How much is my car worth?
How much is my car worth ? Is a question I hear often.
The thing is… when you go to sell your car; it’s common to run into a bit of a challenge when trying to figure this out.
All to often you may end up selling a vehicle that is worth far less than you imagined. And when the dealership hits you with the meagre number (far off what you expected), it can be a real rock to your confidence.
However the concerns that we are about to dig into when considering How much is my car worth – may play an important to role in realising the price of your vehicle accurately.
First up… what should you be looking, at when you think your car might be undervalued?
Car Dating Records
One thing that many people don’t think would matter, when asking How much is my car worth? – but almost certainly does, is how many “marriages” your car has had. By this, I mean how many owners; how many dates has the car been on with other people? Dealers rate this information highly as it gives the car a reputation of being reliable or one that you get rid of quickly.
Whilst a small grouping of owners over a significant period of time will not really hurt you too much, you do need to consider how a range of owners over a period of one or two years will look. It makes the vehicle look as if it has no real or genuine value, and can quickly be seen as a bit of a busted flush. However, it also comes down to the dealerships own personal successes with a vehicle; are they dealing with good sales on your kind of vehicle? Then they might look at your ownership rate a bit more positively.
Asking the question How much is my car worth? – is something that you do need to think about, as the company will be running with industry data to try and ascertain the fairest price, and if they are using Glass or CAP they will be getting plenty of information about the car, including an average price that is on the market. Things like the ownership record, though, could just rock the boat enough to see your price offered take a significant kicking. This is something to consider quite carefully as a car that is not producing a very positive ownership record could lose out to a car that is almost identical, but has had less owners.
Is The Heart Ruling The Head?
When thinking about How much is my car worth? a major problem for those who are trying to sell cars is looking at the vehicle with their heart rather than the head. We’ve covered this further down below but it really is the biggest barrier to your success. You need to take off those glasses that are blocking your view and look at things like the body and the paintwork. Getting to grips with all those dull parts, scratches, bangs and bumps that never seemed to really matter until now is so important to getting the true value of a vehicle.
Take a forensic look at everything from the paint to the wheels and even the windows. Don’t forget about the interior, either – this has to be forensically investigated to make sure that you can get a vehicle that is easy to use and attractive to potential buyers. Is the car being serviced on time every year or are you delaying things? Because that will hurt you, too.
When considering How much is my car worth?, if you’ve paid a lot of money for spoilers and extras you will probably dent the final price, too. Most people aren’t keen on this kind of stuff and won’t be shy about letting you know. Take the time to be objective about the state of your car and you might get a whole lot more luck with ending up with a price that is actually reflective of its class.
Start by visiting places like WeBuyAnyCar.com, as they offer a very good range of starting points to do some research and to get a better idea of what your car is worth. The one thing we can say, though, is don’t be misled by looking at classified ads – they don’t tell the whole truth and will give you a rather poor perception of what you could be worth. Just because Joe from Brixton is selling his Fiesta for that much does not mean that you can, too!
Cars are like people. They have so many complex differences that when judging one against the other it is absolute folly. Lose the emotion and stop looking for logic to make sense to you – instead, find the actual facts behind the situation and you are more likely to lose the tinted glasses and start making smart, calculated and intelligent decisions about your vehicles overall price.
Understanding Dealership Valuations
When considering How much is my car worth? Another big part in establishing vehicle value and a fair price is the dealership valuation in general.
If you are using the average value based on what dealers are selling the car for then you will be in for a bit of a shock as this does not take into account the wide reaching ways they will find to reduce the fee that they are paying out to you.
Dealers will look at the model, specifications and the year of your vehicle before going any further. Your vehicle could have things like a manual gearbox, or come in a really undesirable colour that would need to be changed. You could, though, be sitting with the King of the car that you own with the best specifications and a classy, well-received colour. This all comes into play when looking at the price you’ll get.
