Home > Selling a Car > Knowing your Car Value

Knowing your Car Value

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 5 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Motoring Car Budget Car Value Used Car

When you sell your car, knowing its value is essential. Car value determines how much you can get for your car, but it isn't necessarily as straight-forward as you might think. If you price it too high, prospective buyers won't be interested in buying it from you, while pricing it below its true value will be highly detrimental for those on a motoring budget. This article discusses some of the factors that affect used car value.


Depreciation is a big factor in motoring. Almost all cars will decrease in value over the years (although there are some that retain or increase their original value due to high demand), which means that by the time you come to sell it on, your car is unlikely to still have the value as when you bought it. This can have a big financial impact on those on a motoring budget, as you still need to replace your old car despite not getting back the full amount that you paid in the first place.

For more information on how depreciation affects the value of a new or used car, see our articles on “The Impact of Depreciation on a New Car” and “The Impact of Depreciation on a Used Car”. Our article on “Do Diesel or Petrol Vehicles Depreciate More Quickly?” offers advice on the effects of depreciation on both petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.

Using a Used Car Price Guide

As factors such as depreciation make knowing the real value of your car difficult, consulting a used car price guide can be a useful indicator when setting a price for your used car. On the Auto Trader website, you can get a Glass's valuation of your car, which costs £3.50. This gives you the value of your car for selling to a dealer or opting for a part exchange deal, as well as offering advice on possible factors in relation to the used car market that may affect your car's value in the future. There is also a valuation tool on the What Car? website. Alternatively, you can buy a copy of the What Car? Used Price Guide.

In some cases though, the prices given in a used car price guide can be made up from average prices, which means that they often can't be taken as a definitive value.

Using Advertising

It is often useful to have a look at car advertising in newspapers, motoring publications and on websites so that you can get an idea of the prices that other people are selling their cars for. If you find a similar or identical car for sale, make a note of the seller's price and use that as a rough basis for your own car's value. However, you will need to tailor the price to factor in the condition of the car, its mileage and any special selling points (such as special features, a recently conducted MOT test or recently paid road tax).

Selling a car is affected by its used car value. If your car's value depreciates, you will find that its used car value is different to the amount that you paid for it in the first place. In some cases, this can be quite a significant difference, which has a knock-on effect for those on a motoring budget when you come to replace your old car.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: