If you are planning on buying or selling a used car, being able to calculate the car’s true value is a vital step. Although at first it can seem daunting, it’s a vital step that you can’t afford to skip. You’ll be able to make sure you aren’t selling for too little or buying for too much!

Depreciation Rate – The Factors

Most cars will lose the majority of their value during the first three to five years of its life and according to the AA by the time your car reaches eight years of age, the value is unlikely to depreciate further. Though every car is different, the make can be the first place of reference when determining the annual rate of depreciation.

The car valuation service Glass’s published a report recently highlighting the lowest depreciating car brands in the UK.

Age and make are key factors when it comes to depreciation, and as the data shows, premium makes tend to retain their value better than budget brands. Low mileage, regular servicing and overall maintenance of your vehicle can also go a long way to ensuring the highest possible sale price.

Servicing aside, a clean and well-maintained car will always sell for a better price than a scruffy car. Now let’s figure out how much your car is actually worth.

How To Value Your Car

The easiest way to determine the value of your car is to go to a classifieds website such as;

  • Autotrader – The most commonly known platform for buying and selling used and new cars. You can use it to search for a car of the same make and model as yours then determine the value by comparing with similar models.
  • HonestJohn – Largely a reviews site, however, they have a pricing section which allows you to enter your car details and compare the value of your car against other of the same make, model and year.
  • Gumtree – Also a good point of reference similar to Autotrader but covering more than just cars.Alternatively, you may consider going to a dealership, however, keep in mind that the value might not be as good as you hope for. Dealerships will often give a low ballpark offer so that they can sell for higher price enough to cover their margins.

Alternatively, you may consider going to a dealership, however, keep in mind that the value might not be as good as you hope for. Dealerships will often give a low ballpark offer so that they can sell for higher price enough to cover their margins.

Many times dealerships will offer a higher ‘trade in’ price for your vehicle, but with the caveat that you must use that balance to buy a replacement from them… be weary of this, it may not work for you.

Ultimately, a car will sell for as much as someone is willing to pay for it, so don’t be afraid to be slightly optimistic when putting it up for sale and then gradually take money off if it won’t shift.