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JT Hughes

How much is my car worth?

How much is my car worth?

If you’re getting tired of your old vehicle and looking to sell it, one of the first questions on your mind is “How much is my car worth?” Especially in this market, the value of your used car might actually be more than what you think.

Plus, there are a few steps you can take to prepare your vehicle for sale which will increase its value. We’ll go over all this and more in today’s 10-minute guide to selling your vehicle.

1. How much is my car worth? What is it based on?

The value of your vehicle is based on a few factors. These include:

1 - Make and model - Is your vehicle from a popular brand? KiaHyundaiHonda, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and BMW are among the most popular makes.


2 - Age and mileage - How much have you driven it and how old is it? The less mileage on a newer plate; the more you will get for your vehicle.


3 - The general condition - Does it look and run well? Every scratch and ding will detract from the value.


4 - The service history - Have you taken it in every year? Full-service histories are worth more. Consider getting a service plan if you don’t have one.


5 - The optional extras - Do you have higher-end trims? Those may be worth more.


6 - Previous owners - How many people had the vehicle before you? The fewer, the better.


7 - The colour - How desirable is the paintwork? Grey is the UK’s most popular colour.

2. How do I value my car?

You can go right to a dealership to get a valuation there and then. Or you can do it online. To find out how much your car is worth online, you’ll need the current mileage and your registration.

The website will look at the make, model, mileage, fuel type and age of the vehicle to give you a quote. Depending on which website you use, you may be asked about optional extras like trim and add-ons.

With this information, you’ll get an online estimate of what the vehicle is worth. This gives you a good idea of what you could expect from a dealer or a private sale.

But remember, the final value will depend on who you sell it to. Most dealers will do an on-site check to make sure the vehicle is in the condition you say it’s in and private buyers will often request for AA to look it over before purchasing.

3. Is it better to sell a car privately or part exchange?

You’ll likely get more money if you sell your car privately, but a part exchange is faster. The trade-off is time.

The extra money you can expect to make from a private sale needs to be balanced against time-wasters and long listing times.

Additionally, you could be liable to a private seller if the vehicle is found to be in unsuitable condition within the first 6 months. 

Once you answer the question “how much is my car worth”, deduct a reasonable amount if you’d like a quick and convenient sale with a dealer.

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4. How long should I keep a car before selling it? At what mileage do cars lose value?

If you’ve only just bought your vehicle, then don’t sell it. Cars lose a lot of value the moment they’re driven off the forecourt and you want to get the most out of that depreciation by using them.

Most vehicles are sold between 3-5 years old. After 40,000 miles, the depreciation is more steady up to 15k. In fact, the biggest drop in value is after 20,000 miles. Even an old car with 100k miles in good condition can hold its value in the current market.

5. Should you trade your car in before it's paid off?

Ideally, no. The best idea is to pay off any finance before trying to sell your vehicle. Vehicles on finance cannot be sold to private buyers. If the vehicle is in negative equity, you’ll need to pay off the difference between the value and what you owe. 

6. What paperwork do I need to sell my car privately or to a dealer?

Not having any paperwork may drastically lower your car's value and increase the hassle it takes to sell it. For a smooth sale, we recommend you have the following: 

For a smooth sale, we recommend you have the following:

  • Complete service history with receipts
  • MOT certificate and history
  • Repair history with receipts
  • Any car warranty details from the manufacturer or aftermarket
  • V5C logbook (You can’t sell a car without it)
  • V317, if applicable
  • Owner’s manual
  • Purchase receipts and proof of reservation
  • Tax records

Oh and, it’s not paperwork, but it’s a great idea to know where your spare keys are before listing or part exchanging your car.

7. How should you prepare your car before selling it?

Before you list your car or take it to a dealership, you need to do some basic preparations. This will influence how much your car is worth and how desirable it is to buyers.

Remove any modifications

If possible, take off anything that did not come with the vehicle like vinyl wrapping, spoilers and decals. 

Clean the inside & outside

It’s a good idea to get the car professionally valeted. This will help make the vehicle look more presentable for buyers. Pay special attention to dirt, grime, dog hair, pet odour, paw scratches, spiderwebs and smoke, food or vaping odours.

Get minor repairs fixed

Any minor issues you can get fixed for cheap will increase the value of the vehicle when you go to sell it. Replacing worn brake pads, oil filters or scratches can enhance the price buyers are willing to pay.

Check electrics and fluids

Make sure to check that all the lights, mod cons and fluids are topped up and working their best. This will help to get you a better price on the day. 

Get a fresh MOT

If your MOT is due to run out soon, you might want to consider getting a new one done before listing or trading in your vehicle. This will give the buyer peace of mind that the vehicle is roadworthy and free from immediate faults.

8. What is the best site to value a car?

There are hundreds of websites online which allow you to get an estimated value for your vehicle. Here are some popular ones:

  • Autotrader - They were awarded Used Car Valuations Provider of the Year in 2019 for their innovative algorithms.
  • Parkers - For 50 years, Parkers has been helping drivers get the best price for their used vehicles.
  • Car Dealerships (JT Hughes) - Most dealers will give you an indication online or in-person of what your vehicle is worth at trade-in. We do too!

If you need more information about “how much is my car worth” or how to prepare it before a sale, talk to our helpful team here.






Sophia Decruse More than one year ago
I recently came across your blog a found it pretty well-informed, as I am also planning on selling my car, the key points that you shared are well-noted. I recently came across one of the sites car.co.uk for selling your scraped or used cars, they are pretty good at there services.
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