RESALE – Will my car be a hit?

Most of us buy cars with the heart – we want a specific brand, body variant, engine and gearbox type, accessories and colour. Get the combination right and your dream ride could well be someone else’s, easy to move on.

So, what’s the winning criteria?

  1. Brand: Owning a car with a high brand value, one that is popular in the market to begin with, is half the battle won. Moving a Japanese, German or Korean car from a mainstream brand is easy as values and popularity remain relatively high. It is less easy if your car is a niche one with lower sales volumes – one that has become notorious for poor build quality, high parts prices, shocking safety credentials or a very small dealer footprint.
  1. Body type: In the passenger segment, four-door hatches and sedans, crossovers and double cab bakkies are most popular. Convertibles, coupes, sports cars and outright performance cars are less in number and hence have a potentially smaller audience to appeal to in the used market. That said, often because these are niche cars, and because of their relative scarcity, the resale values often outstrip that mainstream choices, of which there are plenty to choose from, often too many. For instance, at any given time there are roughly 16 000 Toyota Hilux models for sale on Gumtree, and only a limited number of coupe-type Toyota 86 models.
  1. Engine: Large gas guzzlers are out, while small, eco-friendly petrol or diesel engines are very much in vogue. For buyers on a budget, it has everything to do with running costs.
  1. Gearbox: With increasing traffic congestions, automatic gearboxes are finding increasing favour. Modern ‘boxes are quick-shifting, often have a controllable sports setting, often have a manual function for more fun to drive, and since it keeps the engine tuning at the speed where it optimally produces its power, results in the engine using less fuel. It’s a win-win all-round.
  1. Accessories: Contrary to popular belief, all the factory extras added when a car was brand new means little come resale time, especially if the accessory is of a very sophisticated electronic nature. The potential for expensive maintenance costs down the line is bigger. Broad-based ‘blue book’ used values are calculated purely by averages for that that car in terms of sales volumes, popularity and stock availability. It’s not to say the tow bar did not add value, but perhaps the factory nav was a bad choice considering there are cheaper portable aftermarket units with much improved functionality available.
  1. Colour: In South Africa, white and silver are the easiest to resell – darker colours like black and navy blue being less so. Were we in Europe, the converse is true – darker colours are favoured over lighter ones. Hues of silver include grey, and the local trend is very much in line with that of other countries considered to have hot and sunny climes. It seems buyer preference revolves around white, silver/grey, black/blue, red, and then shades of yellow, brown and green.


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