Almost one-in-five car owners avoid carrying children to enhance resale values

Our latest research highlights the lengths some owners will go to in order to increase a car's value, including avoiding carrying pets and not smoking...

Child sitting in a car

Nearly a fifth of car owners say that they avoid carrying children when they can in order to enhance their vehicle's resale value, according to exclusive What Car? research.

What Car? surveyed 1070 in-market buyers, of which 987 were current vehicle owners, to find out which habits they avoid in order to help boost the value of their cars on the used car market. 

In total, 17.9% of respondents said they avoid carrying small children in their vehicle when they can, while 66.2% forbid smoking in their car. A third (33.6%) avoid carrying pets in their vehicle, and 38.7% said they avoid using their vehicle for towing, with the hopes of improving the car’s future value. However, almost a third (30.2%) placed no restrictions in their car. 

Dog sitting in a car

As part of the survey, we also asked buyers whether any of the above would be a dealbreaker when considering a used car. A model which had been smoked in was a dealbreaker for 58.6% of respondents, while 30.6% also said they’d avoid cars which had carried dogs or other pets. A car which had been used for towing would be ignored by 36.5% of buyers.

It is illegal to smoke in any car when someone under 18 is also inside the vehicle, unless you're in a convertible with the roof fully down, are using an e-cigarette, or are a 17-year-old driver alone in the car. Breaking this law could lead to a £50 fine.

Although nearly a fifth avoid carrying children in their cars to improve the secondhand value, previous owners with kids were a deal-breaker for just 4.3% of potential used buyers. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (24.3%) were fine with all of the above on a used car.  

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Shop our latest used car deals  >>