In today’s ever-growing motor market, knowing just how much your car is worth can make all the difference when it comes to selling and negotiating your desired price.
Whether you want to finance, part exchange, insure, sell or scrap your vehicle, knowing the market price of your car is essential. After all, knowing your car’s worth can be the difference between hundreds and thousands of pounds!
Not sure where to start? Here’s our guide to help you discover your car’s worth and how to make the most informed choice at the selling stage:
What increases a car’s value?
Before you even think about selling your vehicle, it’s worth figuring out what adds value to your car. This typically includes:
Full Service History
- Owning a car that has a full service history always holds more value than a vehicle with gaps or missing information. Any potential buyer wants to feel confident in their purchase, and the service history is where most buyers will look first.
- Just because your car is secondhand doesn’t mean that buyers won’t want a decent looking vehicle. Vehicles that are in good condition for their age, even with minor small wear and tear, will net a better price than your average used car
- Cars in excellent condition with zero damage will typically be worth more than the guide prices on offer
- Simple fact: some car colours are more popular than others! The top 5 usually includes grey, red, black, white and blue
- Desirable onboard technology can bump up your car’s value as long as it is in good working order
- Striking standout post-factory features such as alloy wheels, multimedia systems and more can add hundreds of pounds of value to your car
What decreases a car’s value?
Typically older vehicles or those that have simply had multiple owners in a short period of time can be a poor reflection on your car’s desirability. Some of the most detrimental things that can decrease your vehicle’s value include:
Gaps in Service History
- At a glance, any vehicle that doesn’t hold a detailed full service history will automatically put buyers off and ultimately reduces your vehicle’s value
- With any secondhand car sale, the valuation assumes that the vehicle is in good working order. Without an MOT, your car’s value will automatically lose value
Multiple previous owners
- Quite simply, any car that has been sold many times before can have a detrimental effect on your vehicle’s value. Fewer owners attached to your car automatically raises your car’s worth, as the likelihood of severe wear and tear and other issues such as engine faults are less likely
Significant wear and tear
- With any secondhand vehicle, you can expect slight damage from wear and tear. However, significant damage such as rust, chipped paint, or a damaged windscreen will likely reduce the value
Faulty or damaged parts
- Selling a car that needs to be fixed, regardless of the severity, will reduce its overall value
- From a fault with the window electrics to a damaged heater, if the buyer has to spend extra money fixing your vehicle, you’re going to lose out!
Don’t forget CO2 emissions
Now more than ever, there is a more significant push towards reducing CO2 emissions for good. You can no longer drive through the UK’s biggest cities such as London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Liverpool without incurring an emissions tax if your vehicle is not up to the strict standards in force.
Naturally, this has had an effect on the secondhand/used market. While looking through the classifieds, you’ll quickly discover that older BMWs and Jaguars are cheaper than ever before. The reason? Their emissions are incredibly high. Combining this with their high annual car tax, snapping up a worthwhile classic vehicle is becoming more and more undesirable.
Thankfully, the quickly evolving electric vehicle (EV) market is shaking things up in the industry. As a consequence, you can snap up a bargain in the used car sector to avoid those emissions-related penalties!
Know your engine type
While your vehicle’s value will take a hit due to CO2 emissions, it will also be affected by the type of engine. Combined with the UK government’s “Green Industrial Revolution” plans, it’s worth highlighting the imminent 2030 ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles.
The secondhand market will undoubtedly take a hit. However, it is only the sale of new cars that is affected. So if you still want to drive or sell your current vehicle after this date, you can. The only thing to be wary of is the inevitable extra taxes you will have to pay on UK roads, which will likely affect the value of your car.
Does my car’s age affect its worth?
Yes. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that new vehicle’s depreciation is higher than older cars, as the previous owner will have taken the financial hit. On average, new vehicles depreciate by an average of 20-30% of their original value in their first year, which is good news for you!
Typically, most vehicles will lose up to 50% of their value within their first 3-5 years. What’s more, many cars aged 10 years or more, despite their excellent working order, can be worth as little as £1,000 – £2,000. So it’s worth keeping an eye on bucking trends in the market and timing the sale of your car well.
Spotlight on mileage
Want to know one of the clearest indicators of how much life is left in your vehicle? Check out your car’s mileage. The buyer certainly will!
Regardless of your vehicle’s age, low mileage can increase your car’s value by 20-30% compared to similar makes and models with high mileage.
Now that you have an idea of what makes your car a worthwhile sale, what will you do to increase its value? With the oncoming 2030 new petrol and diesel cars sales ban quickly approaching, there’s never been a better time to sell your vehicle.
If you’re in the market for a new car, check out what finance deals are available to you here.