One sure way to boost your car's resale value

Selling a car so you can buy a new one can be a challenge. Here’s one way to give yourself an edge

ONE CAREFUL OWNER, accident-free, like new… those are terms you'd like to put on your ad when it's time to sell your car, but there's a simple way to enhance its value: make sure you have a full service history.

That means keeping a record of all the work that's been done on the car, a process that shows meticulous, caring ownership.

In some countries, a full service history has been found to add as much as 23 percent to the value of a used car. One survey found that nearly half of used car buyers will ignore cars that doesn't have one.

The same study found that the only 37 percent of used car buyers felt that servicing at a third-party workshop had the same value as getting your car looked at by an authorised dealer.

Maintaining a full servicing history doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, it can be automatic — an authorised distributor will keep careful digital records of all work done on a car for customers. You can count on a dealer not just to maintain your car, but to maintain the service history with it, in other words.

Keeping a full service history of course entails taking your car for regular servicing, but that can be made both more convenient and cost-effective by investing in a servicing package.

At Cycle & Carriage, for example, there is a Care Service Plan for Mitsubishi, Kia or Citroën cars that covers four servicing sessions over two years. Opting for it is 20 percent cheaper than the normal servicing charges.

The plan also includes a 15 percent discount during the period for any additional parts purchase and complimentary 24-hour roadside assistance.

Such servicing plans save hundreds of dollars compared to having the work done on an ad hoc basis, but the real benefit is a car that generally runs better and is more efficient thanks to regular maintenance.

Think of the full service history as your car’s way of paying you back when it’s time to say farewell.

And if you're sceptical of the value of a full servicing record, just ask yourself which one you would buy if you had to choose between two used cars: one whose owner was meticulous about its servicing needs, or one who owner claims to have taken good care of his car but doesn’t have the records to prove it?