What Is My Car Worth In Australia: Value Estimator Guide

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People want to know how to value old and used cars in Australia.


A car is an expensive and valuable purchase you make in your life. Finding its worth is the first step when considering selling, trading, or using car financing options.


In this car value guide, you will learn about car valuation, where to get a valuation from, what your car is worth, a car price guide, estimator tools, and ways to improve the value.


Knowing the factors determining the car's market value can help you make an informed choice.



1. What Is A Car Valuation?


Finding the right price for your car helps determine whether it is affordable when insuring, purchasing, selling, or trading in a vehicle.


A car valuation is a detailed and tailored estimate of its value in today's market based on key factors that impact its price.


As the estimate may change over the years, a vehicle market value calculator can help determine the average price range for your car Australia-wide based on your car's condition and features.


Getting a car valuation certificate from an independent valuer gives you a precise estimate of the car's worth that helps you negotiate on price with potential buyers/sellers confidently.



2. When Do I Need To Do The Car Valuation?


Understanding the market value of my car is vital in the following scenarios:



When Buying Or Renewing An Insurance Policy


While taking out comprehensive car insurance, your insurer will evaluate the vehicle's market value based on its age, make and model, mileage, etc. It is at this amount that your car will sell in the open market at the time of the claim.



When Selling A Car


Car valuation is worth performing when selling your vehicle as it helps you set an accurate price when listing it for sale in the market. Having your car's list price backed up by a professional valuer tailored to your vehicle's kilometres and condition will help negotiate pricing with customers.



When Buying A Car


Another reason to do car valuation is to gain a good understanding of the car's market value, thereby putting you in a stronger negotiating position.



Trading In A Car


A car valuation also helps when you want to trade it in for a new one at a dealership. It helps you compare your vehicle's present market value with the dealer's offers. This way, you can better decide which option is more financially suitable.



3. What Factors Impact Your Car's Value?


Now that we know when you need a car appraisal, let's find out what factors impact a car's value:





Car is a depreciating asset. Its value diminishes as it ages. On average, a car loses up to 58% of its buying price after three years of use. The only exception is the highly sought-after, vintage, or rare vehicles.



Type of Car


The type of car you own also determines its value. In other words, the market value of an SUV is different from a Luxury or vintage vehicle.





The total number of kilometres your car has driven is inversely proportional to its value. Like age, mileage is also a significant indicator of the vehicle's longevity.


The lower a car's mileage, its value will be higher. It is because a vehicle with higher mileage indicates that it is extensively used and may have more wear and tear than a mildly used one.


So, how many kilometres is too much for a used car? On average, an Australian vehicle travels 12.1 thousand km a year. A car that has run fewer km than average for its age is likely to be more valuable.



Time Of Year


The period of the year when you plan to sell a car also affects its value. Cars usually sell for less in the winter season. While it is an excellent time to buy a car, it is worth waiting for a few months to get a lucrative sale deal.



Location And Weather Conditions


The place where you conduct car sales in Australia impacts its value. It is because your vehicle exposes to varying road and weather conditions. Living in areas with harsher winters may imply a relatively lower resale value of your car due to the below reasons:



  • Icy conditions could mean more use of brakes.

  • Harsh winter weather, such as snow-clad roads, storms, and low visibility, can indicate higher chances of accidents and more wear and tear.

  • Cold temperatures cause engines and batteries to exert more.



Make And Model


The car manufacturer and the product play a vital role in the valuation process. Reputable models and brands typically command a higher price due to the high demand for them in the second-hand market.


They become more expensive if the company produces them in fewer numbers.



Servicing Costs


Besides age-based value depreciation, ongoing servicing costs linked with vehicle ownership are another vital valuation factor you should consider.



Working Condition And Service History


Your car's general condition is another prime factor when computing the car's present value.


A car that has interior, exterior, and mechanics in excellent condition is more attractive and pricier than one with scratches and dents.


A complete service history showing consistent maintenance can enhance the value of your car.



Method of Sale or Purchase


How you sell or buy a car is another factor when determining its final price.


A private sale allows you to get a higher price; it needs more effort to prepare the car for sale, such as finding a private buyer, arranging test drives, and negotiating prices.


