Free car valuation: how much is my car worth?
If you want to value a car then you’ve come to the right place. The Auto Express free car valuation tool provides accurate pricing estimates for buyers and sellers in just a few clicks. There are a huge number of factors impacting a car’s value from the make, model and specification through to its mileage, condition, service history, number of owners and much more. Our tool is powered by data from the market that shows the prices that similar vehicles are fetching right now.
Across thousands of transactions, this data gives us an accurate picture of a car’s value that can serve as an invaluable guide when you’re starting the buying or selling process. The prices should only be taken as estimates because, as we’ve said, factors specific to a particular vehicle will impact its value – but they are an accurate guide.
Knowing the value of a car is hugely powerful when you come to buy or sell it. You’ll be in a far stronger position in any negotiations with car dealers over sticker prices or part-exchange values.
You’ll also be able to calculate far more accurately the kind of new car you can afford next – either through buying outright or arranging a finance deal.
Any car is worth what someone will pay for it but if a particular type of car is in high demand across the market, prices will also be high. Rare or desirable models will obviously command a price premium due to the limited supply but so will cars in popular sectors of the market like SUVs or superminis.
Models with premium badges also hold their value better than mainstream cars in many cases, while choosing the right specification and colour when buying new can also be crucial to the car’s future value.
The other big determining factor when we’re talking about car values is condition. Our valuation tool prices are based on models that are in ‘good condition’ for their age but there will be low mileage cars showing minimal signs of wear and tear for their age that will be worth more.
A lack of demand for a particular car model will lower its value. Makes or models that have developed a bad reputation for reliability, had poor reviews or simply aren’t as widely known as others will also potentially take a dip in price. If a car has been specified in a bright colour or without a key piece of equipment that other similar cars tend to have – like an executive car missing an automatic gearbox – this can also make it harder to sell, reducing the value.
Cars will also be worth less if their condition is below what’s expected for models of that age and mileage. If there are problems with corrosion, accident damage or mechanical issues, the price will also come down.
This can represent an opportunity for buyers but it’s also a risk. It’s crucial to do your research before any car purchase, especially one in a private sale, to make sure you know what you’re buying and our valuation tool price estimates are a useful first step.
The car valuations from our free car valuation tool are estimates of the price of the car in certain buying and selling situations. They are based on the information provided and the assumption that the car is in ‘good condition’ for its age and mileage.
The pricing data is assembled by the experts at UK Vehicle Data who monitor thousands of transactions across the UK car market to keep track of prices on an ongoing basis. The prices are accurate and updated live according to changing market conditions.
The valuations should always be treated as guides to a particular car’s value in the knowledge that the car’s true condition may make it worth more or less than quoted.
You can add to the value of your car by making sure it looks its best before the sale. Give it a thorough clean inside and out. You might also want to weigh-up whether it’s worth fixing any cosmetic damage to help you get the best price.
Getting the car a service and a fresh MoT will also help but again, make you need to consider whether it’s cost-effective to do so. Balance the cost of any parts and labour against what you might stand to gain on the sale price.
You can get a rough estimate of your car’s value by going to a classifieds website and searching for your specific make, model, and year, along with similar mileage, to see what prices are being asked.
Even with the information from our valuation tool in hand, we would still advise you to see what similar condition cars are selling for online. This is mainly because our online tool can’t adjust for all the variables that are important to the car values we mentioned earlier.
This is especially important as a car gets older, as a banger which is rusty and has been poorly maintained could only be worth the scrap value, while a cherished example of the same car will still be a desirable purchase.
Keep in mind that most advertisers will usually accept an offer near to the asking price for a car, and professional traders will always ask more than private sellers – the prices given in our valuation tool above reflect this.
Buyers who use dealers are usually prepared to pay more because these dealers can provide monthly finance deals and warranties. There’s also more legal protection if things go wrong.
Dealers have to make a living, though, so they will offer you a lower amount if you part exchange your car towards a new one. As a rule of thumb, a dealer will want to ‘mark up’ the price by £500-£2,000 per car, depending on the value and any work which needs to be done.
If your car is a little out of the ordinary, such as a 4×4, sports car, electric vehicle or a classic, it may be worth looking for a specialist who will be willing to offer more for a car they should be able to sell on quickly.
Our valuation tool above will also give you an estimate of the trade-in value of your car, which you can then use towards negotiating with a dealer or car buying company. Before you commit to a part-exchange, bear in mind that the company buying the car will carry out a thorough inspection. You can expect them to lower the initial valuation for every extra mile, chip, and scrape, and your haggling power is usually far less effective in this situation.
Ultimately, though, a car will sell for as much as someone is willing to pay for it, so don’t be afraid to be slightly optimistic when putting it up for sale – and take money off if it won’t shift.