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Choosing the specification and options for your next new or used car will be the factors that will affect your budget the most, so it is important to get this bit right in order to cash in when you sell. Get things wrong at this stage and your car could lose a substantial amount of money.
When it comes to choosing the specification of your car, don’t be too vain. For example, you might think that splashing out £1,500 on a special paint job will make your car look extra cool, but it is guaranteed you’ll never get that money back at resale.
When I chose my Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate I opted for white, which according to the latest figures was the most popular colour of new car on the road. Other similarly popular colours included black, grey and silver, for the simple reason that nobody is really going to take offence with these colours at resale.
Premium cars such as Mercedes-Benz models are usually a safe bet when it comes to resale time as they come from a highly esteemed, reliable brand which car-buyers can identify with, but there is always more that can be done to maximise value.
The five key areas to consider are satellite navigation and multimedia systems including Bluetooth, leather trim, upgraded alloy wheels, a panoramic roof and parking sensors. Specify these on a car such as the C-Class estate and you’ll benefit from receiving at least half the extra cost back if you sell after one year of ownership. After two years, the benefit will be around 40 per cent, at three, 30 per cent, and so on.
Being fairly short, I do consider parking sensors as a highly worthwhile addition to any car, and I don’t know where I would be without by Bluetooth system which enables me to synchronise my iPhone with the car’s entertainment system and also make phone calls from the car without a headset, which really is an essential modern-day safety mechanism to ensure better and safer driving.
Finally, and most importantly, never buy a car at face value – it could end up costing you money from the minute you drive it off the forecourt. In particular, if you are buying a second-hand car, make sure that it has been thoroughly checked to ensure it hasn’t been clocked or has outstanding finance left on it to pay. At Trusted Dealers, all of our cars are Experian or HPI checked so that we can offer our customers the added peace of mind that the car they purchase is the right one.