Factors that impact the value of my car

Cars aren’t just a way of getting from A to B. While the true value of your car might depend on obvious factors such as the make and model, there are other areas to consider that could impact the price someone is willing to pay for it too.

Whether you are looking to hold onto your car or sell it, considering what is more likely to increase the value could help you get the best possible price in the long run. By keeping what the wider market wants in mind, this will also help achieve a good figure when it comes to selling your car.

Here’s a general overview of some of the main factors that could determine how much your car is worth.

The Milage

The number of miles on the clock is a good indicator of how worn your car is. It goes without saying that a car with 10,000 miles on the clock is going to appear more attractive to buyers than a car with 150,000 miles on the clock. In fact, once you get into six figures your car becomes a lot less attractive to buyers.

That’s not to say cars with excessive mileage aren’t valuable, after all, it depends on the make of the car too. However, you have to factor in that cars that have quite literally been around the block, tend to require more repairs. The interior may also be in poor condition, especially if the car is vintage.

You should always be upfront about the mileage, and when buying ask questions about cars that have suspiciously low mileage. The practice of ‘car clocking’ in which a cars clock has been falsely changed, is carried out in 1 in 16 cars in the UK. Changing the mileage of a cars clock could initially raise its value, but will eventually erase it entirely as the practice is illegal and punishable with a prison sentence.

The Condition

Like with anything you are trying to sell, the condition will hugely impact its value and is arguably the biggest factor that determines its overall worth. Points to consider with your car include general wear and tear, the number of previous repairs as well as damage. The type of damage will not impact every car the same when it comes to its value. For example, a scratch on the paintwork could impact the value of a Ferrari much more than a Ford Fiesta, not least because of the difference in car value and specialism required to fix it.

In some cases, you can improve the condition of your car while raising the value too. An example would be fixing a broken light, which could be repaired relatively cheaply but by leaving it broken, you are depreciating your car’s value. Before undertaking any major work, it’s always worth seeking advice as just because you spend thousands repairing or modifying your car, that doesn’t mean the overall value will reflect this.

Be aware that brand new cars might be considered as being in perfect condition, but will still depreciate in value, especially during the first 3 years of ownership, even if you take excellent care of your car. To avoid this, one option is to purchase a second-hand new car to offset the depreciation. Either way, by taking good care of your car and scheduling repairs promptly, you can still retain most of the potential value, once depreciation has been factored in.

The colour of your car

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the colour of your car, but when considering the value, more specifically how quick someone would be to buy it off you – if the paintwork is garish or a bit too niche for most people’s tastes, you might struggle to shift it. So, when it comes to selling your car you’d have to sell it for much less than you were hoping for, therefore affecting the value.

The colour of a car particularly determines the value of expensive models, as buyers will have extremely refined ideas about what they want. A bright pink Range Rover, for example, would not be as easy to shift as a standard black one. That being said, the cost of a respray is between £1,000 and £10,000 depending on the make of the car, meaning correcting the colour isn’t always cost-effective. Therefore, when considering changing the colour of your car, always seek advice about how it could affect your cars long term value.

Other factors

Additional things to consider include the location of your car, as the market for what cars are most popular in your area, can be quite interchangeable. Reliable estate cars will do well anywhere, but for other cars (for example, sports cars) it really depends on the clientele you have in your local area, or if people are willing to drive miles out to collect it.

Modifications are another factor. While it’s not completely black and white, in most cases modifications can actually reduce the value of your car. Your car was built to spec for a reason, and so when different parts are added, this can make reselling difficult especially if it’s a poorly done job. Remember that the more you customise your car to your personal preferences, the less appealing it becomes to the wider market.

Another point is the reputation of your car’s manufacturer. There are some cars that are stalwarts of British motoring (such as Mini’s) that will always have a value attached to them from their name alone. So, if the retaining value is your top concern then it pays to do your research before you buy.

Getting your car’s valuation

While all the attention to the value of your car mostly goes on the actual vehicle, the method in which you try and sell it could impact the price too. These days you have everything from old school newspaper ads to online auction sites. You could leave a sign in your car window with your contact details to speak with buyers in person.

If your not a natural-born salesperson, selling your car this way might not be for you. Plus, how can you be sure how much your car is worth, without checking it out first? Luckily, here at Jamjar, all we require is your reg number to provide you with a range of quotes for your car, without any hassle. By understanding how much your car is worth and seeing real-time quotes, you can make the best choice for yourself.