Car valuations: why they can save you money

  • An independent valuation will help you get the best deal
  • Selling: a valuation means you can haggle for the best trade-in
  • Buying: know what to pay for the car you're looking for
  • Click here for a Parkers free car valuation

Make sure you get the best deal by getting an accurate valuation for your car

If you're looking to buy or sell a car, the most important thing you need to know is what it's worth. For buyers, it might be because you're trading-in or want to know what the car you're looking at is worth, and for sellers, it's vitally important to know what is a fair price to ask for your car. Getting an accurate car valuation will put you in the driving seat in both situations.

The good news is that getting an accurate and trusted price for your car is easier than ever with an online car valuation. Gone are the days of relying on your dealer to share the contents of their well-thumbed Glass's Guide or Cap 'bible' – now, a decent valuation is just a few mouse clicks (or thumb swipes) away.

The importance of an accurate valuation can't be underestimated. Knowing what your car is worth will help you get to a fair deal when trading in. It will also help you get a fair price for your car when selling. But possibly more importantly, it could help you as you near the end of your PCP deal in helping you decide whether to hand back your car, sell it and pay off the balloon payment, or simply buy it outright.

Finally, when you insure your car, the chances are you'll be asked what it's worth. This way you'll know.

What about when you buy?

Unless you strike it very lucky, the chances are that any new car you buy is going to lose value along the way. Depreciation – when a car loses value – depends on many things, such as the make of car, its colour, and what options you've added. The biggest factor that governs depreciation is supply and demand, though, and to help make the right choice, here's a list of the best cars in the UK for resale value.

Best new cars in the UK for depreciation (2019)
Retained original value in terms of percentage over three years and 30,000 miles, data provided by Cap HPI.

>> Porsche 911 GT3 (81.6%)
>> Jaguar XE Project 8 (69.5%)
>> Range Rover Velar P250 (68.9%)
>> Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid (67.0%)
>> Porsche Macan Performance (66.8%)
>> Bentley Bentayga (64.9%)
>> Ferrari 488 GTB (64.5%)
>> Lotus Exige (63.4%)
>> Porsche Cayman GTS (63.2%)
>> Lamborghini Urus (63.2%)

Of course, these are all expensive and exclusive models, so when drilling down further into Cap HPI's figures, the Top 20 values for the real-world cars look like this.

>> Suzuki Jimny (62.6%)
>> Mercedes-Benz GLA (62.5%)
>> Jaguar E-Pace (62.3%)
>> Audi Q5 (61.8%)
>> Toyota Prius+ (61.4%)
>> Toyota RAV4 (61.4%)
>> Audi E-Tron (61.4%)
>> Dacia Duster (61.2%)
>> Audi RS 3 (61.1%)
>> Audi Q2 (60.6%)
>> Mercedes-Benz GLE (60.1%)
>> Toyota Prius (60.0%)
>> Lexus UX (59.6%)
>> Lexus NX (59.2%)
>> Alfa Romeo Stelvio (58.8%)
>> Cupra Ateca (58.6%)
>> Mercedes-Benz A-Class (58.6%)
>> Mercedes-Benz GLC (58.5%)
>> Tesla Model X (58.3%)
>> Audi TT RS (58.0%)

Buy a Suzuki Jimny if you're looking for good resale values

Best resale values by manufacturer

>> Ferrari
>> Porsche
>> Lotus
>> Lamborghini
>> Dacia
>> Rolls-Royce
>> McLaren
>> Lexus
>> Land Rover
>> Subaru

As can be seen from this list, Toyota and Lexus hybrids perform well, as do premium SUVs. Electric cars have shed their image for losing value quickly, so you can buy with confidence these days as demand for these cars, which are often in short supply, is set to increase over the next few years.

So if you're buying new, bear in mind what the resale winners are. And if you're PCPing or leasing, choosing one of these cars will often lead to lower monthly payments, as there's more expected value in the car at the end of the deal. So, depreciation is hugely important – and having a precise valuation of your car when you're selling really will put you in the driving seat.

What about when you sell?

One of the most important aspects of any car valuation you get for the car you're selling is to make sure that it reflects the mileage, condition, history and specification of your car. The good news is that a Parkers valuation can be tailored to match your precise car – you enter your registration for a general valuation, then for an additional fee, you can add options, mileage and condition.

If you've done the right thing with your car while you've owned it, you can make a significant impact to what it's worth. Mileage makes a big difference the value of your car, and keeping them down will help you enormously – admittedly, that's easier said than done.

However, keeping it well serviced and the book stamped by the garage is in your hands, and make it easier to sell and improve the value. Whoever's buying your car will appreciate  that it's well-looked after, and in tip-top order – and they will pay more for the peace of mind. Finally, when you sell if you have some say over when it goes, sell it at the right time – sports cars in spring, off-roaders in winter, and your valuation will be a good guideline: price it at the top the range you're given.

How to value your car

The easiest way is to use the Parkers Valuation Tool. Combine this with any specific details to for your car, and you will have a good idea of what to ask. To get a better idea of what people are expecting to pay, check out adverts for similar cars to yours on Parkers cars for sale, and price yours accordingly.

If your valuation is below what other people are asking, adjust your price accordingly. This rule of thumb can be applied if you're looking to sell privately, trade-in with a dealer, or negotiate a new PCP at the end of your deal. It's a buyers' market – and you're buying, even when you're selling…

Why you can trust a Parkers valuation

We've been valuing cars since 1972 (first in print, and online since the late-1990s), and easy-to-user web-based tool is as valuable today for buyers as it was back then. Our values are based on real transactions, in the trade via dealerships and auctions – and are produced by a team of independent industry experts who visit hundreds of car dealers and auctions every month.

We monitor around 1,500,000 used car sales every year — that’s around 4,100 used car sales every day – and that backs up our number one aim, which is to help you get the fairest possible price for your car. So when you ask ‘what’s my car worth?’ the Parkers used car valuation calculator gives you the confidence to buy or sell knowing you’re getting a fair deal.

>> Read more: Learn more about Parkers

Click on the image below to see how simple it is.

Visit the Parkers car valuation tool to find out what your car is worth