car-valuation

How Can I Get My Car Valued?

An Introduction to Car Valuation

If you are either buying or selling a used car, understanding and knowing the true value of the car will determine if the deal is fair or not. But, valuing a car for an everyday individual can be a tough, scary process that inevitably can make the entire process more stressful than it needs to be.

If you happen to be buying a car – a car valuation check can help you to determine what fair value is for that car. You can then match it up when inspecting the vehicle to see what type of condition it is in.

If you are selling a car – you can see what a fair value for your car is, setting a firm low-end offer. Getting a vehicle valued provides you with an easy way to ensure the buyer is not trying to push the limits.

How much is my car worth?

The easiest way to find this out would be to spend time on used car websites and trying to figure out where your car fits in to determine the best price. This is quite time-consuming so in most cases, it’s recommended to use a 3rd party provider to run a car valuation check. These are instant, provide you with multiple valuation options that range from trade, private, quick sell and part-exchange. All of this is incredibly handy information to have when you are trying to buy or sell a used car.

What can affect a car’s value?

The general basics of car valuation includes the age and mileage and condition of mechanics and bodywork. To help you really understand what will affect a car’s value we will look at what increase’s and decrease’s a car’s value so you can run an instant check and go through this basic checklist too.

What can increase a car’s value

No damage – Seems obvious but the fewer scratches and bumps, the higher the value of the car. Immaculate condition vehicle’s command top range valuations.

Complete service historyFull history of all servicing that has taken place on the car provides full clarity for the work that has been completed. You know when, what and who completed the work so you can get in touch if needed. Complete service history pushes a car’s value higher.

Car colourIt is quite clear when checking a make and model of similar specification that the colour does play a big part in the car’s valuation. Therefore have a highly desired colour – black and white for example – will push the value of the car higher.

Features – If the car comes with a well-specified trim you can be certain that the value of the car is going to be higher. Generally speaking a car with lots of features would have cost brand new so unless the car has serious problems you can assume that the car will retain the high-value ticket price.

How the car gets sold – Depending on how you sell the car, the price you get will vary. As per the car valuation report you will be provided a number of car values which will help you determine the fair value and price of the car.

What can decrease a car’s value

Modifications Generally speaking cars without any modifications are more sought after than cars with aftermarket parts added to them. If you plan on making modifications remember that they could push the cars value down due to insurance premiums or general lack of trust in the modifications too.

Wear and tear – A used car has been used so general daily use marks and grazes are expected when buying a used car. But the more scratches, dents and dings there are, the lesser the value of your car. Buffing marks out, replacing broken parts and keeping the bodywork inside and outside the car are important for the higher valuations.

Broken parts – Most people are not looking for a project car and would ideally be looking at a complete runner. Ensuring that you are replacing parts and getting these things fixed, the car’s value will improve.

Keeper’s History – Alarm bells will ring when there are a high number of keepers of a car. Short ownership with lots of changing can only point to problems with the car. More owners = less value.

Documents Missing & Outdated The crucial documents which are the MOT and Tax are vital for being road legal and being allowed to drive on the street. If either are missing the car cannot be kept on public roads or driven on them either which increases the cost on getting it transported, the MOT passed and road tax in place.

Why should I get a car valuation?

There are a number of key reasons for getting a car valued all of which focuses on not getting scammed or less than you should have gotten for your car.

When you are buying a used car you need to ensure that you are not paying over the odds, the easiest way to do this would be to get your car valued and then set a fair value price based on mechanical and external conditions.

Selling the car can be time consuming to get the price right. Get it wrong and no one is interested, go too low and you would have left the deal unhappy.

Another option is to part-exchange your vehicle for another, but part-ex prices are also hard to find out. Being offered a price by a dealer can make you feel trapped and unable to determine if the value is far or not. Avoid this by getting an instant car valuation.

car-check-explained

How Can I Get A Car History Check? Explained

Car history checks are incredibly important to run when you are about to purchase a used car. Whilst you understand the importance of a vehicle history check you probably would like to know what some of the checks include and why they are important.

