11 Jun 15

Personalisation - beware the resale value

The trend towards increasing personalisation of cars is creating a situation where the trade is finding a growing number of models difficult to value and tricky to sell. Trade publication Glass’s points uses the example of cars such as the Vauxhall Adam and Citroen DS3, which can be personalized, as models for which the ‘wrong’ kind of cosmetic choices made by new owners can have a dramatic effect on values.

Rupert Pontin, Head of Valuations at Glass's, explained: “Factors such as colour have always had a large impact on residual values but the trend towards increasing visual personalisation is magnifying the effect. You could have two Vauxhall Adams that are ostensibly the same on paper but, in the metal, are clearly hundreds or thousands of pounds apart in value because of choices that the original buyer made. There are some very cosmetically compromised cars around with colour, trim and wheel combinations that looked good to the first owner on the original order form but are not so attractive in the auction hall”.

He went on to give an example: “The mauve supermini with a tartan roof and yellow wing mirrors running on 13 inch white alloys might look horrendous to a middle aged man like me but great to a 17 year old who has just passed their test. The problem is that the trade finds it very difficult to know how to value some of these vehicles so will tend to price them down in order to minimise the financial risk”.

This all recalls the situation in the UK over recent decades where a particular range of royal-ish blue colours was quite simply known by the resale trade as ‘doom blue’.

Authored by: Tim Harrup