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Maximising resale value

Selection of vehicles

The first step to maximising resale value is to select vehicles with a greater likelihood of returning a high price when sold. New vehicles that sell well are more likely to fetch a favourable resale price because there is usually high demand for these popular vehicles.

When supply of a particular type of vehicle outstrips demand, prices are forced down. To counteract this, fleet managers have implemented strategies to acquire a range of vehicle makes, models and colours so that the market is not flooded with one type of vehicle at the time of disposal. It is useful to keep this in mind and to keep an eye on the strategies of other fleet managers or organisations.

New vehicles are now available at relatively low prices and this also affects the resale prices of used cars. Sometimes, manufacturers release new models with substantial upgrades at similar prices to previous models and this also affects the resale prices of earlier models.

Accessories do not necessarily increase the resale value of a vehicle. It is often better to select the next model up rather than adding extras to a base model.

Access to estimates of future resale values is available for purchase from:

Maintenance and management

To maximise resale value, fleet vehicles should be maintained and serviced regularly with all service and maintenance history documented. Kilometres driven should be minimised where possible and there should be policies and procedures in place promoting the proper care of fleet vehicles and managing vehicle usage.

Timing

Be aware of approximate times of release of new models by manufacturers. It is not advisable to buy a vehicle that is soon to be superseded by a newer model. Firstly, the price will be higher than after the new model is released and secondly, resale value will be affected by the release of the newer model.

Low periods for selling vehicles include holidays and end of the month and financial year. The used car market is also influenced by factors affecting the general market like interest rate movements, elections, business profitability, employment and disposable income.

Other factors

Many factors influence resale value and these vary between makes and models. Some of these include:

  • vehicle condition
  • kilometres travelled
  • make and model
  • reputation of manufacturer
  • length of warranty
  • transmission type
  • accessibility of parts and servicing
  • frequency of servicing
  • maintenance and servicing records
  • availability of comparable used vehicles
  • discounting offered on equivalent new vehicle
  • new model releases
  • popularity of vehicle
  • registration status
  • accessories – accessories don’t tend to increase value but safety features like ABS do add appeal for resale
  • colour – avoid 'fashion' colours. White, black, mid-blues and burgundy have been found to have a neutral impact on resale value while dark green, brown, some reds and bright blues have been found to have a negative impact on resale value.

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Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).