More than half didn't know that the choice between petrol diesel, and electric could have a huge impact on their car's value.

With all the negative press surrounding diesels right now, it might come as a surprise that most motorists don't understand that their choice of petrol or diesel could have a big impact on the car's resale value.

While some won't care, others will be completely unaware of the financial impact. According to a new poll from Cooper Solutions 58 percent of buyers just don't know. Depreciation is the biggest cost faced by many, and one big factor of that is fuel type.

Fuel isn't the only resale affecting feature that motorists seemingly overlook. Only 19 percent of those surveyed picked a colour based on resale value, with 12 percent opting for a hue that reflected their personality. That's not really a concern – when picking a colour, you'd expect most to pick what they wanted, rather than what a prospective next owner might want in three, four, five or more year's time. What is concerning though is that only 23 percent of the people in the survey realised that a car interior’s stains and smells as a result of regularly eating and drinking in the car could affect resale prices, almost half (49 percent) admit that they do this. What's more, only 36 percent of the survey said they wash their car regularly.

'With the wealth of motoring advice available to consumers, often at their fingertips, it’s surprising to learn how cavalier car owners are when it comes to driving habits and how little consideration is given to preserving the vehicle’s value whatever the fuel type,' said Kate Shakesheff, used car buyer’s champion at Cooper Solutions. 'The bane of many of a motor dealer’s life, is the smell of cigarette smoke on upholstery, which is almost impossible to get rid of and deters a good number of potential new owners.'

'Dealers can play a key role in preserving resale values by helping customers to understand that careful driving and keeping the car clean and well-presented is of equal importance to regular servicing and making repairs.'