Home Leisure & Lifestyle Here’s a List of Things Motorists Do That Won’t Pay Off When Selling Up

Here’s a List of Things Motorists Do That Won’t Pay Off When Selling Up

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To make sure you get a fair deal when selling your car, John Hood, responsible for Motorpoint’s Sell Your Car offering, reveals what will cost you when selling your car and what’s not worth addressing before you get a valuation.

Do you have both sets of car keys? You could lose out if not

Having two sets of keys can boost a car’s value and even seal the deal when it comes to selling. John claims that not having both sets, especially the original key, could even make it impossible to sell your car, as without being able to use the central lock, buyers would need to rely on manually locking the vehicle, which would make it less desirable.

Consider the cost of key replacement and its impact on the vehicle’s worth. John adds, “The average cost to replace a key is around £240, but a new remote or keyless entry key for a modern vehicle could cost you more than £1,000. However, without both sets of keys, expect to see anywhere between 5 and 10% less for your vehicle.”

According to data from Motorpoint’s Sell Your Car service, motorists without both sets of keys could be missing out on as much as £1,530 when it comes to selling their car.

Having over 100,000 miles on the clock could knock off up to £3,000

Whether you’re planning to part-exchange your car or sell it outright, it’s worth keeping an eye on the mileage of your vehicle. John adds, “There’s an outdated perception in the industry that cars that have done over 100,000 miles are less reliable. While most modern cars could easily do almost double this, once a car has hit 100,000 miles, its value can drop by up to 20% because of this view.

“We recommend that motorists sell their vehicles before they reach this mark because, simply put, the lower the mileage, the higher the price you’ll get for your car. To give you an idea of just how much you could be missing out on, I predict that motorists could expect to see over £3,000 knocked off the value of the car once its mileage exceeds 100,000, which is a really significant loss.” 

Removing modifications could increase a vehicles value by £6,000

“It’s a common myth that cars with superficial decorations, such as stickers, will be valued at a much lower price.” says John. “While stickers don’t directly affect pricing, customising a car can have significant implications, potentially deterring prospective buyers. 

“The psychology behind it, especially in cases involving performance modifications like speed stripes, may insinuate irresponsible driving habits on the part of the owner.

“Performance enhancements such as swapping out exhausts, rather than adding value, can lead to reduced sale prices, sometimes by as much as 40%, meaning you’ve not only spent money modifying your vehicle, but you’ll also be missing out when it comes to selling. In extreme cases, motorists with modified cars could lose out on somewhere near £6,120 in resale value.” He adds.

This should be considered before modifying a vehicle. Remove aftermarket additions before selling to maintain the vehicle’s value, but when it comes to stickers, they’re probably fine to leave, unless being used to cover damage. 

Investing in a professional valet could pay off

While cleaning your car is essential before selling, many motorists will consider whether a professional valet will be more cost-effective than doing it themselves. John says:

“First impressions really do count, so it’s no surprise that a dirty or messy vehicle can have an impact on its value. You’re best off cleaning the entire car, inside and out, before looking to sell, as this could make a difference to your valuation price. If you think you could do a good job yourself, there’s no need to pay for a professional clean, as this could cost you up to £150.

“It’s also worth keeping in mind that smoking or having pets travel in the car regularly could also impact the price by 10% because the smell can be hard to shift, making the vehicle less attractive to future buyers.”

A poorly kept car could knock over £1,500 off its value, so keeping it clean and well-maintained is really worth it. 

See the dashboard lights or expect to miss out on up to £4,590 

Warning lights can knock up to 30% off the value of your car when looking to sell it.

“Warning lights on your dashboard can significantly impact the resale value of your vehicle, as they indicate that something is wrong. Without speaking to a mechanic, it can be difficult to know how much the repairs will cost. As a result, you can expect a significant chunk of the value of your car to be knocked off, as those buying will want to ensure they don’t end up out of pocket. 

“While it’s dependent on the value of your vehicle, the average motorist could expect to see as much as £4,500 knocked off the value of your car. In many cases, it really is cheaper to get the issue fixed before selling.”

Private plates don’t increase the value of your car

They might look good, but private number plates are a personal modification to a vehicle and therefore will impact its value when looking to sell. You could expect anywhere from £200 to £300 to be knocked off.

John says: “You probably want to keep your private number plate when you sell up, but if for any reason you don’t want it anymore, it’s probably best to sell it separately than with the vehicle.

“Not only are you likely to get a good price for them, but a personalised plate won’t make the value of your car higher. In many cases, you’ll be charged for the inconvenience and time it would take to return the car to the age-related plates.” 

Tread depth matters, and could cost you 

When it comes to your wheels, tread carefully. John highly recommends motorists ensure tyres meet legal tread depth requirements before looking to sell.

He adds: “Most car dealerships will charge you for the time and inconvenience of changing your tyres if they aren’t up to scratch, so it’s a good idea to double check your tyre tread before looking to sell your car.

“You can do this yourself by putting a 20-p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin becomes hidden, your tread meets legal requirements. However, if the outer band remains visible, your tyres might be unsafe and potentially illegal.”

When testing your tyres, make sure there are at least three spots on each tyre. Since this test is swift and straightforward, prioritise your safety by performing tyre checks monthly to avoid breaking the law. 

Scratches could deduct £50 off your valuation, per scuff 

Even minor chips can impact your car’s value. Motorpoint suggests addressing any damage to your vehicle to avoid missing out on its full value. According to the experts, motorists could see as much as £50 per scratch knocked off an initial valuation if their car doesn’t meet the condition you stated, so it’s worth getting these checked out.

John adds, “It’s wise to repair any chips or damage to your car before you think about selling, as they can reduce how much you can expect to get for your vehicle.

“Depending on the type or severity of the damage, you could go through your insurance, as your policy may cover the costs. Shop around for quotes too, as local, independent garages will probably be cheaper than a main dealer; just make sure colours and parts are authentic, as odd or ingenuine matching could knock off thousands.”

Keep up with service checks to prevent losing out on up to £2k

It might not seem like a big deal at the time, but falling behind on your car’s service schedule can prove to be a costly mistake when selling your car. An incomplete service history will reduce your car’s value by 10–15% – and even more if your car is still within the manufacturer’s warranty period, as this will be void if you haven’t kept up with your services.

John adds, “If you are looking to save money, it’s worth getting quotes from local garages instead of relying solely on main dealerships when it comes to MOT and service work. This approach won’t void your warranty and can result in significantly lower prices, with quotes sometimes being up to two-thirds cheaper. Just be vigilant and ensure that genuine parts are always being used.”

The process of selling a car can come with potential pitfalls that unsuspecting motorists could pay the price for, as Motorpoint warns that rushing to accept low offers to speed up the sale can result in receiving only half of what the vehicle is truly worth.

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