One of the hardest things about selling your car is figuring out the right price. If the car value is too high, you won’t get any interest. Too low and you’ll be left feeling like you’ve been had. Finding out your car’s value isn’t nearly as straightforward as selling your old leather jacket on Vinted! We’ve got you covered with our top tips to value your car.
Make and model
When it comes to figuring out your car’s value, the first place to start is with the make and model. Japanese cars hold their value a lot better than their American cousins. That’s because the reputation for Japanese cars – the Suzukis, Toyotas, Nissans and more – is one of quality parts and reliability.
On top of that, fleet cars that enter the used car market tend to be American or European models. The higher mileage lowers their reliability. They’re more worn and may not be as well cared for as privately owned vehicles.
Of course, luxury and high-end brands such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW maintain their value well too. The best model for retaining value in the UK are Minis. After 34,700 miles on their clock, they’ll depreciate by less than 47% !
Mileage is a BIG factor when it comes to selling (and buying) a car. Although you can build up more than 100,000 miles on the odometer without causing too much wear and tear, it’s almost like a magic number in the minds of buyers.
This is because the average yearly mileage that’s accepted in the automotive industry is 10,000 miles per year. So if your car is five years old and has more than 100,000 miles on the clock, a buyer is assuming it’s had double the expected wear and tear for its age. In short, higher mileage often equals decreased value.
As a rule of thumb, new cars lose around 60% of the car value over three years of average mileage. Japanese and high-end brands fare a little better.
Condition and maintenance
A full service history, complete with receipts for parts and repairs, is like the holy grail when it comes to your car value. If you can prove in black and white you’ve taken care of your wheels, it’ll bump up your car price. Conversely, if you’ve only seen the inside of a garage at the yearly MOT and advisories were shelved until they became necessities, it will knock your car value down.
The level and condition of the interior trims will also play a role in your car value. The better maintained and higher-end the trim, the greater the price. Don’t think that cosmetic damage is no big deal – it most certainly can be. If your car looks scuffed and unloved, any buyer is going to think it hasn’t been taken care of mechanically either.
Moneyshake estimates a good clean in and out will increase your car’s sale price by as much as 10%! Repairing minor dents, scratches and tidying up marks on the paintwork will improve the overall finish and first impressions of the buyer. A good clean is well worth the time and effort when it comes to your car value.
Most people want to buy a car that’s as close to brand new as possible. That means modifications, unusual paint jobs and body kits are all out. Modifications tend to drag the value of your car down. Alloy wheels, spoilers, expensive re-sprays and mufflers that make your car rumble are all a bad idea when it comes to boosting a car’s price. Even expensive stereos are a no go.
Because of this, if you have tinkered with your car, it can be worth reversing the work or looking to sell it on a car enthusiast site that caters for specialist pimped-up vehicles.
Research your car value
After taking a look at your car with a critical eye, it’s time to get down to some research. Checking out what similar makes and models to your car are going for will help you figure out your car value. Sadly, how much you loved your car has little to do with how much you can sell her for. If that was the case, my first car – an old VW Beetle – would’ve gone for more than the fifty dollars I managed to get.
When you do settle on a value for your car, leave a margin for haggling. Buyers will want to negotiate on whatever car price you decide. It’s wise to consider what your lowest price for selling your car is and then add a little on top. That way you and the buyer will feel like you’ve got a good deal. Once you’ve decided your car value, it’s time to get busy preparing for a sale.