How to get a car valuation online

Want to get rid of your old car, but no idea what it's worth? Online valuations can give you the answer - quickly and easily

John Evans
Apr 21, 2020

Can't wait to get a new car but need to get shot of your old one to work out how much you can afford to spend? Getting an online valuation is the simplest way to establish what your old car is worth.

You may just want to see the back of the old car so you can get behind the wheel of a shiny replacement, but your old car is an asset - the more you get for it, the less you have to spend on your new one. Whatever it's worth you can add this value to the deposit on your next car, cutting how much you'll pay per month if you take out car finance.

Thankfully, working out the value of your old car is far easier than it used to be - and you don't need to worry about going to a dealer and haggling. It's quick and simple to get a valuation online with many different options available. One of these is BuyaCar's online valuation tool. Click on the link below to get an instant valuation.

It doesn't matter whether you own your car outright or are still financing it, you can get a valuation online. If the car still has outstanding finance on it, you need to contact the finance company to establish what's called the 'settlement figure' - the amount needed to buy the car. Once you have this, you can compare it with the online valuation figure.

If the online valuation is higher, BuyaCar can settle the outstanding finance for you and the extra amount goes towards your next deposit. If, however, the value of the car is less than the outstanding balance - which is known as being in negative equity - then you'll have to pay the amount left over to settle the finance. Part exchange your car with BuyaCar and it can be collected after your new one has been delivered, so you don't need to leave home to sell, taking the stress out of swapping cars.

This isn't the only online valuation tool. A number of brands offer valuations from home and some may require you to go to a physical site for a vehicle inspection to confirm what they'll pay for your car - at which point it's possible the valuation figure may be reduced to reflect any additional damage beyond what was declared online. Keep reading for more details about how to get your car valued online.

What sort of valuation services are available?

You can get your car valued by any number of companies and service providers. These include the RAC and insurance comparison websites, such as Confused. However, many of these simply give you a valuation rather than offering to purchase the car. Meanwhile, other sites offer a valuation based on what other people are asking for similar cars, though this doesn't necessarily reflect actual sale prices.

However, increasingly, it’s also possible to get your car valued by companies that will also buy it. The best-known of these is Webuyanycar. It’s owned by a major vehicle auction group. This means it has a ready-made outlet for the cars it buys. You can get a valuation online, but typically have to take your car to one of their sites to actually sell it.

That's not the only type of car buying and valuation company, though. Others have emerged that invite car dealers to bid for your car. One of these is called Wizzle. Sellers compare bids (or valuations) and, can choose which one to accept.

BuyaCar is different from these companies because not only does it value and potentially buy your car - collecting it from your home - but you can purchase a new one in the same transaction. Cars for part exchange with BuyaCar must be no older than 10 years and have covered no more than 85,000 miles, but provided your car meets those parameters selling can be very simple.

First an online valuation is provided for the car followed by a telephone call to confirm the vehicle details. Depending on this conversation the company may offer more or less for the car. When the valuation has been agreed, you can choose your next car with more confidence, knowing how much money yor current car is worth and consequently what you can put towards your deposit and therefore what it will cost each month.

When is a valuation something else?

When you use a simple online valuation tool with no facility to buy your car, you’ll typically be quoted at least three different prices: private sale, dealer purchase and part-exchange. The first is what you should ask for your car should you sell it yourself and the second is what you could expect to pay for it from a dealer. This is a higher figure as it reflects the greater service and security dealers normally offer - with greater recourse should anything be wrong with the car and possibly extras such as warranties included.

The third figure is what you might be offered should you part-exchange your current car against a new car. This is only a guide figure because deals involving a part-exchange are unique and complex. Typically part exchange values are less than what a private seller can expect to receive and less again than what the same car would cost from a car dealer.

Meanwhile, BuyCar and companies such as Webuyanycar offer you only one valuation and that’s what you should get for your car. Simple as that.

Using online valuation tools

Car-buying services rely on a truthful description of the car to generate an accurate valuation. The trouble is, it’s human nature to miss certain faults on the car you drive every day when selling, but those same faults stand out a mile to anyone buying it. Each fault has a cost in terms of the way it reduces the value of the car. Depending on the severity of the issue companies buying the car may either put money in to repair issues or they'll have to accept getting a lower price when they sell it on.

To avoid disappointment with what you get for your car, it’s best to describe the car with all its faults in the first place, no matter how painful this may be. It means that when it is eventually inspected - as it will be when it is collected with BuyaCar, or when it is dropped off with other companies - there can be no dispute about the valuation.

That said, some companies have a reputation for reducing their valuation when they inspect the car - however accurate your initial description was. That’s fine – there are plenty more you can use, so don't be pushed into accepting a valuation that is much lower than what you agreed to.

Meanwhile, with companies that rely on multiple bids from dealers to value your car, be sure that the winning bid is genuine. There have been cases of dealers disappearing perhaps when they no longer have a market for the car, leaving sellers frustrated.

With online valuation tools offered by insurers, finance companies and so on, be sure you understand the differences between the various valuations they offer. If you're selling the car yourself, you won't be able to charge the dealer sale price, so make sure you're looking at the private sale price or the part exchange figure, if you plan to hand the car over as part payment for your next car.

Comparing valuation providers

Online valuation tool

Pros

Offers up to three different valuations
Plenty of providers so you can compare values

Cons

Valuations are very much a guide
No option to sell car to them and buy a new one

Online valuation and car-buying service

Pros

Valuations are an offer to buy not just a guide
Depending on the type of provider you may be able to compare multiple valuations/offers
The transaction should be simple and quick with established companies

Cons

Valuations can go down when car is inspected
 Some firms require you to go to inspection site, potentially requiring you to get back without a car

Online valuation, car buying and car-selling services

Pros

A convenient, one-stop shop from selling the old car to purchasing a new one
Old car is collected for free shortly after the new one has been delivered
You know how much money you have to put towards you next car and what it will cost

Cons

The valuation can go down on collection but this is only in extreme circumstances and where people have been very much less than truthful when describing it (in any case, where offered, the follow-up phone call is meant to prevent this)

 

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