How to Determine a Car’s Value as a Buyer

When you’re shopping for anything, it’s important to understand how much the item in question is really worth. And when it’s something as significant as a car, this becomes especially important, as there may be thousands of pounds on the line!

What Affects the Pricing?

Several factors go into determining the value of a car. When considering them, it’s worth thinking about financing. There are plenty of lenders available online, even to those with poor credit histories.


Visible marks on the exterior of the car will give an indication of the treatment it’s been subjected to. Thus, making a physical inspection of a prospective purchase is absolutely essential. What’s more, listen out for any strange noises during the test drive.


The number of miles on the clock is among the most easily quoted measures of a car’s condition. The further it’s travelled, the worse the condition will be. Of course, this is a little bit of an oversimplification.


This is the simplest factor to consider, as it’s something that’s easily determined using the registration plate. You might find gems with older plates, but the value of most non-classic cars will depreciate over time, meaning that what went for a given price a few years ago might go for substantially less now. Moreover, depreciation is most rapid during the earliest part of a car’s life. There’s a bigger difference, pricewise, between a new car and a 3-year-old car than between a 3-year-old car and a ten-year-old car.

Free Car Valuations Sites

There are plenty of sites online that will value your car for you, for free. If you decide that the price they’re offering is fair, then you might be linked directly to a buyer. This convenience isn’t free. The price you’re quoted might therefore be a little bit on the stingy side relative to what can be had on the open market. Thus, the figures that they offer should be taken with a generous pinch of salt.

Used Car Price Guides

Used car dealers have historically relied on a few price guides. These include the CAP Black Book and the Glass’s Guide. Nowadays, you’re better off consulting Google. Look for listings of cars of the kind you’re buying and use those as a benchmark. Factor in the amount of time you’re investing in researching the purchase – if you’re in the right ballpark and spot a bargain, hesitating can often be costly!

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