Chances are when you bought your car, you did plenty of research to make sure you got a good deal, but have you been keeping on top of what it’s worth? Are you about to hand it back with a PCP or finance balloon payment without knowing if it’s worth more? Getting a car valuation is inexpensive – even free – and means you’re prepared to get the best value whether buying, trading-in or selling.
- Car valuations for newer cars are based on extensive retail and auction data
- Thousands of transactions for similar cars include the effects of options and mileage
- Some car values vary seasonally, too
Want to know what your car’s worth right now? Value my car.
Why do you need a valuation?
Car values change constantly – and in recent years, the value of some used cars has increased, meaning you can’t always assume that your car is depreciating as expected. On vehicles up to 25 years old you may want a valuation to ensure you are getting the best trade-in or sale, or to make sure you’re not paying over the odds for a car you want to buy. Over 25 years old you may need a valuation for classic car insurance, particularly if the car is a cherished and perfect example of something that is otherwise considered low value and worthless.
For the classics, you should talk to an owners’ club or affiliated group. For everything else, there are free valuation tools that take your make, model, year and mileage – or even let you pop your registration plate in, looking up the VRM (vehicle registration mark) to find out what customers and traders are paying for cars very similar to yours.
If you want to sell straight away, you can then compare that valuation with the results from a service such as Motorway, which compares offers from car buyers, agrees a deal and then arranges collection of your car.
How do you get a valuation?
To ensure you get the most accurate valuation for a car you’re selling, remember to provide the mileage, condition, history and specification. A Parkers valuation can be tailored to match your precise car – you can enter your registration for a general free valuation, then for an additional fee, you can add options, mileage and overall wear that will more accurately reflect the extra cost when new and the car’s current condition.
Mileage can make a significant impact to what your car is worth, but if you’ve taken particularly good care of it, have a comprehensive service history and all documentation for work carried out then you may get more still; for particularly cherished cars the valuation will at least prevent you from asking (or getting) too little for your pride and joy.
Having got a value from Parkers as a baseline, you can then go through classified adverts and eBay sold listings to get a stronger idea of what you should expect in a private sale.
If your valuation is below what other people are asking, adjust your price accordingly. The same argument applies if you’re looking to sell privately, trade-in with a dealer, or negotiate a new PCP at the end of your deal. After all, there’s no sense handing over thousands in equity to return the car if you’re buying from the same marque again; many PCP deals leave a trade price margin at the end and you could sell for even more.
Why you can trust a Parkers valuation
Parkers values are based on real transactions, in the trade via dealerships and auctions – and are produced by a team of independent industry experts who visit hundreds of car dealers and auctions every month.
Parkers has been valuing cars since 1972, and the easy-to-user web-based tool is as valuable today for buyers as it was back then. Monitoring around 1,500,000 used car sales every year — that’s around 4,100 used car sales every day – provides the data you need to get the fairest possible price for your car – and know when you’ve found a bargain when buying too.
Why valuations matter for insurance, too
Cars as a commodity depreciate – but classics are an investment, both financially and in terms of emotion and labour. So even if you bought a project for £2,000, you could have spent hundreds of hours restoring and maintaining it. Owners’ club valuations reflect this and are recognised by insurers, meaning if your car is lost or stolen you won’t just end up with that meagre amount a typical project would sell for in the trade.
The same argument applies for low-mileage and rare cars – and if your car is stolen or at risk of being written off, a Parkers valuation and supporting evidence from classifieds can help you argue that your car is worth more, or harder to replace, than the insurer’s fist offer would suggest.