plan nowBuying a car is a big and meaningful purchase, and one that requires thought and consideration. We all want to like the car we drive, both in terms of aesthetics and performance which is where the emotion can sometimes overrule the rational. 

“With some exceptions, a car is not a lifelong commitment. Most people will have a number of cars in their lifetime, as we choose to upgrade, sometimes downgrade, or because our needs change and a myriad of reasons in between. To this end, it is important to always consider the resale value of your car right from the start,” says Keletso Mpisane, head of digitally based insurer MiWay Blink. 

Beginning with the end in mind can also help you determine which vehicle to opt for and what features and specifications you need. “For example, if you’re planning a family and intend driving the car for the next five to eight years you may want to opt for something quite spacious like an SUV, whereas if you’re planning more offroad adventures then a 4x4 may be more appropriate,” Mpisane shares. 

From money to looks, below are some of the most relevant considerations in this regard. 

Money matters

So many of one’s choices in life come down to money. It’s about what we can afford and what we consider to be of value. When it comes to buying a car it’s not simply about the money you will pay for it now but also about what you’re likely to get for it when you sell it again. 

“Some car makes and brands are known for retaining their value quite well, where others lose significant value. If, when you’re buying, you already have a clear idea of how long you’ll be using the vehicle, it may be more sensible to opt for something that is known for having a good trade-in value and a reputation for being popular on the second-hand market,” Mpisane advises. 

Reassured on the road 

Car insurance may be a grudge purchase, but it is an important way to also safeguard the resale value of the vehicle - and yourself. “It is reassuring to know that should something happen on the road you’re financially covered. Whether it’s a small dent in the bumper that needs to be repaired or windscreen that suffered hail damage, it’s important to have it seen too and fixed - both in terms of the vehicle’s ability to function but also because nobody wants to buy a car with a cracked window,” Mpisane explains. 

Looks count

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is certainly true  in modifications made to cars. Some modifications need to be universally acceptable, for example anything that improves the vehicle’s safety, or a sophisticated infotainment system, while others, such as a modified exhaust system or tinted window, simply don’t do the same. 

Going the extra mile… or not 

Mileage plays a key role in the resale value of a car. Quite understandably, the more a vehicle has travelled the more its value depreciates. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t drive your car - that’s what it’s there for after all - but rather to be conscious of how much you’re driving it if you’ve got a specific resale price range in mind. 

Care and protect 

Whether the plan is to sell the vehicle in one year, five years or 10 years, it always pays to look after it. This includes the way you drive but also ensuring the car is serviced by a professional at regular intervals, and that the necessary maintenance is done. 

“It is highly advisable to have your car serviced by either the manufacturer or an approved third party. Make sure the services are logged so that the vehicle eventually has a clear service history, which will stand you in good stead when it comes to selling,” Mpisane concludes.