How Much Is My Car Worth?

From BMW to Bentley and Peugeot to Porsche, there are over 34 million registered vehicles in the UK. And with a growing population, the future holds much promise for the motor industry.

Every year there are more than two million new cars registered and as such, the previously owned used cars are being sold privately and to trade nationwide. In fact, the number of car sales is on the rise – with figures up 9% in 2014 from the previous 12 months.

Of course, there was a dip in the automotive industry’s fortunes during the recession (as with most other industries). However, we’re now enjoying the heyday for motors and people are taking advantage of the latest tech and green credentials new releases have to offer.

The best selling cars over the last 12 months are as follows:

  1. Ford Fiesta: 131,254
  2. Ford Focus: 85,140
  3. Vauxhall Corsa: 81,783
  4. Volkswagen Golf: 73,880
  5. Vauxhall Astra: 59,689
  6. Nissan Qashqai: 49,909
  7. Volkswagen Polo: 48,004
  8. Audi A3: 45,581
  9. Fiat 500: 44,005
  10. Nissan Juke: 39,263

The growth in motor sales can be attributed to a number of factors, including the rise in salaries, consumer confidence and large compensation pay outs. Then of course there’s the increasing popularity of leasing deals, with the opportunity to rent, rather than buy your next vehicle. With the option of small upfront deposits and low monthly instalments, PCP and contract hire deals have become a key part of the industry.

How much is my car worth with depreciation value?

Depreciation value plays a significant part in how much your car is worth – and unfortunately affects every vehicle. There is a difference though in depreciation rate, depending on the make and model of car you own. According to CAP Automotive, depreciation will be three times that you spend at a fuel pump.

So, what exactly is depreciation? Well, in layman’s terms it’s the difference in value between your car’s value now and the price you bought it for. New cars suffer incredibly high depreciation rates and amazingly drop between 15% and 35% in the first year alone. In just three years, your vehicle could have plummeted a whopping 50%.

As such, when purchasing a new car, it makes sense to know the models that’ll hold their value better and as such, not suffer from serious depreciation. Take a look at the manufacturers most known for holding their value – and the annual depreciation they suffer on average.

  • Land Rover 20.3%
  • Tesla 28.5%
  • Maserati 29.8%
  • Audi 31.1%
  • MINI 31.3%
  • Jeep 31.7%
  • Lexus 33.0%
  • Dacia 33.6%
  • Mitsubishi 34.0%
  • Mazda 34.2%

What will affect your car’s depreciation rate?

Now you know the vehicle’s least affected by depreciation, what can you do to reduce rates? There are plenty of factors to bear in mind when it comes to depreciation and in order to get the most value for your car, you should consider the following.

  • Reliability: Manufacturers known for producing highly reliable vehicles will hold their value better than those which don’t.
  • Desirability: This may seem an obvious point, but the more sought after your vehicle, the higher value it’ll retain.
  • Condition: This incorporates both the interior and exterior condition of the vehicle. The better condition it’s in, the more value it’ll have.
  • Owners: How many previous owners does your vehicle have? You can find this in the V5 logbook and in this case, the more your car’s had, the less it’ll likely be worth.
  • History: Do you keep a solid history of the vehicle’s servicing? Keep all paperwork related to your services and MOTs handy and you’ll be rewarded in a higher value.
  • Mileage: The average motorist travels some 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year. If you’re exceeding this, the chances are your vehicle won’t be worth as much as similar models.
  • Economy: Fuel economy is a major player in the automotive field at the moment, so the better the fuel economy, the more value it’ll hold.
  • Size: Small city cars are more likely to hold their value compared to a larger SUV. Why? Because the chances are parts and maintenance will be more expensive for the bigger vehicle.
  • Tax: This is a big consideration for second-hand car buyers; how much road tax will they need to pay. The lesser efficient motors will be eligible to pay a higher road tax – in turn making them less desirable.

Tips for selling privately and to trade

With the question of “how much is my car worth?”, the answer’s often in how much someone is willing to pay. After all, your vehicle may technically be worth £2,500, but if buyer’s will only offer £2,000 it’s not exactly helpful. This is even more so if you’re looking to sell quickly and struggling to find a buyer.

There are three options when it comes to getting rid of your old motor, whether it’s worth a few thousand or even just a few hundred pounds. Each has its own benefits and everyone seems to have their own preference.

  • Selling privately

By selling privately, the general opinion is you’ll get more value than at your local dealer. Why? Because you don’t have to factor in trade sellers bumping up the costs of your vehicle when they come to shift it. From a financial point of view, this is great news.

However, there are a few drawbacks that are worth considering, before you start advertising on your favourite automotive selling website. Your main consideration is hassle. You’ll need to pay to advertise your vehicle, then sit in and wait for each prospective buyer to turn up, test drive your motor and tell you “they have a few more to see first.” Of course, you never hear from them again.

Then there’s the worry of selling your car and something going wrong a few miles down the road. Whilst most private sales are protected by ‘caveat emptor’, translating to ‘buyer beware’, it’s no unusual for sellers to find themselves in court defending their credibility. Plus, you don’t want an angry buyer showing up on your doorstep demanding their cash back.

  • Selling to trade or part exchanging

When buying a new or even used car, with dealers there’s often the opportunity to trade in your old motor. Handy right? You get a brand new car, shift your old banger and even get a price discount on the motor.

