Top tips to help you evaluate the worth of your car

Ready to part ways with your car but unsure of its worth and where to start? Knowing your car’s market value is crucial when selling second-hand. This guide will help you value your car accurately, ensuring you make informed decisions when selling. Let's get started!

27 May 2024 · Eldon - Barnfield Cars

Key factors that will contribute to your car’s value

What was your car’s initial price when new?
A two-year-old vehicle originally sold for £30,000 will hold its value much more than a car that was £5,000 new. Why? Typically cars priced at a higher value when new will maintain their value better over time.

CO2 Emissions
Thanks to global warming from our forefathers, car values are now taking a hit. Cars with lower emissions tend to hold their value better due to lower road taxes and increased demand for eco-friendly cars.

Age and Mileage
Everyone wishes they only had to drive two miles a month but unfortunately, that isn’t the case and your car value can take another hit here. Not only does a vehicle depreciate over time with the most significant drop in value being within the first year but the lower the mileage on the vehicle the higher the value when selling.

Engine Type
If you do not own a diesel car skip this section.

In 2017 there was an introduction of the “toxin tax” on all diesel engines which led to a drop in value. Now may be in your favour to sell especially with a rise in eclectic vehicles and the upcoming UK ban on all new diesel and petrol sales in 2035. 

The higher the value of your car the better the condition needs to be. For the lower-priced cars, buyers don’t ask for a lot however once you start moving into anything over £5,000 buyers seem to want your car to be in great condition.

With most cars over 1-2 years, odds are very likely that you will have some aesthetic damage to paintwork, interior and rims which may affect the value of your car.

Colour, shape and brand are all variables that will impact the value of your vehicle. Odd colours such as brown, orange and burgundy are generally less attractive to potential buyers when compared to popular colours such as black, white and grey. This therefore negatively impacts the value of less desirably coloured cars. 

Choosing the right platform to list your car
Finding the true market value of your vehicle can come from more than one source, don’t always listen to the first valuation you get, especially if it is from a dealership.
A dealership will often offer you at least 10-15% less than what a private buyer would.

So how do you know what deal to take?
Now that we have a better understanding of all the components that will affect the resell value of your vehicle (stated above) let’s focus on the next steps.

Our top tips to help evaluate the worth of your car.

1- Doing the research
Selling a car privately is one of those things no one likes doing but it has to be done. It takes time to create a compelling advert, costs money to post it, and involves managing viewings and negotiations. However, it can be one of the best ways to get the most money for your car. Researching your cars worth using ad websites is the best start. Sites like Auto Trader, Facebook Marketplace and eBay Motors offer extensive listings. The goal here is to find similar cars to yours to use as a benchmark for your valuation.

Tips to include when doing your research:
1- Filter as close to your car as possible. Year, make, model, mileage, last MOT, colour and fuel type.
2- Compare current listings to your car and how they differ in condition and faults
3-  Understanding location and demand. Cars based in cities will have a slightly higher price ask than those in the countryside with less ask and demand.
4- Look for consistency. If you see multiple listings all priced similarly, this indicates a more realistic valuation of your vehicle.

2-   Getting the best out of a dealer valuation
If you have previously done business with a dealer you will know this is not the most lucrative option. Dealers have to add margin onto all cars they buy to stay in business. Here are a few tips when going down the dealer route:

1- Find the right dealer for your car. Look into what they specialise in and how often they sell cars like yours.

2- Before asking for a valuation make it clear you chose them for their specialty and expect a better valuation than your average dealership.

3- Make it known that you are happy selling privately. This will incentivise the dealer to offer you a valuation closer to the market rate.

3- CAP HPI valuation
Operated by the company behind HPI checks, Cap HPI can be one of the best resources to properly evaluate your car. They do not buy or sell cars therefore would gain nothing by providing a low valuation. Their data-baked assessments provide realistic price expectations and are widely used by car brands and dealerships.

Cap HPI offer both Free and premium valuation services, let’s take a look.

Option 1 – Free Valuation
Option one not only provides a car valuation instantly but includes information such as:
– Four Different valuations depending on the sale location
– Adjustments in value according to mileage
– Adjustments in value according to condition

Option 2- Premium Valuation
This option provides you with the same valuation as the free version in a lot more detail. This package also includes: 
– Expected running costs
– Future depreciation forecasts
– Full car specifications 

Weighing up your options
Option 1- Quick Sale
If you need or want a quick turnaround time with little to no hassle then an online car-buying platform or dealership will be your best route.

Option 2- Slow and steady wins the race
If you have the time and are prepared to create ads, deal with negotiations and wait anywhere between one and three months, then using classified ad websites will be a better route for you.

There is always a third option

If you can’t be bothered with all the circus that surrounds advertising your car privately then why not sell your car to us at Barnfield? We not only *guarantee to buy your car, but *guarantee not to be beaten on price, we collect, we settle finance, and we pay before the car leaves your drive!

Call us today on 01246 912067 we would love to hear from you.

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