How much is my car worth?

by ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

There are many things that can impact the value of your car. Read our guide below before you go to value your car.

How much is my car worth?

So you’re thinking of selling your car? It may not come as a surprise but lately, more and more people are selling their car. 

Since the pandemic millions of us are working from home or are on hybrid working schemes, leaving us with fewer needs to own a car. We can afford to use public transport for a couple of days or even car share with a colleague. You might even be considering getting rid of your can for environmental reasons. 

However, if it is for financial reasons, then you wouldn’t be the only one. During these hard time more people than ever are ditching their cars for more affordable options. So, how much can you get for your vehicle?

Can you sell your car?

It’s important to note that in order to sell your car and actually earn money from it, you need to own it outright. If you lease your car from a car dealership or manufacturer, while you can sell it to another dealership or manufacturer, you can’t always make a profit on it. You need to check the terms of your agreement. 

For example, if you leased a car from Ford, you’ve been paying payments for 2 years and you have a balloon payment; you would be able to ‘sell’ your car to Honda if they were willing to pay the rest of the balance on your agreement with Ford. They would essentially buy the car from you, they would then own it. However, because the value of a car goes down drastically in relation to how much you’re paying on the finance agreement, you’ll often find that the ‘sell’ isn’t that useful and in fact most car dealerships or manufacturers won’t take this type of offer unless it involves you entering another finance agreement with them. It sounds complicated and trust us - it can be. It’s a great way to reduce your payments towards a car finance but it’s not going to save you lots of money. This is why we avoid it, only focus on selling a car if you own it outright.

The ways to check your car’s value

Now that we’ve got that complicated but very valid method of getting rid of your car out of the way. We can focus on actually selling your car. Selling it outright and getting all the profit into your pocket. But first of all, you need to know you’re selling it for a good price.

You can check the value of your car online using various valuation tools. You can take your car to the manufacturer and ask them for some advice. You could even take your car to a privately owned multi-brand dealership and ask them their opinion. Of course, you must take into consideration that online tools will not know the condition of your car. Scratches, dents and stains in the seats will lower the resell value. But they’re great at giving you a ‘maximum’ idea as to how much you can get.

On the other hand, you need to remember that dealerships will probably lowball you on their figure. They’re not looking to give you the most money possible for your vehicle, they’re trying to give you the least so that when they sell it, they can maximise their profits. Don’t get caught up too much on how much they offer.

Once you’ve received a few ideas as to how much people would pay for your car, it’s time to decide how you want to sell it.

The pros and cons of selling privately

Selling privately can mean a lot of admin for yourself but it is also a way of getting to decide exactly how much you sell your car for. The first thing you will need to do is take multiple photos of your car. Up close photos of the seats, any bumps or scrapes. You want to document as much of the car as possible and really show it off. Once you’ve done that, you need to upload it onto whatever online site you want.

Used car websites are the most common. However, be aware that some may take a commission fee. Be sure to read the fine print before you go uploading your car onto multiple sites at once. 

We must point out that if you choose to privately sell your car, there is a lot of work to do. Not just speaking to multiple people online and making the time to see them, but there are a few safety considerations you need to make. If someone wants to visit your car, that’s one thing. 

But if they want to test drive it then you need to make sure they are insured to do so. It’s not like when you test drive from a dealership and the dealership covers you. You need to make sure that they have the correct insurance to test your car because if they don’t and something happens your car may be written off and you will have no insurance to protect your finances.

The pros and cons of selling to car dealerships

Dealerships may offer slightly less for buying your car however there is a far smaller headache that goes along with it. You can barter for the best price between all the dealerships in your area to maximise your profit. However, you need to accept it will not be as much money. 

That being said, as soon as your dealership gives you a price you want to accept. It’s simple. Hand over the keys, and documentation and walk away with money in your pocket. You don’t need to worry about taking photos for your car’s profile, organising people to visit or ensuring that they have insurance to test drive. Just accept the offer and you’re done.

It’s up to you how you sell your car, so really, it’s up to you how much it is worth - to a certain extent. Just make sure you do your research and weigh up the cost of your time and effort in selling - then you’ll always get value for your money.


ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

Model reviews, buying guides, service tips, and auto news - straight from our team of car experts.

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