There are several reasons why you might want to accurately value your car. It’s not always because you are thinking of selling it right now but, of course, if you have a reasonable idea of its potential value, you’re in a better position when it comes to doing a deal with a trader.
People who are thinking of parting with their car privately in the near future might benefit from an accurate value so you can gauge what price you’re prepared to go to when someone makes you an offer. Similarly, if you are buying a car you can check that you’re paying a fair price if you have a valuation to refer to.
For others, a car valuation is useful when car insurance renewal time comes around because knowing its worth can be better than just accepting the cover provider’s valuation.
If you have an older car and live in Greater London, you might be crunching some numbers to work out whether it’s better to sell your car now or keep it and pay the Mayor of London every day you want to drive it.
Perhaps your current PCP deal is coming to an end and you’re working out your next move. Getting a valuation means you at least know what cash you’re dealing with when it comes to either handing the car back, or keeping it.
So where to go for a valuation? There are several organisations offering them, from specialists to motoring services, media sites and even insurance providers. The offer of a valuation is usually linked to selling your car but they provide a useful service if you just need that all-important estimate on value.
Here are The Car Expert’s top choices if you want to know how much your car is really worth:
These sites send out the details of your car to all of the dealerships in their network – which could be thousands of bidders – to find the best price for your vehicle.
They say: “5,000+ verified dealers ready to buy your car”
Motorway advertises heavily about selling your car for you “the Motorway way”, they say in their marketing. The plan is that you provide the details about your car and agree a reserve price before Motorway offers it to their network of 5,000 dealers who compete to buy it. Of course, to do this you need a value.
Motorway provides a free valuation service which is simple to get. From the landing page click on ‘Sell my car’ and you’ll go straight to a valuation section. There you enter the car’s registration number which identifies it within seconds.
Step two is to input the vehicle’s mileage – this is vital to gain a true valuation. You then have to enter your own details such as phone number and email address before the site returns you your valuation.
The Motorway site has several other useful sections such as a car value tracker, showing how quickly things can fluctuate in the used market, and a ULEZ checker to see if your car meets emissions regulations. There’s also a guide section containing useful information including buying, selling, depreciation and emissions.
Other sites that use Motorway valuations
The AA offers a dazzling array of services, and one recent addition is a car valuation service.
Filling in your car details takes you to Motorway, which works in partnership with the AA to provide a valuation.
MotorEasy is another vehicle service provier that offers a range of services for car owners, and also uses Motorway for valuations.
As with the AA, entering your details takes you through to Motorway to complete the valuation.
They say: Get a valuation in seconds
The UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace, Auto Trader is a major source of car news and features going back to the days when it was a printed magazine. That publication ceased in 2013 but the website offers lots on terms of buying and selling vehicles, valuations and news.
Along the top of the landing page you’ll see a tab called ‘Value your car’. That takes you to a page in which you enter your car’s registration number and mileage. Click on that and you get your car identified with brief details such as engine size, body type and transmission.
You then have to confirm the vehicle is a car, not a private import and is less than 15 years old. Once done you create an account and get your valuation through Facebook, Google, Apple or via email.
There’s a lot to read and discover in the Auto Trader web pages including car reviews, technology news, tips and advice.
They say: Sell your car for what it’s really worth
Carwow is another media outlet that does more than just help you buy or sell a car. With millions of registered users it also entertains with a YouTube automotive channel followed by its legion of fans.
Selling your car follows a similar pattern to rivals – you enter some basic details about your car to receive valuations within minutes. The car then goes into one of Carwow’s auctions where dealers make their bids.
But if you don’t get as far as the auction, you can still get the valuation. By filling in your name, email address and phone number you get an instant ‘estimated sale price’ which includes same-day payment (if you go ahead) and free home collection. The valuation itself is free.
You’ll find plenty to read on the website including useful advice on leasing, choosing a vehicle and working out finance along with new car reviews.
Unlike the auction sites above, which push your car’s details out to a network of dealerships, the following sites offer a direct and immediate valuation for your car. That means you get an immediate offer, rather than waiting for bids to come in, and you can proceed to selling you car immediately if you choose.
Despite only having one offer instead of many, the valuation for your car might not be significantly different so these sites can often ofer you just as much for your motor.
They say: The better way to buy or sell a car entirely online
Cazoo is well known as a website from which to buy your next dream car, and offers all sorts of advantages, such as delivery to your door. But it also sells cars on your behalf. And part of that process is obtaining a valuation.
From the top of the landing page, click on ‘Sell’ to get taken to a new section which asks for your details and those of your car, including mileage and condition. From there you will receive an instant on-line valuation which Cazoo guarantee for seven days.
This valuation comes generated direct from Cazoo, which means you don’t have to wait for dealers to start bidding and come back to you with figures.