Below we will explain what some of the advanced car history checkers provide in terms of data and what it means to you.

Mileage Anomaly/Tampering

The value of a car is generally determined by the physical appearance, the mechanics of the car, and the mileage. Because of the direct relation to the value of the car you need to ensure there is no mileage anomaly alert of the car. Running a vehicle check ensures you can see for yourself if there are any mileage anomalies and issues plus, most checks will automatically alert you to any mileage related issues.

This important car check will help you to dig deeper to find out some more information as there could be a genuine reason for the mileage change. You need to ask questions around this but be vigilant with making a final decision when a car has a mileage anomaly alert.

Outstanding Finance

If you happen to be looking at buying a relatively new used car, around 3 years old for example, then there is a chance it once had finance or may still have finance with outstanding payments left. An outstanding car finance check is generally run with Experian which is a 3rd party data provider.

The data that is included with an outstanding finance check will include:

  • Agreement type
  • Agreement number
  • Date of contract
  • Supplying finance company
  • If applicable – direct contact information

Now if the vehicle has outstanding finance you then need to walk away from it. The issue with outstanding finance is that the company which owns the vehicle will likely try to recover the car. The reason being that the finance contract still stands and needs to have all payments fulfilled. Unfortunately, if you buy a car still on finance then you will need to give it back, with no compensation being reimbursed to you. This is not a pleasant experience and ultimately will cost you a lot in the long run.

Theft/Stolen Car

Checking if a car has been stolen will pull data from the Motor Insurance Database and the Police National Computer (PNC) to look for any occurrences when the car was reported as stolen and if it currently is. This is an important check that needs to be run when looking at buying a used car.

If you are found with a stolen car you will inevitably have to proof that you never know it was stolen, you will inevitably lose the car and ultimately have to spend wasted time on confirming that you never knew the car was stolen. Getting a car check that provides this check instantly minimises the level of stress you will have at a later date if it turns out things are not as it should with the car.

Insurance Write-Off

An insurance write-off means the car was considered too expensive to repair in comparison to the value of the car itself. This check will go through the MIAFTER database to see if there have been any reports of the car as a write-off.

You need to know that there are a number of write-off categories which includes: A, B, C, D, S and N with the date too. Knowing if the car has been written-off will help to determine the true value and if it is safe to drive. A written-off car can be a hazard to yourself and people around you on the road, plus it can get expensive if things were not repaired properly.

Additional Data

Scrapped

This tells you if the vehicle has been legally scrapped which is only done by DVLA accepted salvage yards with a Certificate of Destruction being issued. The certificate is only issued once the recycling process has been completed – this could take longer if the salvage yard finds parts of the car that can be stripped and sold on. The DVLA gives the salvage yard the ability to make the choice of what should happen to your car and when.

Imported/Exported

This check helps you understand if the vehicle has been on the move around the world. Please be warned that if this is true for a vehicle then the car’s history may by limited.

VIC Inspection

This car check tells you if the vehicle was involved in a major accident that was repaired and required a VIC inspection. This could be a sign of a big crash which would instantly lower the value of the car, even if it was repaired well. This is crucial to know and understand as it could point to upcoming issues.

MOT History

This check is also used to determine if there is a mileage anomaly with the vehicle. By pulling data from the Ministry of Transport you are able to get data that includes date and time, pass/fail, fail reasons and advisories. All of this information is ideal for understanding any potential recurring issues, if there’s a mileage anomaly and if the vehicle has been maintained and is in good mechanical condition.

Colour Changes

Know the number of times that the car has had a full colour change since it was first registered. This is important to know to ensure that it has not be stolen and has had a colour change to mask the car’s true identity.

askMID

The Motor Insurance Bureau database provides information that determines the legality of the vehicle. Does it have insurance, road tax and MOT (unless declaring SORN).

Keepers History

A vehicle keeper’s history check will provide you with information such as number of previous owners and dates. If a vehicle has lots of keepers in a short space of time then you should be aware of any potential issues that it may have.

