Do you know how much your car is really worth?

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Do you know how much your car is really worth?

Post by kingr » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:54 pm

When you’ve decided to sell your car on and get something else, you’ll be wondering, “What is my car worth?” Of course, we all have a basic market figure in mind while we own our car, but such a simple question can often have quite a few answers, or at least considerations.

Rather, let’s say that doing a car valuation is the obvious solution for a crisp, legitimate current market value. We’ve taken the hassle out of compiling an average value, by applying very savvy protocols and a broad reach to the car valuations Wheel Index supplies. But other views you might carry often impact on your final asking price. Or the way you feel about it, at least. Beyond the cash value that depicts what your car is worth in money, other considerations often become part of the sale too.

What is my car worth?

How much is my car worth in… Rands and cents
  • Yes, the Wheel Index car valuation tool has been built to be the easiest, quickest provider of legitimate South African car values. We have incorporated the most relevant and widest-ranging inputs into any car valuation our users glean from a sophisticated, intelligent database.
  • Depending on the condition of your car, any one of a few values determined by a car valuation might be most relevant to your situation. Our car valuation will give you an accurate market value on your car, being what most people (except dealerships) would pay for your car at the current time.
  • A car valuation will also list the official book value and, in the absence of your car’s collectible potential, you might find that the book value is pretty low, especially on an older or unpopular car.
Do modifications or extras affect what your car is worth?
  • Yes, you’re entitled to accommodate a little bit of personal affection when appraising your car, so book value is seldom relevant. But a car valuation won’t factor in any mods you’ve fitted, so while you can add extra to the price to cover the cost of those mods, you might not end up getting it. Your “ideal mod” is often the last thing buyers looking for a standard, original model want to see.
  • That said, a car is a convenience and is valuable for what it does, assuming it has four wheels and an engine that propels it legally down the road. So a car valuation might list a very low book value on, for example, a car two or three decades old without any real collectible value, but remember that it is still a car with a certain basic utility that will normally carry a price far higher than its book value.
  • With all of that said, feel free to charge for mods you love and have fitted, but if three or four prospective buyers come and go, it might be time for a more realistic approach. In a nutshell, mods are fitted for your enjoyment at the time, not necessarily to add to the car’s long-term value. So just because you think mag wheels are as essentially as oxygen, doesn’t mean you’ll recoup their expense when selling your car. It might feel lousy, but the best you can do is anticipate that buyers will see the value-add as you do, and pay a little more for the extras. If not, you’ll have to let that attachment go, or be prepared to wait a long time for your ideal buyer.
  • Unfortunately, economy also remains a long-term perception. Although many sellers point to the car’s economy in the car valuation, this never carries the same weight as, say, a sports exhaust or sunroof. Put another way, you can’t add to an economical car’s price because it’s economical. It might sound silly, but many private sellers expect to be able to factor in some “goodwill” because of the car’s economy., but it doesn’t work that way. People pay top dollar for dynamite cars, and economy isn’t sexy yet!
  • Emotions around selling your car are best applied to the preparation for the sale, giving your baby one last love, having made peace with the fact that you’re selling it, and are expecting to get around so much for it.
How much is my car worth when I think… Convenience?
  • It’s seldom a pressing consideration, but circumstances might dictate that you sell your car and wait a while for a replacement. Especially if your car is older and your sale price is less than R50,000 - and you’re not financing a new car - you’ll want to think things through carefully and consider possible expenses post sale.
  • Let’s say a car valuation gives you a market value of R35,000 on your car. And let’s say you list and sell it in two or three weeks and are now in the next phase of organising finance or even shopping for another cash car. If during this time you’re taking the Gautrain daily or the kids have now joined a paid lift club, you’d be better off anticipating these things in advance.
  • No, you probably won’t be able to add these potential costs onto the market price of a car valuation but, once determined, they will certainly allow you to better plan ahead and avoid expenses that can very quickly take that cash out of your hands again. Convenience often costs.
  • Thus, in some cases, it’s better to leave your old car out of a new financed deal and take your time selling it after you have the new car rolling, for convenience’s sake. A quick sale is great, but once done, your wheels are gone. Make sure you’ve thought through possible expenses after your car is gone, and structure things in a way so that you don’t lose to potential mobility expenses, if the car goes in a heartbeat.
How much is my car worth, when I look at… Affordability?
  • Similarly, your new car might not be suitable for a kid wagon, and might be a complete departure from the previous family structure. Hence a new car’s “affordability” is also a measure of how it costs you after you buy it. Again not a frequent consideration, it can nonetheless become scary when you add up the true costs of swapping the people-carrier for that new sporty Porsche.
  • Once you’ve taken the decision to sell your car, just be aware of how the new car might impact expenses going forward. Hopefully you’ll be saving, but if you’ll be coughing up for new expenses based on the new model choice, it might also be better to leave your old car out of a new deal or shuffle when exactly you release the car for sale.
  • Again not something anyone will compensate you for, it does however add to the fundamental worth of your existing car when the routines and realities you’ve established with it are going to cost more in future. A small consideration, savvy car traders nonetheless think it through carefully, as they know affordability is determined by more than a new car’s monthly repayments, for example. There’s not a whole lot you can do about the sale price on this basis, but you can at least stick to your asking price knowing that you’ve mapped the future and all is manageable, assuming you get it.
Car valuations and insurance considerations
Maybe you’re not selling your car, but are merely interested in knowing its current value? Well, kudos to you, because there are good reasons to perform a car valuation on an annual basis, quite apart from gleaning a car valuation when you’re selling your car. For insurance premium considerations, where you are often entitled to pay less each year on a depreciating asset, a yearly car valuation should be standard practice.

If you’re on a pretty rigid insurance plan that doesn’t accommodate annual reevaluations, then your annual strategy becomes not haggling with the current insurers, but shopping around for a new one. A car valuation is an essential tool in the process, and gleaning an annual car valuation should be a baseline strategy to evaluate your yearly motor insurance costs.

So, what is your car worth?
The rand value of your car as determined by a car valuation is the guideline and what the market is willing to pay is what your car is worth today. But you can make peace with that figure by anticipating how a car change will impact things like convenience and affordability. And you can add onto the price a little for legitimate value-adds, although you need to be ready for buyers who won’t value things the same way. If you have your maths figured out and have determined your price and negotiable range, all good.

Depreciation of a car is an inescapable product of the passage of time. The car valuation factors this in and there’s little you can do about strong attachment to a perceived value, expect hang onto the car if the valuation figure is painful for you. You need to know that it’s unlikely to get any better with time, again unless your car is or becomes a collectors item. Under those circumstances, however, you had better see that it’s always fully insured and maintained in level best condition. Remember too that different car makes and even models depreciate at different rates, something an annual car valuation will keep you current on too.
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