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How to work out the value when buying or selling a car

magnifying glass held over car finding its value

How to work out a car’s value when buying or selling

There are many reasons you might want to find out the value of a car. Perhaps you’re eyeing up a new motor? You could be thinking of trading in your current car and putting the funds towards a new one, or using the money to pay for a holiday? You might even just be curious to know how much your car’s worth in case you want to sell it in the future.


In any case, finding out the value of a car isn’t only easy, it’s also pretty quick to do and won’t cost you a penny. Here’s how it works.

Online car valuation

As with most things nowadays, getting your car valued can be done very quickly online. All you have to do is input a few basic details like your car’s total mileage and its registration number. You might also be expected to supply a few more pieces of information like your car’s service history, but you can get the whole process done in a couple of minutes.

So what can affect a car’s value?

There’s a variety of factors which can affect a car’s value. These include:


  • The car’s condition
  • Colour
  • Add-ons
  • Mileage

The car’s condition

This one’s fairly obvious; the better the condition of the car, the more it’s going to be worth. Any dents or scratches are going to decrease the value of your car, but these will, of course, be relative to the value of the car in question, for example a scratch on a BMW may cost more to repair than it would on a Ford KA. If you’re selling, it’s probably a good idea to try and repair any wear and tear yourself before you do so; it’s going to work out cheaper for you in the long-run.


You might not have expected it, but the colour of a car can have a big impact on its value. Colours like yellow are generally seen to decrease a car’s value due to their unpopularity, and will most likely require an expensive respray if bought by a new owner. On the other hand, more popular colours like black or white tend to improve the value of a car by a considerable amount.


A general rule to follow when it comes to a car’s add-ons is the more features and gadgets the car has, the more valuable it is. Some buyers may be looking to get a new car for as cheap as possible and won’t care about additions, whereas features like power steering, built-in satellite navigation or touch-screen systems might be deal-breakers for others.


The typical driver puts around 12,000 miles on the clock every year, so you should factor this in if you’re looking to buy a car which has already done a hefty amount of miles. Having said this, though, more miles on the clock doesn’t always guarantee a worse deal. If the car in question, for example, is 7 years old but has 60,000 miles on the clock whereas a different car has 70,000 miles but is only two years old, then it’s probably safe to say the newer car is more valuable.


If you’re considering buying a new car and are having trouble getting finance, then why not look at our car finance options? We help people with car finance if they’ve been declared bankrupt in the past, or even if they’re currently in a debt solution like an IVA or a DMP.


Representative 19.9% APR

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