One fancy spoiler to many
Another big problem when considering How much is my car worth?, is when you jazz up your car too much. Fancy rims, spoilers and tinted windows might make you feel like you are in a racing movie, but the next buyer might not be so eager to drive around like this and that will impact on the value.
Whilst you will get away with having an older vehicle that has a bit more mileage on the clock compared to others, you won’t be able to get away with having an old car that is the vehicle equivalent of an OAP. If a model upgrade has happened to your vehicle since you bought it you can expect the price to have hit the floor with your model. Factor in things like warranty periods being expired and the value you expect and the value you get could be two totally different things.
Damage and decay
Another big issue when considering How much is my car worth?, is the condition of the car. If any kind of damage or decay can be seen, you will be charged for it in the final price. Leaks, tyre wear and tear, service history, MOT history and various other little things all come into the mind of the mechanic when looking at your vehicles service history. Everything that they need to fork out fixing up this stuff is going to come out of your final price.
The last thing to think about when considering How much is my car worth? is the mileage on the clock.
If you’ve spent plenty of time going from Southampton to Inverness then your overall pricing is going to be a whole lot worse than it could have been. A car with low mileage despite its age can balance out, but if you like to go everywhere in the car you might find that it will hurt you when the time comes to sell.
I’m I being scammed?
If you turn up to sell or exchange your car expecting a right few quid and you get offered buttons in exchange, no doubt you’ll be more than a little frustrated.
The question How much is my car worth?… may blurt out your mouth in alarm!
You may feel like the mechanic is out to get you. After loving your car and taking care of it soundly you might soon find that the mechanic who wants to buy it is not quite as impressed with your diligence. You’ve now been told that – after all that work and care – it’s worth less than half of what you were expecting. “Surly these guy are trying it!”
A rather broad a question…
When you ask How much is my car worth?, you are asking a rather broad question. Whilst you’ll find morally dubious individuals who buy cars for a song and leave you out of pocket and with no other option, you will find that most of the markdowns are actually a bit fairer than they might appear. Keep in mind that you are going to a motor professional who knows that you want to sell; you have less knowledge, and you have no advantage as you initiated the process. This leaves you in a bit of a challenge, do you listen to their words and get a bad fee, or do you say no and risk being dropped?
The chances are, though, that the lowballing will start to incrementally rise until you get to a figure a bit more like what you were hoping for. Never ever accept the first offer provided; because it might be the lowest offer they could have provided you with!
By taking a running guess at your cars value and doing no research, or just going with arbitrary numbers based on what you paid for X and Y, you will get nowhere. However, if you are look at car ads you will be a bit more accurate, but not quite there yet. The best way to actually understand the price of your vehicle is quite simple; you need to remove the emotional aspect.
When considering How much is my car worth?, think of it as if you were a buyer, not the one who has had so many good memories and fun times in the car. Take out the emotional side of things and you will find that it could be much easier to negotiate a price that make sense.
A mechanic will always presume you don’t have a clue about this kind of thing so you need to be prepared to get on the web and get reading. Look into the reasons why you might be getting a poor value return and then work out why they might be trying to use industry data to try and tie you up in knots. Take the time needed to learn before you try and sell and get burned.
My car’s name is Daisy
Your car may be called Daisy, and it may have got you to the moon and back, but the bottom-line is that the salesman does not care. They see an arbitrary figure and a chance to buy a car that could be worth something to them for next to nothing.
Funnily enough, you want to try and avoid this scenario and concentrate on the most effective way to stop this from happening. Without a doubt, this is by looking at your car as a Peugeot, not Peter the Peugeot. It’s not an actor, it’s not a superstar – it’s a car.
Finally…when considering the question How much is my car worth?, try to drop the emotion, do your research and line yourself up for a successful sale.
To health and vehicle happiness,
Your fearless mechanic,
Looking for an MOT West London anybody?
We all love a good deal, and currently there are a tons of garages offering cheap MOT specials online for customers. But how do you go about spotting a genuine deal from a scam?
