How much is my car worth?

27 August 2018

Working out the value of your car can be tricky. There are tools available out there that can give you an idea, but they don’t always take into consideration the unique factors related to your vehicle – or the emotional value of your beloved set of wheels, for that matter.

We’ve put together a handy guide to help you understand how much your car is actually worth, and steps you can take to help you sell it at a cost you’re happy with.

Factors that influence the value of your car

You’re probably aware that a number of factors impact the overall value of your car, like how old it is, whether or not it’s seen any damage in it’s time, and that magic number on the speedometer. However, there are a few other things you might be surprised to learn can change how much you can get for your car, including:

  • Transmission: automatics are usually more expensive to buy when new, and that means they hold their value over time a bit more than manuals. The only exceptions are classic cars, off-road vehicles, and some sporty numbers, which can all be a slightly more valuable if they’re a manual
  • Colour: when you bought your car, you probably just chose a colour that you liked the look of, without thinking about the potential impact that decision could have down the track. But colour can affect how long your car is on the market for and how much a buyer is willing to pay. For example, ‘standard’ colours (think white, black, silver and grey) are usually snapped up pretty quickly. Bolder colours, on the other hand, can stay on the shelf for a bit longer, but often end up attracting higher bids – especially when it comes to sports cars
  • Non-standard extras: it makes sense that bonus features like heated seats, automatic headlights, safety cameras, tinted windows, and more, can increase the value of your car, so don’t be shy in mentioning them to potential buyers

Shopping the market

Apart from the factors that relate to your specific vehicle, there are also outside influences that can determine how much your car is worth. Although the car market is fairly steady, certain trends (like the popularity of different makes and models) can mean there’s a bit of fluctuation.

For that reason, it’s important to scope out the market and see how other cars like yours are currently performing. Don’t just check how much other people are asking for either; put in the research to see how much cars similar to yours are actually selling for.

Getting your car ready for sale

You’re not completely at the mercy of market prices. There are certain things you can do to potentially boost how much your car sells for:

  • Make sure it’s clean inside and out, to give a great first impression
  • Get your logbook and papers up to date
  • Organise any necessary repairs (as long as the cost or effort doesn’t outweight the benefits of doing so)


Want to know more? Check out things you should know when selling your car.

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The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.