Having an accurate estimate of what your car is worth is extremely important, not only so you can get a fair price when it comes time to sell, but also for simple tasks such as renewing car insurance policies. By using our simple guide or our online car value calculator, you can quickly and easily work out what your car is worth.
Calculating what your car is worth requires a knowledge of the car’s history and condition, as well as current market value. However, a good starting point is to roughly calculate the value of a car based on its age and category.
People often wonder what is my car worth, especially once the vehicle begins to depreciate from its original retail price. Not only is this useful to know if you're planning to sell the vehicle, but also for other aspects of ownership such as car insurance. We have put together the chart below to find the projected worth of each category of car year by year to help answer this question. Please note, this chart assumes the listed vehicles are in mint condition and have not exceeded the average annual UK mileage for each of their respective categories.
|Sector||1 Year||2 Year||3 Year||4 Year||5 Year||6 Year||7 Year||8 Year||9 Year||10 Year||+10 Year||Average Price|
As you can see, the rate of age depreciation can have a large bearing on how much a car is worth. Typically, a car can lose between 15-35% of its value in its first year, and in some cases up to 50% over its first three years based on its age alone. However, there are many more factors than just age to consider when calculating how much you could sell your car for.
|Sector||1 Year||2 Year||3 Year||4 Year||5 Year||6 Year||7 Year||8 Year||9 Year||10 Year||+10 Year||Average Price|
The number of miles a car has done over the years can have a substantial effect on how much your vehicle is worth, particularly if it has done significantly more or fewer miles than the projected annual average for its category.
While the estimated annual UK average changes between vehicle type, the rules for each remain the same: if a car has greatly exceeded the UK average, it will often be worth less, and if it is greatly under the UK average, it will often be worth more.
The estimated annual mileage in the UK for some of the most common vehicle categories are as follows:
|Category||Avg Annual Mileage|
The physical condition of a car also effects how much it is worth at resale. Again, a car in mint condition will require no cosmetic or mechanical repairs and, therefore, will have no value deducted in this category. However, should the vehicle have sustained physical or mechanical damage, repairing these issues will incur a cost to the new owner and, therefore, the cost of these repairs will often be removed from the resale price of the car.
Vehicles that have been involved in collisions but have been repaired are often marked as ‘Category C’ or ‘Category D’, a system created by insurance companies to define the severity of the damage in relation to the market value of the car. Vehicles that have been put into one of these categories are likely to fetch a lower price at resale, due to the added risk of driving a car involved in a more substantial collision.
As the range of damage that can occur to a vehicle is so wide and varied, it’s almost impossible to set a rule of thumb that you can use to calculate how much your car is worth. It's also useful to calculate how much a prospective car is worth, so you have a rough idea of what a fair price is, and what you should expect to pay. For an accurate figure in this instance, use our valuation calculator and be sure to add as many extra details on damage to the vehicle as possible.
The amount of service history a vehicle has also played a large part when it comes to calculating what a car is worth.
Service history gives the buyer an idea of how well the car has been looked after in the past, as well as details on any previous issues the vehicle may have had. The less service history the car has at resale, the less the buyer knows about the car’s past, and the more of a risk the sale becomes.
To ensure you get the best possible price and don’t lose any value here, hold on to all service and MOT documentation, ready to be retrieved when it comes time to sell your car. It’s also worth noting that many buyers now also take a full ‘approved’ service history into account, paying extra for vehicles that have a full record of services from approved manufacturer garages, and less for cars that do not.
If you are wondering, "What's my car worth", another factor to consider within the calculation is the number of previous owners the vehicle has had. Generally, the more owners a car has had the less it will be worth, however by how much is disputable, and often varies from model to model. The number of previous owners a car has had can be found in the vehicle’s logbook or V5C registration.
Be sure to note that the number of previous owners you should list does not include the current owner of the car; for example, if you bought a car as new the number of previous owners would be ‘0’. Our online car value calculator also offers an option for those who don’t know how many previous owners their vehicle has had.
If your car is still relatively new, there’s a good chance it will have a remaining manufacturer’s warranty, which can actually increase how much the vehicle is worth.
It’s not uncommon for most manufacturers to now offer a standard 3-year warranty on new cars, however, to drive up sales and interest in certain models, some manufacturers offer an extended warranty, in some cases as long as 7 years. Be sure to check how much remaining warranty your car has, the longer it has remaining, the more value it could ultimately add!
Fuel economy has become increasingly important to buyers over the past decade, with fuel costs steadily increasing and new charges and levies being introduced by the government for gas guzzling vehicles in congested areas, it’s quickly becoming too expensive to drive a car that isn’t economic.
This is only set to get worse for diesel drivers too, with higher taxes and surcharges set to be introduced for diesel cars. All of this is likely to have an impact on the desirability of these vehicles, which will likely negatively impact how much it is worth at resale.
If you own an economic petrol car that gets a great number of miles to the gallon, chances are your vehicle won’t lose value when it comes to fuel economy and extra costs. However, if you own a diesel car or a vehicle that is uneconomic with fuel, you may want to consider selling before the new charges are introduced and the buyer’s interest is lost completely.
The age of a car is one of the largest determining factors when it comes to assessing how much the vehicle is worth.
As you may know, newer cars can depreciate quite quickly, losing up to 50% of its ‘new’ value in the first 3-4 years of ownership, so paying close attention to the market value of your vehicle based on its age alone is a good way to know what to expect when the time comes to resell the car.
You can use the handy depreciation graph above to see how cars tend to depreciate on average by category; the graph shows you how much cars are worth throughout the first 10 years of ownership, and demonstrates the average rate of depreciation based on average resale prices on a model and usage basis.Simply put, the age of a vehicle has a large bearing on how much it is worth, regardless of its condition. The older the car is, the less it will ultimately be worth at resale compared to the vehicle’s ‘showroom value’ as new.
Have you modified your car and now you're thinking, "How much is my vehicle worth"? Well, car modifications and customisations can often negatively impact how much you could get at resale as it reduces interest and adds an additional element of ‘risk’ for potential buyers.
Car modifications are often popular amongst car enthusiasts, with custom spoilers, body kits, and electronics being popular choices for modifications amongst the car modification community. While most of these modifications are legal and comply with motoring rules and regulations, it’s more than likely that a heavily modified car is only going to sell to a very specific type of buyer (and webuyanycar.com of course!).
Firstly, it’s likely that the car has been modified to suit the preference and taste of the current owner, meaning the car will likely only appeal to potential buyers with similar taste and preferences. This means if you choose to part-exchange the car when buying a new vehicle, you could receive substantially less, as the dealer knows the market for a modified car is often quite small. It is also possible that the dealer would refuse to accept the modified car as part of a part-exchange deal.
Cars which are heavily customised may also concern potential buyers who would want to see the true condition of the car. Heavy modifications, such as custom boy kits or vibrant paint jobs may be concealing previous damage which, therefore, adds an additional risk factor that other cars do not. Simply put, the closer a car is to its ‘assembly line’ appearance, the more easily a potential buyer can identify any potential issues and more accurately assume the value of the vehicle based on its condition.
While the guide above can help you get a rough idea of how much your vehicle is worth, we have a much more convenient and accurate tool that you can use to get a free car valuation in under 60 seconds.
So, if you often ask yourself what is my car worth, simply enter the registration plate number of the car you’d like to value into the box above, and enter a few simple details on the following page and you’ll receive an instant online quote.
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