“It’s not the MOT test fee, but repairing the “fails” that usually costs a fortune.”
Companies can only charge up to the official maximum for an MOT. (The maximum test costs are £54.85 for cars or motor caravans and £29.65 for motorbikes. For a full list, see the Gov.uk website).
For example while some garages may promote MOT West London, with specials to win new clients over and build lasting relationships, (based on good service and a positive first experience), others might have a more short-term objective in mind, and unfortunately your £24.99 MOT deal may just end up costing you thousands in repair costs.
Still, getting your MOT done in a local garage does bring convenience, as you can get all the necessary repairs done in one place – and the re-tests are usually free.
So how do you separate the genuine deals from the phonies and avoid unnecessary repairs?
For example if your looking for and MOT West London, check that the garage is on Good Garage to ensure it’s trustworthy, its great website because the reviews are based on real customer feedback and experience.
Second, conduct a do-it-yourself MOT check of the avoidable fails.
Forty percent of MOT’s fail first time, and far too many are due to a simple avoidable reason. Don’t worry, most of this is common sense not mechanical sense. Some of the fails you can sort yourself, others will need professional help. Either way, sorting out some basic work pre-test will usually end up being cheaper, and either way at least you’ll be prepared.
How To Beat The Most Frequent Fails
Without further ado, here’s my guide to helping you beat the most frequent types of MOT fails.
Lights: Are your lights fully working?
Have someone sit in your car while you walk around checking every light. Front, rear, headlights and dipped, hazards and indicators. If any aren’t working properly, buy a new bulb for a few quid and replace it. It’s easy in most cars although a few manufactures do make it slightly more complex.
Suspensions: Check your suspension.
While a full suspension check is difficult, in order to see if your shock absorbers have gone, quickly apply your weight to each corner of the car and then release. The car should quickly settle back into place – if not you may have a problem.
Brakes – Is there tension on the handbrake?
This is not so easy to do yourself, and it will need a professional mechanic to fix. If your brakes feel loose and unresponsive, or the handbrake slides up without resistance and can’t be reached at a certain level, it’s likely you have a issue with your brakes that will need attention.
Tyre’s: Check your tyre pressure.
To check your tyre pressure, look up what pressure they should be and fill ’em up at the petrol station. Check your tyre tread, which is the depth of grooves for road grip. The legal minimum is 1.6mm for a car tyre (enough to let surface water slip through).To measure, use the quick 20p tyre test detailed on the Tyre Safe website. Pop a 20p coin on its edge into the main grooves of the tyre tread. If the outer rim of the coin is hidden, your tyres should be legal. If you can see it, well its probably new tyre time.
Windscreen: Is your windscreen damaged?
Damage to the driver’s central view should be no larger than 10mm, and within the whole of the swept area, it should be no larger than 40mm. If it is, it make sense to have it fixed pre-test (often this is included in car insurance policies). Windscreen wipers? Front wipers are checked in the MOT test and need to clear the windscreen in conjunction with the washers.
Exhaust: Is your exhaust leaking?
To check, start the engine (in a well-ventilated place, at normal temperature) and from the rear of the car listen for any unusual noises or abnormal smoke. If you can hear unusual noises this may indicate a leak, which you should have looked at and fix pre-MOT.
License Plate: Can you read your license plate clearly?
Make sure that your license plates are clean and easily legible from 20m away.
Fluids: Are all your car fluids topped up?
Check the brake fluid, windscreen washer and oil reserves.
The rest: An all-over once-over. Make sure that your fuel cap is secure, that your mirrors are in good condition, and that all your seat-belts are fully functional.
New MOT checks were introduced in March 2013 under EU rules which were already in place in Northern Ireland. These include some extra checks on categories already part of the test, including electronic warning lights, speedometers and electronic handbrake checks.
But as always, if you need any help or guidance please feel free to get in touch.
To health and vehicle happiness
Your fearless mechanic