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Car valuations

One of the biggest mistakes people make when part exchanging their car for a new one, or when selling privately is they have no idea of the true value of their car. This results in the seller losing thousands of pounds or not actually selling their car because they had unreasonable expectations.

Car valuations for selling a vehicle

There are 2 areas to consider - private sales, or selling to a dealer in part exchange for your next car. Selling privately will get you the most in return but then you need to do more for your money; advertise it, allow people to come and view the car as well as test drive the car and then you have to deal with the inevitable barter process. If none of that daunts you, selling privately is a good option. Part exchanging the car will usually de-value the car, as the dealer needs to make a profit on it too. The up side of part exchange is the dealer removes the need to advertise and barter with a stranger and you just do this with the dealer once you have chosen a car from them. Avoid listening to friends, use your gut – everyone wants more but if you do not value it correctly, it will not sell; then you will have to reduce the price.

How much?

The value of the car really depends on the specification, age, condition and model of the car. You need to get an idea of the value by comparing it to other models on the market. Do your research by visiting Auto trader or Parkers Online where they will give you a breakdown of what the car is worth according to age and condition. Parkers is a good one to use if you are thinking of part exchanging as they will also detail how much it is worth if selling to a dealer.

Car valuations for buying a vehicle

This is similar to selling. You need to know how much the car you are interested in is actually worth. Cars depreciate in value so the last thing you want to do is lose out on more money by paying over the odds for it in the first place. (Unless, of course, you are buying a wreck and plan to take it back to its former glory!)Avoid listening to the patter of the sales man, and remember -he is on commission! Our advice is to not get carried away. Once you know the type of car you want and roughly how much they cost and how much you are willing to pay take your time. Look not just over a day or two but perhaps weeks and wait for the exact car you want to come on the market.

How much?

As above the value depends on the make, model and age of the car. The other thing to look at is how many miles the car has done. On average a car should not have done more than 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year but this can vary slightly with the car you are purchasing. You have to check valuation sites to get a more specific answer for the car in front of you.

How do they work it out?

It is not just random numbers that these companies pluck out the air for your valuation, they are worked out by checking car sales adverts, dealer adverts and even auction prices of the cars. This is all done for you so you do not have to.

Valuing a car can vary hugely on the make, model, age and condition of a car. Using sites such as parkers.co.uk or autotrader.co.uk, will give you a better idea of how much it is worth. You can download the apps before you leave the house so your car buying is backed up by the exact figures you need to make the right decision.

The valuation you get online will be an average – if your car is in poor condition it could be worth considerably less.

Our Advice

Sell your car privately – you will get the highest price then.

Use online quotation websites to get the right price for your car.

If you are worried about people coming to view the car, solicit a friend to help you, even to take the phone calls from prospective purchases. We know of many cases where a friend has handled the sale of a car taking much of the pressure away.

Car DealershipPrivate Sale
Just want a quick saleMaximise money and do not mind the hassle
Poor ConditionGood Condition
Nothing SpecialDesirable Make/Model (e.g. BMW)
High MileageLow Mileage

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