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Why some cars are more valuable ?

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There are two friends: Manoj and Shefali. They both had purchased same car about 5 years ago. Both cars have clocked similar kilometres on the road. Now since they have decided to upgrade their cars, a sea of difference has cropped up in the resale value of both the cars.

For a layman it might sound strange, but there are various factors that can either bump up the resale value or pull it down. Let’s go through a few points, so that you can take steps to add money to the resale value of your four-wheeler or if you are planning to buy a used car, you will know what to look out for and be certain that you are paying the right amount for the right car.


Gender Bias

Statistics state that female drivers are more careful behind the wheel than their male counterparts. And vehicle insurance claims statistics prove that. So in turn, during the time of selling the car, the car driven by a female owner will fetch more resale value.

The Indian car market exploits this stereotype. But a car driven by a lady does not necessarily mean that it is well maintained. Always check the car, take a test drive, if you are not well acquainted with the dynamics of a car, and take your ‘expert’ friend or a mechanic along who will be a better judge. Getting professional Auto Inspection services to get the complete record of the vehicle is the most recommended way to ensure you get your hands on right vehicle.  


Profession does Matter

Profession matters a lot in the Indian used car market. And at times it makes sense too. A car owned by a high-ranking government official, doctor and lawyer will be marketed at a premium while selling. Because as they always have an official car that ferries them around and hence their own cars are driven less. As a result, such cars command a premium in the resale market.

So a similar make and model, low mileage car owned by a software engineer may sell cheaper than a car owned by a doctor.


Geographical Region

Mother Nature has a role to play in determining the used car prices in the different geographical regions. One of the biggest enemies of any car is rust. No matter how well it is maintained and serviced, nature will eventually catch up and do the damage. Cars that are driven near coastal regions are unable to command a premium reselling value as compared to cars that are driven in the dry regions. As the level of humidity is higher, the chance of rust is more in a coastal area.

However, cars in tier II cities are sold at a higher price as compared to cars sold in metropolitan cities like: Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Why? Well, metropolitan cities have too much traffic most of the time causing extra wear and tear on the engine and clutch plate of the car due to constant changing of gears.


Regular Servicing and Record Maintenance

Getting your car serviced from an authorized service station is not that important, right? Well, think again. A car that has proper records of all the services and maintenance checks regularly is bound to command a premium over cars which are not serviced regularly or have no records to claim that they were serviced. Authorized service stations keep a record of date and mileage when the car was serviced giving extra assurance to the buyer that what he is buying is a genuine thing.

Indian buyers don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to get peace of mind and assurance that they are getting a genuine deal.


State of Registration V/S State of Selling

A lot of times it may happen that the car is sold in a different state than the one from where it was originally bought. In such cases, a car sold outside its registration place will command a lower price as compared to a car that is sold in the same city from where it was bought.

This mainly happens due to two reasons. Firstly, the buyer in a different state has to pay the road tax again. Though, once the car is transferred to a different state one can claim the road tax paid in the state from where the car was bought, but the process is tedious and neither buyers nor sellers want to go through that. Secondly, some cities charge extra road tax compared to other cities to discourage the buyers from buying cars. If the seller of the car were from the latter, then buyer would have to cough up extra money for its registration in a different state.


City Driven V/S Highway Driven

If the car is mainly driven on highways, it usually gets a better re-selling price as compared to cars that are city driven. The reason for this being that highway driven cars cause lesser wear and tear on the engine, clutch plate and suspensions of the cars as compared to city driven cars. Thus, often buyers looking for second hand car will look for cars driven on highways rather than in a city.


 Tyres show true Picture

Tyres have life and they are bound to depreciate after certain kilometres. Depending on the quality of tyres, its life may range from 40,000-60,000kms. However, if the tyres are not aligned or balanced properly, there will be uneven wear and tear in the tyres. For example, one may notice that the wear and tear on one side of the tyre is more than the other. This causes extra strain on the suspensions of the car.

A car with uneven wear and tear thus will command a lower price as compare to a car with tyres that have gone through even wear and tear.


 Age Matters too

A car owned and driven by a young adult is usually sold at a lesser price as compared to car sold by an aged or ‘matured’ person. The reason for this is simple. The stereotype is that a young adult will drive a car more rashly as compared to an older guy or girl. As a result, buyers expect more wear and tear in cars driven by the young drivers.



Paint and body maintenance

The paint of your car is its skin that has to be maintained.  The moment you drive out of the showroom, your car is vulnerable to scratches and dents, which is inevitable on Indian roads. A car that has genuine spares and touch-ups done before re-selling can command a higher price as compared to a car that looks dented from every corner.

However, some people go overboard in this and end up losing money. Not only they end up spending too much money on the painting work, but a 5 year old car with no dent at all definitely raises an eyebrow especially when it is driven in a metropolitan city like Delhi where it is bound to get minor dents and scratches.


Customization – To be or not to be

Lot of people add extra parts to the car like wider tyres, spoilers and other such things to enhance the driving experience and the overall look of the car. However, when it is put up for re-sale it may command in fact a lower price as compared to a car that was maintained in its original form.

Buyers don’t like to buy a car with too many add-ons as they can never be sure if those parts are genuine or not and are also apprehensive about these parts interfering with the performance of the car. For instance, wider tyre causes mileage to go down and also put extra pressure on the engine. However, some add-ons are welcome like a genuine music system.


Interior care

This is a no brainer; interiors of a car say a lot about the car and its owner. A car with shabby and un-kept interiors will command a lower price as compared to a same car that has clean and well-maintained interiors.

Though this may not have any relation with the condition of the car’s engine or suspension, but buyers are apprehensive and shabby interiors can make anyone believe that the driver has not maintained the car properly.


First owner Vs Second Owner

Buyers most of the time will not prefer buying a car that has changed hands multiple times. This maybe more psychological than logical but it does also hold up true many times. A car that has been owned by more than one owner is not seen as a worthy buy compared to a car that has single owner.

While these factors are most important, there is one factor that cannot be ruled out and plays a very important role; it may be called luck or timing. Keeping luck aside, these factors definitely play a very important role in deciding the re-sale value of the car in the Indian market.

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