The site is easy to navigate with simple drop-downs and tabs to get you to the right place quickly. It’s also littered with helpful advice and ‘FAQ’ sections to answer your questions. There’s also a car finance calculator and media site for up to the minute news.
They say: Don’t miss out – stay in the know!
Car retailer Motorpoint is a big organisation with 19 store locations situated across the UK. It’s still growing and has a good website to support the dealership network.
Getting a free valuation is simple. Find the ‘Sell’ tab at the top of the landing page and select ‘Value My Car’ from the choices. You’re taken to a new page where you enter the vehicle registration number and mileage. You’re told here that the valuation is valid for two weeks and there’s no obligation to sell if you go ahead with the service.
The car is quickly found (assuming you have entered the right details) and you’re asked a series of questions including condition, if there is a full service history and even whether you have a spare key. Add in your name, email address and phone number and the value is sent back.
It’s a good site and easy to navigate. There’s lots of information about Motorpoint’s business and interesting news and blog section along with car guides, reviews and ‘Best of’ lists.
They say: 3 simple steps!
Big automotive firm Vertu Motors Group was established in 2006 and includes the Bristol Street Motors and Macklin Motors dealer chains in its portfolio.
Among their services are buying and selling used cars. To get your free valuation find the ‘Used Cars’ drop-down tab along the top of the landing page and select ‘Sell My Car’. From there it’s the usual format of inputting car registration number, mileage and condition of vehicle.
This last part is important because it forms a vital part of the instant quote you receive. You’re asked to select one description from a list of five starting with ‘Poor’ and topping out at ‘Excellent’. Once you have selected you’re asked to check Vertu’s definition of your selection which you have to agree to. Then you receive your valuation, along with its conditions – another back-up feature.
It’s a useful tool and valuable even if you are not selling at that moment. If you are, there’s a tab to click and book an appointment with a local dealer. Overall, it’s an attractive site with interesting topics including motorbikes, vans and electric vehicles (EVs).
They say: Search. Buy. Sell.
Part of the RAC Motoring Services giant best known for its insurance and recovery services, the RAC Cars division specialises in buying and selling cars. These are mostly used models, but they say they can help you get a deal on a new one too.
But it’s used models and valuations that we are concentrating on here and the RAC Cars site gets straight to it – across the top of the landing page is a drop-down tab ‘Value my car’. Click on this and you’re taken to a new area asking for car registration number, mileage along with the dates your car insurance and breakdown cover expire.
The valuation facility is just one of a number of offerings from the RAC Cars site. Others include finance and history checks, vehicle inspections and even a shop.
Automotive media sites like The Car Expert and others have become popular destinations for car owners to seek all sort of information about their cars, from reviews and safety information to valuations.
Obviously we’re proud of the level of advice and information we provide to car owners, but we’re not the only site that helps you get a price for your car. Here are three others that use different services to come up with a car valuation.
They say: What’s your car worth right now?
Auto Express is a popular website and the UK’s most popular weekly car magazine., and the site now has a specific section for valuing and selling your car.
As with most of these valuation services, you’re asked to confirm the suggested vehicle is the correct car. You then confirm you own the vehicle and input its mileage. Under the section ‘Why do you need a valuation’ you can select ‘I’m just curious’ if you wish.
Enter your name, email address and phone number and request your free valuation. That done, you can sit back and enjoy all the other interesting news and feature items on this comprehensive website.
They say: See what your motor is worth in seconds
Parkers is well known for its used car valuations and has been since 1972, although the famous printed valuation books of old have long gone to be replaced by an online service.
There’s an interesting search engine that allows you to input any make and model of a car to find out the range of used car prices on Parkers’ database but, for your own personal vehicle, enter the registration number and the next page asked for confirmation of the car and the reason why you are asking. You can choose ‘Just curious’ among the options.
You can then choose from a ‘Free’ valuation based on trade and dealer prices, or a ‘Custom’ valuation which considers your exact mileage, optional extras, original sticker price and more detailed dealer pricing. It costs £5 and is a simple and useful feature if you need a really accurate price.
They say: Free car valuation
What Car? is the UK’s biggest-selling monthly car magazine and one of the country’s most popular car websites. And in addition to the usual car reviews and news, it also offers a valuation service.
To get to it find ‘Tools & services’ across the top of the landing page, and drop down to ‘Value my car’. The usual information gathering follows: car registration, mileage, why you are valuing (there’s no ‘just interested’ option here however) and your personal details are all requested.
Once all that has been filled in you request that the valuation is sent to you. The valuation comes from HPI CAP and covers most cars registered after 1998.
*Auto Trader, Carwow, Cazoo, Motorpoint and Motorway are commercial partners of The Car Expert. If you click on one of the links above and end up selling your car via their platforms, we may receive a commission. This does not affect the price you receive for the car.