“Surely it’s worth more than that?”

“But I’ve really looked after it”

Whether private or business, when it comes to acquiring a new car or entering a new lease or contract hire agreement most people end up saying one of the above statements.

This comes when a car is valued for part exchange or a lease or contract hire car is handed back. People always feel sure their car is worth more than they’re being offered.

Over the next few months we are going to look at the best ways to keep as much value in your vehicle as possible. We’ll also look at the ‘fair wear and tear’ rules for handing back lease or contract hire cars. This way you know exactly where you stand and we hope you’ll find some of these tips helpful.

Part 1 – Exchange values

At GWA we always advise our clients that a private sale will generally give you the highest return on your old car. All well and good, but most people really don’t have the time or inclination to go through the rigmarole of advertising, bartering and everything else that comes with selling cars.

Part exchange is the simplest solution, but you need to make sure you get the maximum value for your old vehicle. The following tips will help:

  1. Maintenance is key! Keep your vehicle serviced as per the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule and keep records.
  2. Body and paintwork should be kept in good condition. There are lots of companies that will come to your home or workplace to repair small dings and dents, even your alloy wheels, at a reasonable price.
  3. Excessive mileage should be avoided. High Mileage is a value killer, so if you have the option of a second car, why not alternate vehicles so you don’t put too many miles on one car.
  4. Excessive wear and tear can be costly. If you tow, make sure you’re not pulling more weight than the car can take. When driving on bad or uneven roads, or even off-road, take extra care, especially if your car isn’t designed for it.
  5. Keep the car as clean as possible. The more often it’s cleaned the easier it is to keep clean!
  6. Bad smells can also reduce the value of your car, so try to avoid smoking and eating in your car. This also helps prevent stains and burns to the upholstery, further reducing the value.

To be continued…

Look out for the next issue, where we’ll take a closer look at lease and contract hire ‘fair wear and tear’ rules.


GWA (UK) Ltd. Registered office: Brebners, 130 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 5AR. Registered in England no: 2724347. CCL no: 347030. GWA (UK) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 674099. VAT no: 218 3946 90. Data Protection no: Z7220937
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