Why should I get a car valuation?

How can you truly get the best price for your car if you don’t know its real value?

Many factors come into play when assessing your vehicle’s valuation, including the age and mileage. So make sure you know how much to expect from a sale – by using AutoTrader’s quick and easy-to-use valuation calculator.

It’s a quick process, and you’ll find out how much your car’s really worth and be better placed to sell privately or to trade.

Which cars depreciate the least?

Car depreciation is simply the difference between how much you bought the vehicle for compared to its current price. This value differs between brands and models, with certain cars having a much better depreciation rate than others. A new car will lose value after it’s driven off the forecourt and some models will drop 40% in the first year alone.

There are many ways to reduce the depreciation of your car, such as:

  • Keeping the mileage down
  • Ensuring your vehicle is kept in good condition
  • Regular servicing
  • Having all service records to hand

4x4s and SUVs are the best vehicles on the road for holding their value and on average retain 46.6% of the original value after the initial three years of ownership.

Take a look at the best cars for depreciation by CAP sector:

  1. City car – Peugeot 108 – 49%
  2. Supermini – Audi A1 – 52%
  3. Lower medium – Toyota Prius – 55%
  4. Upper medium – Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe – 54%
  5. Executive – Jaguar XF – 53%
  6. Large executive – Porsche Panamera – 55%
  7. Luxury Executive – Rolls-Royce Ghost – 53%
  8. MPV – Mercedes-Benz V Class – 52%
  9.  SUV – Porsche Macan – 68%
  10.  Sports – Audi TT Coupe – 57%
  11. Convertible – Ford Mustang – 57%
  12. Supercar – Ferrari 488 GTB Coupe – 68%

How can I get more money for my car?

To get more money for your car, it’s important to showcase how much care you’ve taken of it over the years. This includes completing regular services, carrying out repairs and topping up the fluid levels under the bonnet. Whether you’re selling privately or to a dealer, you’ll also want to present the vehicle in the best possible light – so ensure the car’s thoroughly clean both inside and out.

What else will affect the value of my car?

It’s not just the obvious factors such as mileage and age that affect your car’s valuation. There are a number of other lesser known influences that could come into play when trying to sell both privately and to trade.

The colour: This is simply to do with personal preference. Colours such as black, white and silver are common on British roads and motorists can’t really go wrong with any of these. If your vehicle is a little more ‘out there’, it could be more difficult to sell and thus, bring down its valuation.

The exterior: This was touched upon previously, but presenting your car in the best possible light is crucial to both attracting buyers and getting a great price. Consider repairing damage such as dents or scratches on the vehicle’s bodywork and give the car a thorough clean and polish prior to any viewings.

The interior: Likewise, the interior of your car is representative of how well you’ve looked after the vehicle. Animal hair, the smell of cigarette smoke, or food crumbs, will quickly put potential buyers off – so make sure your car is free from all these.

Service records: Both dealers and private buyers will want an idea of how well the vehicle has been kept over the years. This is possible by viewing the service records and repair logs. Keep all documentation together and to hand for when you’re asked to show it.

What documents do I need to sell my car?

Once you’ve agreed a price for your old car, it’s time to let the DVLA know you’re no longer the registered keeper. Without doing this, you could be responsible for any fines incurred by the new owner.

This is easy enough to do, by completing the tear off section of the V5C and sending it to the DVLA’s head office. The rest of the V5C is taken by the new owner. Also remember to pass over the handbook and any servicing records, MOTs and warranty details (if applicable).

You should also cancel your current insurance or have it transferred to your new vehicle, whilst claiming any tax back on your old car.

Where can I sell my car?

The easiest way to sell your vehicle is with Auto Trader’s online listings. You can get an instant valuation before placing an advert online. With thousands of people on the lookout for a new car in your area, this is the best place to catch the eye of all potential buyers.

Can I part exchange my car?

If you’re looking to buy a new or used car from a dealer, you may be considering part exchange. With this option you’ll hand over your keys to the dealer and receive a certain amount off the price of the car you want to buy. However, it’s important to know that it’s unlikely you’ll get the same price with a part exchange as you would selling privately.

When is the best time to sell my car?

The best time to sell a car is often determined by the make or model of vehicle you’re trying to shift. For instance, convertibles and sports car are better sold in spring – with the promise of warm summer months ahead. Conversely, SUVs and 4x4s are popular in the build-up to winter, with weather conditions set to change somewhat.

It’s also not recommended to try and sell when new number plates are being anticipated (this happens twice a year, in March and September). Meanwhile, school holidays are a time to avoid as a large proportion of your potential buying market could be out of the country.

Private vs. dealer sales

This is an age old debate and every motorist you speak to will seem to have a different opinion on the matter. There are some benefits and drawbacks for each option:

Private sales:

  • Thousands of potential buyers
  • Better price than selling to trade or part exchanging
  • Get cash or an instant bank transfer
  • Arrange the best time for viewings
  • You need to deal with all buyers

Dealer sales:

  • Quick and easy sale
  • Receive money off the new car you wish to purchase
  • Typically lower valuation compared to private sales

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