But it is a common exercise to replace car’s on a yearly basis when they are brand new, do not be alarmed if a car that is 1 year’s old has 2 owners. Do remain vigilant and use the vehicle history report to dig deeper and ask the relevant questions when buying a car.

Running Costs

Most car checks provide running cost data – fuel and road tax – which can help you understand what the long term costs are going to look like for that specific car.

Performance & Spec

Running a free car check will provide you with the general specification and performance stats of the car that you are checking. This information includes:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Engine size
  • Fuel
  • Type
  • Emissions
  • Transmission

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What is a Car History Check?

Buying a used car? Before handing over your hard earning cash you really need to spend some time looking at the car. A physical inspection is one thing but a car history check is a whole different area that provides plenty of information. Car history checks provide you with insight into the a car’s history based on a whole host of data points.

The best thing about car checks is that they are free. You can ultimately get a basic free check from the official UK GOV website, but its limited, or you can opt for a data provider who generally offers some additional vehicle data that the GOV site does not.

The importance of getting a car check is incredibly high, otherwise you run the risk of buying a car that could have outstanding finance or has been reported stolen – all of which you had no idea. We discuss the importance of getting a car history check and get into the details of what a car history check is.

What is a car history check?

From the moment a car is legally registered for the UK road’s it starts to gather a history. From MOT’s to keeper history, everything is document which is where the car’s history comes from. As you can imagine there can be a lot of information gathered from this data to determine if the car is as described or if it’s hiding a secret.

Generally speaking, a car history check is started by simply adding the vehicle’s VRM. The system will then run an instant check and deliver you a report right away. No waiting around for hours or days for someone to compile this information, which is great if you happen to see an amazing offer.

So what does a free check include:

  • Road tax expiration date
  • MOT expiration date + fail/advisory details
  • Date of registration
  • SORN status (Statutory Off Road Notice)
  • Vehicle Spec: colour, engine size, year of manufacture, CO2 emissions

This is plenty of information to get started with, even if it’s just a preliminary look at the spec it can help to point out anything that may be curious.

You do have the option of paying (£7.99) for a total car check which basically provides you with a lot of car history information. This data generally includes information such as outstanding finance, reported stolen, imported/exported, vehicle valuation bands, and much more.

These premium checks are well worth it and a fraction of the price that they used to cost. We all know someone that has bought a car assuming that it would be fine only for it to become a nightmare. A MOT fail and advisory review alongside valuation checks can really help you determine what is a fair value for the vehicle, without this information you just assume that all is well and put yourself into a position where a car could be a financial headache.

Why is knowing a car’s history so vital?

The low-cost car check is a fraction of the potential costs that might be needed due to a car that was not looked after but you never know. Imagine you found a car that you really love, you are blindly in love and are about to commit. A quick car history check shows you that each MOT was failed and had a lengthy list of advisories. Does this sound like a car that’s going to be fun to own and drive? Probably not and ultimately without having any clue of a car’s history, you put yourself at risk of buying a lemon.

Combining a vehicle inspection with a vehicle check really helps to ensure that the car is solid and everything as should be, we are not looking for any nasty surprises!

Consider these interesting UK motoring related statistics:

  • 1 in 3 cars has a hidden history
  • 74 are cars identified as stolen on average every day
  • 1,771 a day are an insurance write-off
  • 1 in 3 has outstanding debt
  • The average amount of finance on all car is £11k
  • 1 in 16 has a mileage discrepancy

Using a car history check service

Using an online car checker platform is the easiest way to find out a lot about a car’s history. It is done instantly and delivered to you electronically so no matter where you are, you can simply run a car check. Most car history checking platforms have a number of offers: free, medium tier and premium history check.

The information that you can get from a car checking platform includes:

  • Outstanding finance or loans
  • Insurance write-offs
  • Mileage discrepancies
  • Whether the vehicle’s been scrapped
  • Whether it’s been stolen
  • V5C and VIN matching
  • Previous owners

This data is also gathered through various providers which include the DVLA, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, the Police, Association of British Insurers, and finance companies. There are generally other bits of data too such as running costs, number plate changes, as well as multi-band car valuation which is a great way to know what you should either be asking for or buying for.