How to get an accurate car valuation
Whether you’re buying or selling a used car, it’s essential to start out with an accurate valuation.
There are many ways to accurately value a used car in Ireland, not least of which is by purchasing a car history check or using an online car valuation tool such as iCap. Aside from these, there are other useful ways to establish the buying or selling price of a used car before you commit to a deal.
Browsing the used car classifieds is one of the easiest ways to get a feel for how much a car is worth. If you are planning on buying a particular model or type of used car, you can make good use of the search filters on one of the many used car classified websites. Try searching for a particular model for a given year and mileage, and look at the ads your search returns. The more used car ads you find for your search criteria, the bigger the data sample, which means a more accurate assessment of the car's value.
“Classic colours like black, white, red, silver etc. are somewhat timeless and always have a broader appeal than more striking or louder colours like yellow or green”
When comparing prices, try to compare ads for cars with features and specifications as closely related as possible. Seemingly insignificant details can have a big impact on the asking price of a used car. A slightly larger engine, for example, may push a used car into a higher tax bracket or attract a higher rate of VRT, which ultimately will have an effect on the value of the car. The body and interior colours can also have a big effect on the value. Classic colours like black, white, red, silver etc. are somewhat timeless and always have a broader appeal than more striking or louder colours like yellow or green.
Consider also, if a private seller or a dealer advertises the car. A private seller is unlikely to offer any added benefits such as a warranty or after-sales services like maintenance and servicing, whereas a professional used car dealer will offer at least some of these, adding value and commanding a higher price. Furthermore, the main dealer as opposed to a multi-brand dealer will often ask for even higher prices.
When establishing a value for buying or selling a used car, there are many factors to take into consideration. However, the overall condition, the mileage and the service history are probably the most significant factors, which influence the resale value of a used car. A valid NCT or CVRT test, especially if recently tested, also makes a car a more attractive proposition. Surprisingly, added extras and luxuries such as leather interiors, tend to add little value to a second-hand car value, so don’t add too much weight to these items when arriving at a selling price.
When establishing the value of a vehicle, it’s important to take a holistic view of what’s on offer. Check out as many small ads for as closely matched vehicles as possible and figure out an average value based on the prices advertised. For an even more accurate valuation, you can use an online car valuation tool such as iCAP (Ireland's Current Automotive Price), which takes all the relevant details of your vehicle into account and assesses a fair price based on the current market conditions.
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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