How to Value your Car for a Sale

How to Value your Car for a Sale main

When it comes to selling your car, the first priority should always be understanding its value and therefore, how to price the car for sale. Without knowing your car’s true value first, you’ll be guessing at what to try to sell it for.

Overpricing a car could mean you have to wait months to achieve a sale (if at all), and ‘underpricing’ means you may sell it quickly, but you may miss out on cash.

How can I get an accurate valuation for my car?

1. Go online to value your car

There are a wealth of tools out there to help you determine the value of your car. But which of them can you trust? And how can you be sure the valuation they provide is accurate?

2. Understand your car’s value isn’t fixed

The truth is, the value of your car is speculative, what someone is willing to pay for your car depends on a myriad of factors and an exact figure on ‘value’ can never be determined ahead of a sale, as in truth, every potential buyer has different needs.

As an example – private, individual buyers will want to own and drive the car after they have bought it, while professional buyers will need to sell it on for a profit. This will mean they will both be willing to pay different prices for the same vehicle, and will therefore value the car differently.

3. Use a number of different valuation tools

For the reasons stated above, we recommend you use a number of different services to get a valuation for your car.

This will allow you to get a ballpark figure to aim for. You will be able to build an estimated valuation by valuing online, and we highly recommend you do this before selling.

The easiest and first route to try should be an online car valuation tool. There are a number of websites offering free online valuations. We recommend you try Regit, AutoTrader, Parkers, WhatCar? and Motorway: the comparison site for selling your car.

You can visit these websites and enter information about your car. The process usually starts with you entering your car’s reg and mileage. Using this information, they calculate a rough estimate of your car.

How to Value your Car for a Sale motorway

4. Understand why valuations vary from site to site

Valuations will vary between websites as each calculator makes different assumptions about your car. Some may assume you have a full service history for example, while others will assume fair wear and tear. It does vary between platforms.

If there are a number of issues with your car, e.g. damage (dents, scratches, chips), missing service history, missing sets of keys or faults showing on the dashboard, these issues will affect your car’s value. So always take online valuations as rough guides!

How can I get an accurate valuation from a dealer?

Car dealers purchase a variety of cars on a daily basis and are therefore expertly placed to value cars from their forecourts or in a branch. To get an accurate valuation, it’s always worth speaking to a dealer.

To get the best offer, we highly recommend you go to a dealer that specialises in your vehicle’s make, as they will have the specific market knowledge to know the value of your car’s make and model.

If selling to a dealer is something you wish to pursue, it can sometimes be worth speaking to at least 2 or 3 different local dealers in person. That way you’ll get the opinion of three different dealers and have a great idea of what your car is worth.


To conclude, getting an accurate car valuation isn’t an easy process and there’s no definitive answer to ‘how much is my car worth?’

To make sure you have the best understanding possible, value your car in a variety of different places and if you can, talk to a dealer that specialises in your car’s brand. If you want to sell your car fast and compare your options online, as an example, Motorway works with a number of specialist dealers and online car buyers.


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