs can easily lead to mishaps and lower the value of your car even further.

Avoid modifications

‘Modding’ a car is one of the most common ways in which car owners lose value on their car. Often, petrolheads believe that by modifying their car, they’re adding value. However, more often than not, this is not the case – even if you’ve spent thousands on expensive parts!

Just because you value your new spoiler and exhaust doesn’t mean that the next prospective owner will feel the same – modifications like these are more likely to reduce the value of your car. Even tasteful modifications like new wheels are likely to be a waste of money – you’re highly unlikely to receive the same amount you’ve paid for them.

Keep it clean

This one goes without saying – keep your car clean! However, it’s important that car owners know which cleaning products are helpful and which are harmful to their car in the long-term. Coarse brushes can scratch your paintwork, dulling your car’s finish, whilst strong chemicals and those not intended for car use – like washing up liquid – are unlikely to help you.

Regular cleaning is important to guard against bird droppings, which can damage your paintwork if left unattended for a long period of time. If you’re handling your car clean yourself rather than leaving it to the pros, we always recommend using a dedicated car shampoo!

Watch what you do in your car…

Having refreshments in the car for long journeys is a must. But if you’re going to be eating and drinking in your car, at least be careful about it! Crumbs can be easily dealt with, but drink spillages can permanently stain upholstery and reduce the value of your car.

Smoking in your car is one thing you should ALWAYS try to avoid, however – if your car smells like you’ve been smoking heavily in there, the resale value will plummet.

Choose wisely…

The rate at which your car’s value will depreciate slows as your car gets older – for example, a new car loses most of its value within the first three years of its life. When purchasing a car, it’s worth considering how many miles you’ll be covering each year. If you cover less than 10,000 miles a year, it could be better value buying a lightly used car – as your car’s value will depreciate at a slower rate if you’re covering less miles.

Allan Hetherington, Head of Prestige Car Finance at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, comments: “It’s inevitable for a new car to depreciate in value – there’s nothing an owner can do to prevent that. However, by considering a few of these tips when using the car, owners can ensure the car retains as much of its original value as possible. This can be hugely helpful when it comes to reselling the car or avoiding costly lease charges.”

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