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Do you know what your car's worth?

How to determine the value of your used car.

If you’re thinking of selling, trading or insuring in your new vehicle, it’s important to ask: “how much is my car worth?” To help, we’ve compiled a few tips to determine the market value of your car. Thanks to the current high demand for second-hand vehicles, your car might be worth more than you think.

1. Understand factors that'll impact your car's value 

One of the first things you need to do when valuing your used car is understand what may impact its re-sale price.

Age: Usually cars depreciate as they age. Highly sought after rare or vintage vehicles buck this trend; however, a second-hand car of the same make, model and condition will sell for more than an older one.

Mileage: The less your car has been driven, the more it's worth on the market. Why? Well, as the mileage increases, so does the wear and tear on the car, impacting the vehicle’s market value.

Make and model: Popular and reputable models and brands typically hold their value (and sell for more) because there is more demand for them in the second-hand market.

General condition: The interior, exterior and mechanical condition of your car can also influence its value. A car that is in good working order will fetch more than one requiring repairs.

Engine and transmission: Do you drive a manual or automatic? Your transmission choice can impact the value of your car. Automatics are typically more expensive to purchase new, so this usually means their re-sale value is higher than a manual.

History and documentation: If your vehicle has been written off or undergone serious repairs, its value could be impacted. On the flipside, a car with a perfect record will fetch more. You should also keep all the car’s service history as it could increase the value of the vehicle.

Features: Non-standard features like leather seats, automatic headlights, built-in navigation, multi-media systems or reversing cameras can add to the re-sale value of a car.

2. Compare your car online

Looking at comparable cars for sale online can help you see what the average range is for a vehicle in the same condition as yours. Check out websites like carsales.com.au, CarsGuide and Gumtree which allow you to search and compare used cars for sale by make, model, year and transmission type. Remember, the prices advertised are asking prices, and don’t represent negotiations that happen behind the scenes.

3. Get a car valuation

A car valuation can provide a detailed estimate of a car’s value in today’s market based on key factors that influence price. For a quick, online valuation, it’s useful to plug your car’s details into a free online car value tool.

This will give you an average price range for your used car in today’s market, broken down by private sale price versus trade-in price. If you’re after a more detailed and precise estimate, take your car into an independent valuer for a professional appraisal.

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