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Buying a Used Car but ensuring it’s an Investment for Your Family

When you buy a “new” car for your family, if you’re like me it’s a lottery. I’ve owned cars that I’ve sold in weeks but the majority have been diamonds in the rough I’ve kept for years.

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But when you’re looking for your next car is it a forever car or a car for a few years? It’s important to know to either keep a great resell value or more saleable when the time comes. If it’s your forever car, you want to be the envy of your neighbours, here are a few tips to ensure you’re maximising your investment!

Styling it out

Did you know that different models of the same car can sometimes have minor styling difference between years? It could be headlights, trim or wheels. Look at a Porche 911 for example. I honestly can’t tell you which year or version one was if I was looking from the front/side. Have a look for facelift versions of your cars when buying, or older models with the newer kit on. It could mean more bang for your buck when selling on in the future or at least make it more sellable.

Colour

Just because you like Neon Green doesn’t mean everyone else does. If you’re looking for a forever car and don’t mind the odd squashed frog reference go for it. But if it’s not, then go with the norm that you know there will be a market for after. Standard colours, greys and blacks, never go out of fashion.

Shape

The same car can have different shapes/models. My car, for example, is the sports wagon version of the Peugeot 508. It gives me significant room in the boot but also I love the styling. However. It’s a different car and the added weight/size will also affect the performance. I’ve always used Parkers for a general guide on the reliability/reviews of each specific model and most of my cars have been great. Think about how you’re going to use it.

How are you going to use it?

You can’t get a beasty sizes motor, that does 0-100 in 6 seconds and does 55mpg. Think about what you’re looking for and understand the compromise. If it’s a family car, running costs may be important as they were to me, so the smaller engined version meant a better return. It also means when it’s sale time, I’ll be selling to the same audience. Think about tomorrow, the day after etc. That special drift button may be great twice a year, or the three doors looking great, but if there’s no room for the wife and kids to sit comfortably, you’ll regret it!

Make it your own

I’ve bought personalised reg plates from New Reg in Preston before for my old BMW Z3 and my CLK. Cars that hadn’t changed shape over a number of years and looked awesome. Having the plates on not only gave me a way of showing off my wife and daughter’s initials but also hiding the true age of the car to the public. Because they were both beautiful cars for their age, it also meant that buyers were not put off my old reg’s and rather relished in their styling.

I hope that helps you understand a few of the buyer’s thoughts around cars, how best to maximise your investment and if it’s your forever car, but one and make it your own.

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