Used Cars: Everything That Causes Them To Depreciate

Used Cars: Everything That Causes Them To Depreciate

Used Cars: Everything That Causes Them To Depreciate

There are all sorts of things that can cause your car to depreciate. If you want to protect its value, it’s important to understand what causes it…


Mileage has an enormous effect on the rate of depreciation. Why? Because it’s probably the best indicator of overall wear and tear. If a car has covered an extensive amount of miles, it’s likely been subjected to the elements, experienced wear to its components and otherwise been knocked around; a straightforward logic. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to get around this. Buying a car and not using it sort of defeats the point! That said, if you’re buying a used car, be aware of so-called ‘car-clocking’. This is the increasingly common practice of altering a car’s mileage to make it look ‘newer’ or less worn.

Fuel Type

As a general rule, cars with a better fuel-economy will depreciate more slowly. This means that electric vehicles and hybrids tend to retain their value longer than the more traditional power-trains. Circumstance can be a major influence, too. The ramifications of Dieselgate are still being felt and demand for diesel models has contracted considerably. Either way, if you want a sound investment opt for a vehicle for a good mph rating or for a ‘greener’ fuel-type.


Probably the best (and most obvious) way of reducing the impact of depreciation is to look after your car; both inside and out. Avoid dents and scratches, don’t rip the upholstery and try not to stain the fabric with the smell of nicotine. Conducting regular maintenance checks can also make a major difference. These include topping up your oil levels, keeping your car’s engine fan clear of debris and checking the battery for any leaks. Make sure not to neglect trips to the garage, either. Whilst no one enjoys a repair or servicing bill, it’s more economical in the long-term as it preserves the car’s value and prevents even more expensive problems from popping up.


Different models depreciate at different speeds. It’s simply a question of popularity. Some models can lose up to 60% of the value after just three years, others can keep 70% of it. Luxury and sports models tend to retain their value for longer periods of time. But that’s not to say more mainstream cars can’t ward off an impressive amount of depreciation. When buying a car, consider its popularity and its brand’s commitment to it. When buying a used car, try to verify overall demand; you can find all sorts of price guides online.


A simple and easy way to reduce the rate of a car’s depreciation is by keeping its documentation safe and orderly. This will detail its service history, MOT guide and registration. It’s the only way to demonstrate that the car’s fully legal and has been properly looked after over the course of its life. Used cars that lack any of these documents should be regarded with suspicion and are best avoided. If you’ve somehow lost some of your documents, bear in mind that it’s possible to purchase full history checks for as little as £6 from major motoring organisations.

Cars Are Lasting So Long That Automakers Are Losing Money:

10 Things You Should Never Do To Your Car:

With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, Autoserve can keep your car moving smoothly. For any further questions please call Autoserve on 0121 521 3500.

Share this story