What Is Up With Online Car Valuation?


Everyone knows that the internet has fundamentally changed commerce.  You can find and buy just about anything online, and that includes cars.  But as competition is getting fierce in business, car dealers are now providing more services to attract and maintain customers.  One such feature that has become quite popular over the years is online car valuation.

What is car valuation?

It is the process by which the value of a motor vehicle can be estimated.  This can be done online or physically by a representative of a car buying company.  It’s quite helpful for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Buying or selling a second-hand car
  • Trading in options
  • Insurance claims
  • Taxation purposes

Car valuation is often used for transactions related to the auto industry.  Online car valuations require basic information such as registration number, mileage, and contact information, including a phone number, email, and residential address.

Did you know that various factors affect the value of your car?  What makes the value of your car can go up or down?  Here are some aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Condition

Any automobile that is in good condition is likely to be worth more than one that displays signs of significant wear and tear.  Though minor stains and scratches will not affect the price much, it’s better to fix these knick-knacks yourself.  If a vehicle has no damage and is in excellent condition, it’s possible that you could end up with more than the guide price.  So if your seat warmer, stereo, electric window, etc. aren’t working, it’ll reduce the value of your car.

  1. Maintenance

A car with up-to-date service records will be worth more than one that has an incomplete record, gaps in the service history or no current MOT.  Valuations are provided on the assumption that a car is in good working order.  However, if something is amiss, it’ll reduce the value of the automobile.  As a part of routine maintenance, check and replace parts that wear out faster, such as brake pads, tires, transmission fluid, air filters, etc.  The most important part is the timing belt.  Skipping on this service could result in major damage to the engine.

  1. Mileage

The number of miles you rack up on the odometer affects the value of your vehicle.  Older cars that have a greater mileage require more maintenance.  This appears costlier to potential buyers, making it harder to sell your car online.

  1. Extra features

Any optional extras that you add to your car will make it stand out from the rest.  A rear-facing camera to facilitate parking, a built-in navigator, HID headlights, multimedia system, and speakers are just some of the additional features that will pump up the value of your auto.

  1. Colour

In this day and age, it’s true that some colors are still more popular than others.  So if you own a car in a sought-after hue, it’s definitely going to be worth more.  Guess what the top five desirable shades are?  White, black, grey, red and silver vehicle owners are lucky to have a set of wheels that instantly have a greater demand and value.

  1. Models

Some models are popular than others.  Just like fashion, trends can make certain cars more valuable at times.  And sometimes gender, the age of the driver, and location drive the market.

  1. Previous owners

You may have noticed that single-owner cars are highly sought after.  Usually, the more owners a vehicle has, the less it’s worth.  So if an automobile has been sold multiple times, the value reduces considerably.

  1. State of the economy

The demand for some cars increases or decreases according to the situation of the current economy.  For example, when times are good, luxury cars and SUVs are in demand.  But when the economy is going through a slump, petrol prices begin to rise.  That’s when people tend to look for a hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles.  Needless to say, your car’s value will swing with the financial condition of the country.

  1. Public transport

If public transport becomes unreliable, difficult due to harsh weather conditions (extreme heat or cold), or costs increases, there will be an increase in the demand for cars.  This could increase the value of second-hand autos.

  1. Interest rates

If interest rates increase and getting loans becomes increasingly difficult, people may opt to buy used cars instead of new ones.  The value of smaller, fuel-efficient automobiles will significantly improve.

  1. Seasons

Just like the style of our clothes, the value of a car fluctuates from season to season.  It could increase or decrease depending upon the model and time of year.  Spring and summer is a time for sporty cars.  The weather is ideal for outdoor activities with the family and road trips with friends.  But as summer draws to an end, and the winter chill sets in, there is a higher demand for trucks or 4x4s.  They’re safer and easier to travel in the snow and rain.

  1. Holidays and special events

Throughout the year, special events or holidays will increase the value of certain cars.  Hunting season creates a spike in demand for trucks or 4x4s.  Similarly, when tax rebates are mailed out, consumers have greater buying power.  They are more willing to make bigger purchases such as buying a car.  Car valuations will improve at this time of year.

Public holidays such as Christmas and Independence Day are times when the prices of new cars are usually discounted.  If you’ve got a recent model that’s low mileage, the value of your vehicle increases during these times.  Buyers would be more interested in buying a car that appears similar to a new one but is considerably cheaper.

  1. High school or college graduations

When students graduate and start looking for used cars, or parents shop for transportation for their children, there will be an increase in demand for cheaper, smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.  This normally picks up toward the end of spring and vanes in the summer.  It peaks again in early fall when students head back to campus.

So, don’t be surprised if your car valuation suddenly changes.  There’s probably a reason behind it.