• Posted on Jun 30, 2017

If your car is clocking up some serious mileage, it may be time to find out how much it’s worth and how you can go about selling it. Although the novelty of your car may have worn off for you, it may be a diamond in the rough for someone else wanting to buy a second hand car. So, how can you assess the worth of your car? Before you dive into assessing your car’s value, you need to understand the differences among the types of used car values.

Types of used car values

  • The retail value is the average price a car dealer would expect to sell a car like yours for.
  • The current market value can be estimated by companies who are tracking the selling price of cars across the county. This is a more up-to-date, accurate value of your car and is almost always lower than the actual retail value as it takes more variables into account.
  • Trade-in value is how much you can expect a dealer to offer you for your car. If you’re planning on taking your car to a dealer, find out how much your car’s trade in value is first.

What factors influence your car’s resale value?

How many kms has your car done?

Mileage is a huge influencing factor when it comes to the resale value of your car. The higher the mileage, the lower the value. This is because cars with more mileage usually have more wear and tear. The average South African driver clocks up up to 15 000 to 30 000 km per year easily; this type of mileage can drop the resale value of a car tremendously. If you travel less kms than the average South African, your car may have a higher value than other similar cars.

What year model is your car?

The age of your car is a huge factor in determining the overall value. Cars decrease in value every year, unless you have a classic or speciality car.

Is your car in good condition?

This takes into account the overall interior and exterior state of your car as well as the mechanics. Looks do matter to buyers, so damage and stains in the inside of your car and dents and scratches on the outside of your car can decrease its value.

What brand is your car?

Even though the condition and quality of your car are very important, the brand of your vehicle can have a huge effect on its resale value. Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus and Subaru are among the brands that have very good resale values in South Africa. Some of these brands retain up to 60% of their original value after being owned for up to three years. In the same time period, other brands can lose 75% or more of their resale value. Other factors such as high prices for parts, unreliable safety testings and poor overall quality can be associated with specific car brands, which don’t help retain the value.

What body style is your car?

Besides the brand of your car, body type is also an important to car buyers. There are various car body types, the most popular being:

  • Four-door hatches
  • Crossovers
  • Sedans
  • Bakkies (single and double cab)

Car body types that are considered more niche and therefore may be more difficult to sell include:

  • Convertibles
  • Sports cars
  • Coupes

What colour is your car?

Although car colour does play a significant role in the resale price of your car, you must remember that unpopular colours for one type of car may be popular for another. Generally, in South Africa, silver and white are the most popular car colours, while black and other dark colours not so sought after.

Is your car economical?

With the ever-rising fuel prices in South Africa, most buyers rather opt for fuel-efficient cars. Most buyers prefer smaller, eco-friendly engines; however, even bigger cars these days are especially designed to be more economical.