As a general rule, when you are browsing sites like mywealthandinvestment you are unlikely to find articles that suggest you make money from cars, as they are mainly viewed as depreciating assets, except for some rare and classic vehicles.

You know that your vehicle is going to be worth less than you paid for it almost immediately, but it can help you to manage the scale of the depreciation if you know what factors are particularly influential in driving the price down.

Here are some of the key aspects that contribute to vehicle depreciation.

Miles on the clock

Although modern vehicles are built to a better standard and tend to perform well for longer it is still a negative if your vehicle has higher than average mileage.

The average motorist does about 10,000 miles per year and anything above that rate will mean your vehicle will be worth less.

The badge

There is no disputing that some brands have a better reputation for reliability than others and this has an impact on values.

If you drive a car that is made by a manufacturer with a poor reputation for quality and reliability that will be reflected in its future value.

Looking after your car


You should look to get your car serviced at the prescribed service intervals. A car with a good service history will hold its value more than one with a patchy or non-existent maintenance and repair record.

How many owners?

Buyers tend to find that a high number of previous owners is off-putting and that will drive the value down.

The fewer the number of previous owners the better it is in terms of holding value.

Old model

Manufacturers update their range periodically and when they bring out a new version of your model it often has an immediate impact on the value of your vehicle.

If you can buy the most recent model it should hold its value better.

A source of comfort

If your car still has the manufacturer’s warranty or you have paid for an extended warranty that should help retain a better sale price when you decide to change.

Running costs

If your car doesn’t boast very good fuel economy figures that will also prove detrimental to its value.

Generally, the more miles to the gallon your car does the better it is for halting the slide in value.

Showroom condition


It is inevitable that your vehicle will show signs of wear and tear as it ages but if you try to maintain the condition of the bodywork and interior you will be rewarded with a higher residual value.

Just the right size

The size of your vehicle matters when it comes to depreciation.

You will often find that larger vehicles depreciate at a faster rate than smaller cars, mainly because of the running costs and cheaper parts.

Insurance costs

It is often better to buy a vehicle that is not expensive to insure. A high-performance sports car will be nice to drive but if the insurance costs are prohibitive this could have an impact on its value.

Every new car loses money the moment it leaves the showroom and that decline continues as time goes by, but you can at least help reduce the impact by thinking about the factors that might leave you more out of pocket than you hoped.

Leave a Comment