Well, in truth you’re unlikely to get anywhere near the car’s true value. This is because dealers will mark-up the price when selling on. So, whilst there’s no hassle involved on your behalf and in no time at all you’ll be driving a new car – financially it makes little sense.

  • Selling to Southern Car Buyers

Your third option is to get a quote from Southern Car Buyers. It’s a very simple and straightforward process, whereby you can enter your registration number and we’ll value your motor. If you’re happy with the quote, we’ll arrange a suitable time to drop by and pick up the car. We’ll even pay you in cash or transfer the money into your bank account there and then.

This is of course, a no hassle method for selling your vehicle and means you have the funds in place to buy a new car as and when you wish. Plus, we offer value for money – So you don’t have to worry about not getting a true value quote.

What factors affect a car’s value?

So, you now know the factors that can have a damaging effect on depreciation value and know the three options available for shifting your vehicle, but what about the valuation? What is going to have the biggest effect on your car’s current value?

There are many things to factor into this equation and among others, listed below are the main considerations to be aware of.

  • The brand

Unfortunately for car sellers, there’s a truth in this. The brand of car you own will have an impact on resale value. For instance, those with a Ford, German or Japanese vehicle will likely sell their vehicle for a lot more in the future.

  • The colour

Love that bright yellow colour? Get a great vibe from pink? The colour of vehicle you opt for is up to you. But come the time to sell – This can be a big factor. Not everyone will have the same taste and a gutsy choice on the colour palette could have a major effect. Likewise, choosing the right colour will have a positive impact and can help better your chances of a sale too.

  • The technology

Car technology is improving at an astronomical rate and is one of the marketplaces manufacturers are competing in. Nowadays you can pick up models with parking sensors, inbuilt sat nav, automatic braking and lane sensor tech. It’s probably obvious, but the more technology your car has, the more it’ll be worth.

  • The exterior

By keeping your car in a glistening condition, the better value it’ll hold. For instance, scratches, dents and discoloured paintwork could all be frowned at by potential buyers. The chances are they’ll be able to find a similar model in better condition somewhere else. As a selling tip, it’s advised to give your car a good wash before arranging visits.

  • The interior

It’s not just the exterior that’ll have an effect on value either. The interior has just as big a part to play and by keeping it in good condition, you’ll hold more hope of getting a bigger resale value. Avoid your car smelling from pets or smoke, by giving the fabric a wash and fitting in an air freshener. Torn or worn floor mats can also be replaced cheaply.

  • The mechanics

When presenting your vehicle to potential buyers, you want to show the world that it’s mechanically sound. If the buyer is in any doubt whatsoever, there’s the chance they simply won’t take the risk. Keep all your MOTs and services on record and prove the car’s been well kept with oil changes, a spare tyre and topped-up battery.

  • The mileage

Again, as you would expect, the more miles on the clock, the lower the vehicle’s value will likely be. Motorists on average travel between 10,000 and 12,000 miles annually, but you could well be doing more than this. Also be aware that petrol vehicles over 100,000 and diesels over 150,000 miles won’t be looked on kindly.

Top tips on increasing the value of your car

So, your vehicle has run a fair few miles and is looking out of shape. Still, you want to maximise its value and get as much as you can when it comes to selling on. You’ll want to do this without spending an awful lot too, otherwise it’ll negate the whole point of trying to increase value.

Here are a few great ways of adding a few quid to your car’s value, when you plan to sell up in the near future.

  • Get a professional wash

First impressions count for a lot, so why not make the best start to a prospective sale by having your car gleaming. A professional wash and wax can be as little as £5 and could make or break your sale.

  • Clean up the inside

Whilst we’re on the subject of impressions, have a good tidy up of the inside too. Bin all the rubbish and clutter, remove smears from the windows and give the car a good hoover. It’s also possible to replace interior floor mats cheaply.

  • Top-up the levels

The oil, screen wash and braking fluid. All should be at the optimal level when selling your car as it gives buyers a little more confidence in the vehicle’s condition. You can top up the levels reasonably cheaply too and won’t have to spend a fortune.

  • Address the scratches

If your car’s looking a little worse for wear, it won’t be too attractive for potential buyers. However, you can give the bodywork a new lease of life with T-Cut. Using a cloth, apply this to minor bodywork scratches and you’ll instantly see an improvement in the appeal.

  • Get the paperwork in check

Keep all your service and MOT paperwork in a safe place, to show buyers when they pop round to test drive. These will highlight all the work you’ve had carried out and give peace of mind the mileage is valid.

When all things are said and done, there are plenty of factors that’ll contribute to the value of your car. If you find yourself asking the question of “how much is my car worth?”, it would be recommended to conduct some research into the matter and find similar vehicles to yours being sold on the web.

Useful links

In this section you’ll find a number of useful links for further information on selling and valuing your car.

Top 20 Cars to Hold Value:

Car Depreciation Value:

What is Depreciation:

Why do New Cars Depreciate Quickly:

5 Things that Affect Depreciation:

Fuel Economy Calculator:

Most Economical Cars in 2015:

How to Sell your Car Privately:

Avoid Scams When Selling your Car:

10 Tips for Selling Your Car Privately:

Negotiating When Selling Your Car:

Selling Your Car to a Dealer:

How to Part Exchange a Car:

Should I Take a Low Part Ex Deal:

Complete Guide to Selling Your Car:

Does Colour Affect Car Resale Value:

What Factors Affect a Car’s Value:

How to Get a Good Price for Your Car:

3 Ways to Get More Money for Your Car:

Why is it Important to have a Car Service: