Fleet News

Marketwatch: Value of options varies from car to car

CHOOSING options on a car at buying time to maximise its value at selling time is a lottery unless you research each specific model of vehicle.

Residual value forecaster CAP says the features most sought after by used car buyers varies significantly from car to car.

For example, buyers of a Volkswagen Golf 1.6 SE particularly look for leather upholstery, while Passat 2.0 SE buyers prize xenon headlights.

Leather is valued less than satellite navigation by the buyers of a Renault Megane 1.6 VVTi Privilege, while climate control adds most to the used value of a Renault Laguna 1.8 16v Dynamique.

CAP also warns that choosing expensive options from new, to maximise RVs, can send wholelife costs soaring.

Take, for example, the value of a Mercedes-Benz C180 K Elegance SE automatic after three years and 60,000 miles.

The total options bill for choosing sat-nav, leather, electric glass roof and Parktronic reversing alarm from new is £4,620. But in the used market those features retain about £850, adding £3,770 to the cost of ownership over a typical fleet cycle.

Colour also plays a significant role in used car value. On the BMW 3-series, eight of the 12 available colours reduced the car’s value after three years and 60,000 miles. Choosing a new car in alpine white knocked £650 off the used car’s worth.

However, picking sapphire black would add £40.

CAP database manager John Watts, said: ‘Our research shows that the values of option choices are not generic across the used market, but model-specific.

‘This demonstrates the value of greater depth of understanding than ever before when calculating true depreciation.’

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