How To Improve A Used Car Valuation


Due to the ease, convenience and also the safety of the transaction many people choose to trade in their car or even sell it to an online dealer rather than sell it privately.

If you choose to go down this route then some quick sale car sites like* offer an instant valuation, enabling you to quickly find out the value of your car online. Once you have obtained this online valuation you will then need to take your car to the company for a presale inspection. This presale inspection will ultimately decide the final selling price of your car. If you want to secure the best price possible from the dealer then here are a few helpful tips.

Touch It Up

Do you have any scratches or dents to the bodywork of your car? Are there any chips to the windscreen? These are all things that a car dealership can pick up on and use to devalue your car when you show up to sell it in person.  Scuffs or dents that may only cost a hundred pounds or so to touch up could end up knocking around £400-£500 off the original online valuation of your car, so it can be well worth taking care of them before you visit the dealership.

Get a Mini Valet

I can’t emphasize enough the value of cleanliness in a vehicle. Though cleanliness may not add to the overall valuation of your vehicle it can certainly give a human valuer less ammunition to devalue it, so in that sense it could actually add hundreds of pounds to the value of your car. In the UK a mini valet can cost as little as £10-£15 so it’s a relatively small expense if it helps secure the best price for your car.

Don’t Forget the Paperwork

Don’t forget to take along all the relevant paperwork when going to sell your car in person and I don’t just mean the log book. Take along all the original documents and manuals you received when you first bought the car. Also take along any maintenance receipts you have for the vehicle that prove the car has been well maintained.

Remember the Keys

Vehicle locking systems have improved significantly in recent years and as a result the cost of replacement keys has also risen. Don’t give the valuer an excuse to knock even £50 or £60 off the value of your vehicle, remember to bring along those spare keys!

Be Willing To Walk Away

Remember if you’re not happy with the final price you’re offered you can still walk away, you are in control!

If you want to secure the best price for anything you’re selling in life, you have to be willing to walk away from the deal as a last resort. This is not a decision I’d take lightly because you might go through the same process again only to be offered the same price from another dealer but if you’re really not happy then don’t be afraid to refuse the price your offered, it may well result in the dealer increasing their offer.

Do You Have Any Other Helpful Tips?

8 Responses to How To Improve A Used Car Valuation

  1. We actually sold our last car privately through E-Bay. I was a bit concerned about doing it that way, but it was our last resort as we had not found anyone else. The cool thing is that we got to sell it to a Dad that was going to give it to his son as his first car.

  2. Jose says:

    I’m all about walking away from any deal if I don’t like the terms, this especially applies to car dealers. When my wife traded in her Altima, Nissan offered her $8,000 on a vehicle with a trade-in value of $16,000. The door didn’t hit us in the butt with that dealer (this was on top of the salesman insulting my intelligence by telling me that any analysis I did showing that leasing was a bad option was wrong). 30 minutes later a Hyundai dealer gave us $15,000 on it and she got her Sonata Hybrid!

  3. It’s no different then selling a house really. If you don’t put any effort into cleanliness then you can expect to get a lower price. I would expect no less from a car as well. You bet I would walk though.. there’s always someone else willing to pay what something is worth as long as it’s realistic.

  4. Debt Roundup says:

    I have sold cars privately and traded them in. One is much easier than the other, but you get short changed with trading in a vehicle. Luckily, I know enough about my vehicles that I can counteract their “concerns” after an inspection and can get the most out of the vehicle.

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