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Selling A Car - How to value your car

24 August 2012
Non Car Person

To get the most money for a car, you need to know its value. Pricing it correctly is a fine balancing act. Underpricing will lose you money, but in today's market overpricing is even more dangerous, as buyers will simply ignore your car.

Underselling or overselling the condition of a car will impact on a sale too. It's far better to err on the side of underselling. 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 an oversold car as soon as they see it.

Use whatcar.com's Free Valuations to establish a fair price for your car. With our valuations, we analyse the car's age, mileage, condition to gives 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 can expect to pay when you're only buying a car.
•What 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 a car for a different vehicle at a franchised or reputable independent dealer.
•The trade price. This is what private buyers will get by selling their car directly to a trader or dealership in a cash deal, with no part-exchange. This is a car's lowest value.

Also, check 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 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 secondhand value usually isn't that much greater than the basic model. 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 can sometimes command premiums over the list price.

Next step: Preparing your car >>

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