5 Tips For Buying A Car With Good Resale Value

5 Tips For Buying A Car With Resale Value1

They pragmatically choose the make, model, features and colour based on their requirements, their budget and the likely resale value of the car. In other words, they treat their car as an investment.

Although it’s important to find a car you love, the fact is a car is one of the largest investments most of us will make.

It’s easy to resign ourselves to the fact cars depreciate, however there are ways you can minimise the depreciation to ensure you gain the greatest resale value when it comes to selling your car.

The key to retaining as much resale value as possible is to remain as mainstream as possible.

5 Tips For Buying A Car With Resale Value2

This is not the makeup of your typical car enthusiast, but if dollars are a key consideration then here are some rules of thumb to consider when buying a car.

1. Avoid obscure makes and models

More popular (and more widely sold cars) will sell quicker and at a better price. Lesser-known cars are, well, lesser known, hence the general population are not searching to buy them.

Chinese makes became a novelty for a while as they came into the Australian market much cheaper, however within a few years they were rarely seen and were worth very little. Likewise, smart cars and electric cars have a very limited market as they’re too small for most practical uses, and have a very limited range. Even known cars such as PT Cruisers and Chrysler 300s, which were novel when they were released, found it hard to compete against more popular makes and models just a few years later as the novelty wore off.

2. Avoid loud colours

Personally, I love the flashback to retro-colours from the 70s that are sprinkling today’s production lines (think orange Falcons and green Commodores). However, the reality is the pink Toyota Yaris and lime-green Mitsubishi Mirage will be harder to sell than their standard black or white counterparts, as they simply don’t appeal to most.

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3. Buy automatic

Most people either don’t drive manual or prefer not to drive manual (especially city drivers), so when trying to sell a manual car you’re limiting your audience. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule for performance and sports cars where automatic transmission is almost a crime for true car enthusiasts, however that doesn’t apply to your average car or your average car owner.

 4. Beware the options                                                                                                           

Just because you spent $3,000 on a sunroof does not mean your car will be worth $3,000 more when you sell it years later. In fact, visit any car sales website and you’ll notice very little difference (if any) in price between cars of the same make and model that have differing extras.

The luxury options are great if they’ll add to your lifestyle or enjoyment of the car (for example, GPS navigation and heated seats), but don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll get this money back. In fact, you’re better off buying a later model or upgraded version of the same car than a lesser model that has all the add-ons.

Despite that, there are a few options that may make a slight difference to your resale or simply increase your competitiveness if there are other cars like yours for sale. If in doubt, here’s a quick guide…

Must have:


Floor mats

Air conditioning

Parking sensors

Nice to have:



Tinted windows

Ipod/ Aux in

Leather seats

Automatic transmission

A waste of money:

Rust proofing

Paint protection

Larger wheels

Metallic paint

Night vision

Premium sound system

Custom leather/ stitching

Heated seats

Extended warranty

5. Invest in car mats

Often as little as $150, original car mats will protect your car’s carpet from day one. The carpet is one of the hardest things to keep clean and maintain. Many years of tread wear (plus kids, dogs, spills, and more) will live in your carpet forever. By contrast, car mats can easily be replaced and will keep the carpet underneath looking near new.

You can also check out Janelle’s mobile mechanic business Blue Toro. 

Written by Janelle Gonzalez

Corporate escapee and mechanic’s wife Janelle Gonzalez has spent the last 24 years in garages, pit lanes and on road trips. Living a double life - corporate by weekday, trackside on the weekends - she shares her husband’s passion for cars. She has now turned her skills to building Australia’s first national mobile mechanic franchise. Her mission is to help Australians trust mechanics by educating car owners and returning to good old fashioned service values, while changing the lives of mechanics and their families.

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