Q&A – How do you value my car?

If you want to sell your car, probably the most important factor you’ll be keeping in mind is its valuation. You have been honest in your description, so you want the valuation to be fair, too. So, you may be wondering: how do you value my car?

The market

  • clearly, there is a huge market in the trade of second-hand cars;
  • on the back of this market, there has developed an equally extensive business in the way that vehicles are valued;
  • perhaps best known among these are the trade guides such as Glass’s and Parkers, both of which draw on large databases relating to recent trades in motor vehicles;
  • databases relating to sales of vehicles across the country as a whole, however, may tell only part of the picture;
  • nevertheless, they may frequently be used to generate automated valuations in response to your request to value my car;
  • such an automated response, of course, is unlikely to take fully into account the precise condition of your vehicle, or indeed the particular market in which it is likely to be offered for sale.


  • all of this may be thrown into particular relief if you are looking to sell your car to a professional buyer;
  • some car buying companies, for example, may rely entirely on computer-generated valuations;
  • for other car buyers, however, the limitations of the automated response are properly recognised and avoided;
  • instead, the valuation is based on a fully interactive conversation with you, the seller;
  • this helps to establish not only the exact condition of the vehicle you want to sell but also the geographical market into which it is likely to be sold;
  • only by talking directly to you and by understanding the finer points of the history and condition of the vehicle you want to offer for sale, may the professional car buyer establish the full and fair price – the valuation – most appropriate for your car.

In summary, you, as a car seller may think: when I ask someone to value my car, I expect the opportunity for direct contact in which I am able to explain and discuss all the pros and cons of the vehicle I am offering for sale.

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