If you’ve decided to sell your car, it’s important to know how much it’s really worth.

Whether you plan to use the money to buy a new car, or do something else with it, a little homework could help you get a better deal from potential buyers.

Getting your car valued

You can get your car valued online in just a few seconds. There are plenty of sites that provide valuations and it’s worth trying more than one as not all valuation tools will give the same result.

HPI Valuations is one of them. You type in your car’s registration number - as well as your contact details - and it provides a report which includes valuations for selling your car privately, on a forecourt or as a trade-in. The tool also tells you roughly how much your car would have cost new.

HPI Valuations uses an estimated mileage and other factors to value your car. But you can enter your car’s real mileage reading to make your valuation more accurate. You can also specify the condition of the car, to further improve accuracy.

On some sites, such as Parkers, you can pay a fee to get a more detailed valuation, which will take into account information like any extras on your car.

Versions of these tools are available for classic cars too. As with valuing any car, though, bear in mind that these are estimates and you may end up getting a different price for your car when it’s time to sell.

Disappointed by the valuation?

Don’t be surprised if the valuations you get for your pride and joy aren’t as high as you expected. 

The reality is that the value of cars can decline sharply over the years. This is particularly true for cars bought as new, which lose a large chunk of their value very quickly. According to the AA[1], the average new car will have lost around 60% of its value after three years, assuming a mileage of around 10,000 miles per year.  

This depreciation varies hugely between car models, so if you are looking to replace your car with a new one, it pays to do a bit of research.

Selling your car

When you have a good idea of what your car is worth, there are a few things you need to do to get it ready for a new owner. We’ve covered off some of the basics in our guide on how to sell your car.

If you are looking to sell your car privately, build in a margin in case a buyer tries to knock your price down. Your car could also appear in more online searches if you list it below a ‘milestone’ number - for example, people searching by price might set a limit of £5,000.

However you choose to sell your car, spending a bit of time checking its value can help you recognise a good offer and could get you a better deal than you originally thought.

Go to our Your Car hub on Solved for more guidance and help for drivers.