You may have seen various tools offering car valuation online, as well as used car valuation services available in order to find out a particular car’s value, but what can be done to make a valuation as strong as possible?
Generally, many factors can affect a car valuation, and some necessarily don’t apply to every used car out there, with some factors affecting a car’s price more than others.
So, what’s my car worth?
First of all, a car’s value can rely on several factors. These include:
Age, brand, condition, mileage, rarity, demand, number of cars built, history, reliability, service history, number of owners, size, specification and market value.
A car valuation will take into account the various factors mentioned previously, however there are, of course, exceptions and it doesn’t look at daunting as you may think.
Age plays a key part in many car valuations. Usually, the older the car, depreciation has had more time to take effect, resulting in a lower price. This is due to newer, more up to date models being introduced and demand decreasing for older, more ‘old fashioned’ models. For example, a Ford Focus from 2007 will depreciate considerably, as newer models have been launched since.
Brand is perhaps the most obvious factor, as a brand with more exclusivity or prestige, such as a Porsche or Audi, will tend to hold its value more than a value or volume manufacturer such as Vauxhall. This also touches on the fact of number of cars built, as the rarer the car, the more likely it is to hold its value.
Therefore, if there is plenty of a particular car on the market (such as a Ford Focus previously mentioned) the value will be lower due to the wider selection available, as Ford are a volume brand. In comparison, the car will depreciate less depending on rarity, (such as a 2003 Ford Focus RS, a range topping hot hatch of its era) as, if less are built they will tend to hold their value better due to demand and desirability. This will result in minimal depreciation or if lucky enough – appreciation (such as the BMW 1M which has appreciated since its launch – especially if it happens to be a low mileage, cherished model).
Condition is hugely important too, as it will usually show an accurate summary of the cars history. For example, if the car is in poor condition with dents, missing trim, scratches and damage to the interior, it’s fair to say the car hasn’t been looked after as well as it could have been. This will often result in a lower value offered or willing to be paid by a potential buyer, as it is common place that buyers will want a used car that has been looked after.
Perhaps one of the most obvious value factors is mileage. Lower mileage cars will always be more attractive, as essentially, they are newer and haven’t been used as much. This leads on to number of owners, as if a car has had many owners, it will significantly lower the value to some people, and it is usually more of an attractive purchase if the car has only had one previous owner, or if an older car, few owners. But why will this particular factor lower the value of my car? More owners of a car may suggest people may have not liked the car, or the car in question started to cost the owner a considerable amount of money in running costs or repairs, so inevitably the owner sold the car on. Of course, this is just speculation, as with many used purchases, but it is usually quite accurate.
Other factors include the cars reliability record. Some cars have a reputation of being reliable, where as some cars have a reputation of being unreliable. This is usually reflected in a cars price as the less reliable cars out there will only attract a certain buyer, where as reliable cars will hold their value better as they are more in demand as customers will want a car to rely on and not cause them problems – common sense, really.
Service History is very important too, as this shows what sort of history the car has had. A car which has a full-service history, especially if they were all completed at an approved dealer will be much more valuable than a car with no service history or missing service history. This is because if a car hasn’t been serviced properly, it is more likely that the car will break down or develop a fault – as it has not been mechanically maintained properly.
Specification, unsurprisingly will affect a cars price. The higher the specification, the greater the price for that particular car.
Size is also considered, as bigger engine, larger cars tend to depreciate heavily as the running costs for bigger, larger engine cars tend to be quite expensive, resulting in people not wanting to purchase them due to the substantial running costs.
But how and what decides the cars used value in the first place? Every car has a market value. This is a value which is expected by the car industry for a particular car. Of course, this is a guide which makes all types of car fall in line. Some cars will be exceptional due to the factors talked about, but commonly it is what dealers and the motor trade go off to value a particular car.
· Keeping mileage low
· Maintain and look after the car
· Avoid modifications which put stress on the engine, and only appeal to a select few buyers
· Sell at the right time of year – convertible at the start of summer, not at the beginning of winter
· Select a car with the ‘right’ options which are desirable – heated seats, Bluetooth, sports styling etc.
· Sell before a new model is introduced
· Keep a record of all repairs, history, etc. May not be a lot but will help create a case for a well-looked after car
Why not use our Free Car Valuation tool to find out?
Car Valuation Tool