selling

How much is your car worth?

Whether you're looking for a trade-in or are just keen to get rid of your existing car for cash, it's vital to know how much your car is worth

Words ByClaire Evans

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It’s vital that you know the real market value of your car before you sell it, so you can be sure you get the best price for it.

Pricing it correctly is a fine balancing act: underprice it and you’ll lose money, but if you overprice it buyers will simply ignore your car.

Being unrealistic about the condition of a car could impact on a sale, too. It's far better to err on the side of caution. Most buyers appreciate honesty and will be more inclined to go for your car if they think they're getting a bargain. Similarly, most buyers will walk away from a car that’s been talked up as soon as they see it.

Use whatcar.com's Free Car Valuation to establish a fair price for your car. With our valuations, we analyse the car's age, mileage and condition to give you an instant appraisal of its worth.

Using it is easy, too. Simply enter your car's registration number and we'll automatically identify the car. For an even more accurate valuation you can use intuitive slider bars to enter the mileage and condition.

Next, all you have to do is click the 'Get Valuation' button to reveal the following valuations:

  • The dealer price you should expect to pay if you were buying the car with no part-exchange.
  • The amount you can expect to receive from, or pay to, a private buyer or seller.
  • The part-exchange value. This is the value you should aim for when trading in your car for a different vehicle at a franchised or reputable independent dealership.
  • The trade price. This is the amount a private buyer should expect to get when selling their car directly to a trader or dealership in a cash deal, with no part-exchange. This is a car's lowest value.

It’s also worth checking out what other people are asking for similar cars to yours because seasonal fluctuations can influence prices. A glut of Mazda MX-5s on sale in the summer will depress values. Selling in springtime can reduce that effect. Demand for 4x4s can soar in winter, so you could be better off waiting until then to sell yours.

Special or limited editions are tempting, but in practice their second-hand value usually isn't that much greater than the model they’re based on. Newer cars that are in short supply are another matter. These 'flavour-of-the-month' cars appeal to people who want to jump the waiting list, and sellers can sometimes command premiums higher than the new list price.

Read more – Where to sell your car

Read more – How to prepare your car for sale

Read more – Payment, paperwork and avoiding scams


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