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How to value a car?

If you’re looking to value a car, you’re probably in the process of buying or selling a used car. No matter which side of the deal you’re on, figuring out the true value of a vehicle is an important part of the process, and accuracy is key. Most cars depreciate over time and use, but they do vary, so understanding your car’s value in the current market will help car sellers make an informed decision. informed judgments about which cars to buy and which not to buy.

However, car valuation is not only for buyers and sellers, If your car was purchased with PCP’s financial planAccurate valuation can play an important role in helping you decide whether to return your vehicle or buy it right away. If your vehicle has been written off or stolen, getting an accurate valuation will also help you ensure that the insurance company offering you the settlement is fair.

We’ve put together this car valuation guide that explains depreciation, the do’s and don’ts when researching car prices, and a few small things you can do while you’re driving your car to convert to better price when it comes time to sell. Of course, if you just want Free, fast pricing on your vehicle, our onsite tool will do the job…

How much is my car worth?

If it’s time to sell a car you originally bought, you should expect to profit from its original value. As a rough guide, mainstream production cars lose about 60% of their original value within 3 years of average mileage. This rate of loss means that a car you buy for £25,000 will earn you £10,000 just three years later.

It’s not that simple, of course, because some cars retain their value better than others, and some vintage, limited edition and rare cars can really increase in value over time. time.

What factors influence your used car valuation the most?

You can guess many factors that affect the value of a car. In the first case, it is the make and model of the car, engine, transmission, trim level and any options fitted. Exterior paint colors and interior trim will also have an effect. Weird and wonderful color schemes can make a car hard to sell while certain colors are especially popular on certain cars. It’s a question of what the market likes.

Then you have an understanding of the factors involved in how the car has been used and cared for. Range and service history are obvious factors plus the mechanical condition of the vehicle, any cosmetic damage it has suffered, or any defects in wear and tear. The low cost of an expensive service or fastener replacement can also affect the price.

When you’re selling a car, buyers find problems that could potentially cost them money to fix and try to lower the price they pay to compensate.

Which cars hold their value best?

Here are 10 of the slowest cars to depreciate by residual value after three years and 36,000 miles.


Retention rate of OTR . price

Porsche 911 2Dr Coupe 3.0T


Aston Martin DBX 5Dr SUV 4.0 V8


Land Rover Range Rover Sport 5Dr 3.0D MHEV


Volvo XC40 5Dr SUV PiH 1.5h T4 10.7kWh


Land Rover Defender 110 5Dr 3.0D MHEV


Lexus NX 300 5Dr 4WD 2.5 hours


Toyota RAV4 5Dr 2WD 2.5 VVT-h


Ford Mustang 2Dr Fastback 5.0 V8


Alpine A110 2Dr Coupe 1.8 Turbo


Skoda Karoq 5Dr 1.0 TSi


Perhaps unsurprisingly, premium-brand cars tend to hold more value than entry-level models. But some of the more affordable cars also keep a high percentage of their original price on the road. Limited edition or special edition models may be more desirable in the used car market as higher spec and performance cars can also retain more value, though though not always.

Age, make and specifications are factors that can’t be changed after buying a car, but where every driver can make a difference is in how well they take care of their car. Mileage is an important factor in the value of a vehicle, and keeping it low (if you can) will go a long way to securing a higher selling price.

Keeping a vehicle well maintained (and keeping all receipts and stamps to prove it) will make it more attractive and valuable to buyers. A clean and well-maintained car will always sell for a better price than a sloppy car with no history; The more proof of care, the happier the next buyer will be.

While it can be an expensive inconvenience to have to get the job done, calculate carefully whether the cost of repairing a scratched alloy, cracked panel or light lens will be reimbursed to you at the end of the day. timing of resale or not – a previously introduced car is often a magnet for buyers.

The seasonal factor is also worth paying attention to. It might be a cliché, but convertibles and sport car prices increase in the spring. Similarly, 4×4 seconds and SUVs tends to be more in demand in winter. There are also broader market factors, with used car prices holding firmer when there’s a shortage in the market or falling when there’s more.

How to value your car

You can get a rough estimate of your car’s value by going to a classifieds website and searching for your specific vehicle make, model and year, along with similar mileage, to see price is being asked.

Remember that most advertisers will usually accept an offer close to the asking price and professional traders will always ask more than private sellers. Buyers who use resellers are often willing to pay more because these agents can offer monthly financial incentives and warranties. There are also more legal protections if things don’t go as planned.

Hand holding a model car and a stack of coins

However, dealers have to make a living, so they will give you a lower amount if you exchange your car for a new one. As a general rule, a dealer will want to ‘increase the price’ from £500 to £2,000 per car, depending on the value and any work that needs to be done.

If your car is a bit out of the ordinary, such as 4×4, sport car, tram or classic, it may be worth finding a professional willing to give more for a car they can sell quickly.

If checking classifieds feels a bit like being shot in the dark, an online valuation tool can give you a more accurate estimate. Powered by live valuation data collected from across the UK market, these tools are generally free to use and will provide you with an estimate of the value of your vehicle. You can also enter the vehicle’s mileage and a rough summary of condition for a more accurate initial valuation.

Even with information from a valuation tool at hand, we recommend looking at similar condition cars for sale online. This is mainly because an online tool cannot adjust for all the variables that are important for vehicle value that we mentioned earlier. This is especially important as a car ages, as a rusty and poorly maintained car can be worth only a pile of scraps, while a beloved car with the same car will still be worth it. is an item worth buying.

A valuation tool will also give you an estimate of the commercial value of your car, which you can then use to negotiate with the dealership or car buying company. Before you commit to a part exchange through one of these online services, remember that the car buying company will do a thorough check. You can expect them to drop their initial valuation per mile, chips and scrap to add, and your bargaining power is often much less effective in this situation.

Ultimately, however, a car will sell for what someone is willing to pay for it, so don’t be afraid to be a little optimistic when it comes to the sale – and less money if it doesn’t change.

Once you’ve completed the transaction, make sure you complete the process correctly by reading our guide to How to transfer car ownership?.

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