New York Times Tells Us What Features Increase Resale Value

September 26, 2007 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

Christopher Jensen writing for the New York Times started off his article with the similarity between homeowners and car owners although I think that car owners are also homeowners. Anyway, he pointed out that homeowners know that some improvements they have made to a house will “pay off handsomely” when the house is put up for sale. This goes the same for car owners.

For those looking to buy a car and sell it after four or five years, any improvement that they have made on their daily driver will surely improve its resale value. And adversely, anything opposite of improvement will definitely lower the price of the car when the time comes to sell it. Just common sense really. But that’s not the entirety of it because Mr. Jensen’s article took an in-depth look as to what improvements will bring your car’s resale value higher.

According to Jack Nerad, the executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book in an interview, safety equipments are good investments to make sure that the resale value of car would be high. “Safety equipment seems to be gaining in strength in terms of being an important feature.” But which safety equipments should we have in our car? Jesse Toprak of Edmunds gave us a guideline. He said that think ahead and figure out which safety feature will become standard equipment four or five years down the road.

Aside from a guideline, Mr. Toprak also gave us some example. He said that a minivan without side-curtain airbags is a big no-no. Thanks to the New York Times, we know now that five years from now, minivans will more likely have side curtain airbags as standard feature. So if I buy a minivan without that safety feature now, or after writing this post, I would be left with a vehicle that will have a low resale value five years from now. That’s not too good, right? After all, one of the reasons why some of us sell their cars after five years or so is to buy a new car with the sale of the old car financing the downpayment for the new one.

And if you want to have a bigger payoff when it is time to sell your car, consider buying a diesel-engined car. According to the same article, Mr. James Clark, the senior manager at Automotive Lease Guide, said that in 2005, a buyer of a Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI, the diesel variant in the E-Class lineup, will pay $575 more than a gasoline E320. During the time of purchase, one might think that buying the gasoline version is the better choice. But today, according to Mr. Clark, the diesel Mercedes-Benz resells for $5,000 more than the gasoline version. Hmmm… so stay away from gasoline-engined minivans without side curtain airbags.

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