Car Valuations – What Impacts the Worth of Your Car?

Whatever the motivation for parting with your car – a downturn in the economy or the need to upsize or downsize – your #1 priority is getting the best cash deal possible – safely and quickly. So your conversations and Google searches are probably all focused on car valuations. When selling your secondhand car, you need to do the research and know what your car is worth. A ‘lower than book value’ trade-in offer is the last thing on your list when parting with your trusty wheels and you don’t want to be at the mercy of wheeler-dealers with no negotiating power. 

The process of establishing your car’s worth and actual resale value will involve the following: 

#1 Do your homework:

Keep one eye on the ups and downs of the automotive industry and general car trends and valuations. Be diligent and do an annual check on the market or trade value vs the book value of the specific make of your second-hand car. 

  • The ‘book value’ of your car is a general price guideline that the automotive, insurance and car finance industries use to arrive at an approximate value.
  • The ’market (or trade) value’ of your car is the price you can get based on the competitive or open market – i.e. it is the actual price you are able to sell your car for. (This may be significantly higher or lower than the book value). 

#2 Adjust your expectations:

The sobering reality is this – the moment a new car leaves the showroom, it starts depreciating in value. (The exception is certain limited edition sports cars that tend to hold their value). So, unless you are trying to sell a Ferrari 488 Pista, you need to expect that you will be getting significantly less for your car than you paid for it. 

Certain factors will always influence what your car’s actual worth is when determining market value:

  1. Economic factors – the current state of the economy, the automotive industry context (new & pre-owned) and inflation rates.
  2. Specific factors – the year of manufacture, mileage and history (Do you have an up-to-date date service history? Has your car been in an accident?)
  3. Aesthetic factors –  the colour of your car and personalizations (Not everyone is prepared to pay more for the trendy mags, spoilers and free-flow exhausts you have added to your car). 

#3 Sell your car online:

Online platforms have burst onto the second-hand car selling landscape offering quick, safe and competitive options for you to get the highest market price possible. They are all about convenience and maximising reach when it comes to prospective buyers. Innovative onli ne car auction platforms offer vetted, pre-approved and reputable dealers who will bid on your car, pushing the price up and guaranteeing you the best deal possible on the day. 

Car valuations can be tricky business – but if you have looked after your car, followed the manufacturer’s dates for services, and fixed little things such as windscreen wipers, tail light bulbs etc, then you are likely to be in a strong bargaining position to get above book value for your car. 

Find an online platform that has great customer reviews and testimonials when it comes to service offering and ensuring you get what your car is worth.