Buying A Car - How much is my car worth?

13 August 2012

Buying and selling cars can be a smooth and enjoyable process, providing you know what you're doing – and knowing how much your car is worth is central to that.

The best way to get a reliable used car valuation is by using the What Car? valuations tool. The service covers all cars sold in the UK from 1998 onwards.

You can choose between a basic, free valuation, which provides the current average market price based on the age of your chosen vehicle, or an enhanced valuation that takes into account the exact mileage and condition of your car, providing you with an accurate valuation that gives you all the information you need to get the best deal when buying or selling your vehicle.

Using our valuations tool is easy, too. Simply enter the make and model of the used car you're interested in buying or selling, before selecting a bodystyle, version and year.

If you know the registration number, it's even easier – just type that in and we'll automatically identify the car. You can then select the mileage and condition of your vehicle, which will be used to calculate the value when you select an enhanced valuation.

Choose whether you already own the car or if this is a car you're looking at buying and then click Next Step. You'll then be asked to sign in. You can create a unique username and password, or log in using popular social media accounts.

Why do we ask you to sign in? We may use your information to contact you to help you find a new car or sell your old one. This can include targeted information on vehicles suitable for you, an introduction to dealers, details of manufacturers' special offers, or newsletters and promotional discounts.

Don't worry, though, you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link or by using the contact details set out in our privacy policy.

How to buy a car

Once you have created your account, or logged in to the system with an existing account, you'll be asked to select your valuation package: the free valuation that offers an instant estimated value based on the age and average market price of your chosen make and model, or an enhanced valuation that values the car based on its condition and mileage. The enhanced valuation also comes with a What Car? Valuation Certificate that you can download and print off to use when negotiation a price.

The next step is to enter your details, which will be stored in your user account so you'll be able to make subsequent valuations of different vehicles without having to resubmit your details.

If you're buying an enhanced valuation, you can pay using credit card or Paypal, then click 'Get my enhanced valuation and charge me £2.95'.

If you're after a free valuation, simply click 'Get my free valuation'.

That's it. You'll then receive your chosen valuation.

Half a million used cars are sold each month in the UK, and we keep tabs on market prices through a wide range of used-car outlets, including authorised and independent dealers, manufacturers' Approved Used schemes, auctions and private transactions. The data is processed and updated daily on a real-time basis – not just during the working week, but 365 days a year.

Next step: Should I buy a new or a used car? >>

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