Most people buy a car for two reasons. Obviously, the primary one it to drive it – but many of us invest in an auto in order to sell for a decent price later on. In addition to the performance of a motor, its long-term value is essential. A car valuation can reveal just how much a model is worth at any time.

But if you’re not entirely sure what it involves, don’t worry. Our expert guide contains all you need to know about these checks.

What is a vehicle specification check?

A vehicle specification check lives up to its name – in essence, it calculates the exact value of a specific model. While this previously would have required you to rifle through the documents you received when you first bought your car, the process can now be carried out online. In fact, finding out the value of your motor can be as easy as going through a specialist company website. CAP HPI, for example, has access to every auto registered within the last 20 years. And so, its staff are able to provide in-depth vehicle reports, allowing you to price yours accurately. This is particularly useful for companies wanting to sell car fleets, as this option allows them to assess the individual and collective value of their cars hassle-free.

Do any factors affect the outcome?

Very often, the factor that affects your car’s value the most is its age. While brand new vehicles boast high value, this can drop by up to 50 per cent over the years after it’s been manufactured. Older models, however, are unlikely to suffer as high a reduction in value.

Unsurprisingly, how much a young car declines in value is usually influenced by its make – motors from premium brands typically retain their worth better than ones from cheaper companies. Though age and make are the two main influences on a car’s value, there are steps you can take to maintain its worth, too.

How can I sustain the value of my car?

Whether you use yours for business, pleasure or both, it’s vital to keep your car in top condition. To gain positive results from a vehicle specification check, you simply need to treat it wisely. As obvious as it may sound, this involves driving with care. For example, try not to take your motor out in the snow – if the road’s been gritted, snow could cause the metal components of your vehicle to corrode.

Also, if you’re wanting to sell your motor – or motors – soon, look out for any scuffs, marks or other noticeable signs of damage. While you’ll no doubt have already sorted out major problems with your car before putting it on the market, it’s just as important to attend to minor ones. After all, the better its condition, the higher you’ll be likely to sell it for. You may be selling second-hand, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the buying price.

It’s essential to keep your car at a premium value – whether you’re a fleet owner, avid driver or have just passed your test. Maintain its worth, and you won’t just heighten your chances of selling it in the future – you’ll be able to enjoy better, safer driving for longer.