Selling through a dealership or an auction may execute quickly, but you will get a much lower valuation.





Cars with conservative colours, such as grey, white, and black, are more demanding and expensive than brighter or flashier colours, such as yellow, lime green, or pink.



Standard and Non-Standard Car Features


Besides appearance, your car's inbuilt features, specifications, and functionality can increase or decrease its resale value.


A sunroof, leather seats, automatic headlights, built-in navigation, multi-media systems, and reversing cameras are some of the features that can add monetary value to your car.


On the other hand, customization in the form of super-sized wheels, a rear spoiler, and stereo speakers may lower its value.



Engine And Transmission


Cars with automatic transmission systems are more valuable and expensive than manual systems as they allow more convenience, safety, and flexibility while driving.



The Vehicle's History And Registration


Written-off cars or those with severe panel repairs hold less value than those with a documented service history. Furthermore, registered vehicles with roadworthy certificates are more valued and sell at a higher price.



4. What Is The Best Site To Value A Car?


Often people want to know which car value estimator is most accurate. In this section, we will explore a range of car valuation websites that offer free car valuation ratings to people.


They assist you with a fair and competitive market value across a price range and help you fix a reasonable price for a car you wish to buy or sell


  • Car Chase, Carsales, and CarBuyers for a free car valuation tool

  • RedBook for an independent car pricing guide and valuation report 

  • Mycarprice for a vehicle valuation report

  • Drive for a free vehicle inspection and valuation


Note – Mycarprice and RedBook don't consider current market factors such as live market demand and the maintenance/repair/upgrade costs when deciding its actual worth.


Independent guides usually cost a fee. However, the issue with the above online valuation tools is that they provide an automated estimate. It is better to take your vehicle to a dealership or an independent valuer for a more detailed appraisal.


Besides the value estimation, the valuer or dealer also conducts an independent pre-purchase inspection to ensure everything runs smoothly with it.



5. Are Redbook Valuations Free?


No. Redbook Valuation Report will cost you $33 to examine the target vehicle.


The personalized report considers crucial details such as the car's condition, the km travelled, aftermarket options, and added factory and determines a precise price estimate for sale, trade-in, or buy.



6. What Do Dealers Use To Value Cars?


Dealers use the most innovative vehicle valuation calculator that offers them instant car valuations. They apply the latest machine learning techniques and consider the latest conditions in the used car market to give the projected market value of the car.


Here is a three-step process most dealers follow to generate a fair price estimate:


  • Step 1: You must complete a form and submit your vehicle details.


  • Step 2: One of the dealers will visit your premises for vehicle inspection, click photos, and perform an expert valuation appraisal.


  • Step 3: Sit back and enjoy the best offers for your car.



7. How Do I Find Out The Value Of My Car?


Finding the car's market value is necessary if you wish to sell it quickly. Before beginning the car valuation, ensure your vehicle is serviced in the best possible condition, as it will instantly add value to your car.



Step 1: Compare Car Values Australia-Wide


Look at comparable cars for sale online to find the average price range for a vehicle in the same condition as yours.


While comparing, look for only those cars with the same make and model, km travelled, age, transmission, and engine makeup, as minor differences can impact the car's worth.


If you modify your car, the changes will also increase or decrease its market value. Moreover, prices can vary based on location, so you need to consider only vehicles in your area.


Sites like CarsGuide and Carsales can help you compare used car models for sale by make, model, year, features, and more.



Step 2: Use Online Car Valuation Tools


You can find many free online valuation tools that are convenient and automated but provide only an indicative estimate without considering factors that may impact your vehicle's value.


Plug your car's details into a free online valuation tool for a fast, online valuation.


Carsales' car valuation tool, Redbook's online research, and Drive's online calculator consider various factors to provide an average price range for your car in the present market, categorized by trade-in price versus private sale price.



Step 3: Professional Valuation


If you want a precise and thorough assessment of your car, you should take a professional's help to complete a car valuation.


Unlike valuation tools that consider generic features and information, independent car valuers conduct personalized assessments and give you the most accurate estimate for your car.


Redbook's online Personal Valuation Report considers specific details concerning your vehicle, such as the km travelled, its condition, added factory, aftermarket options, etc., to offer you a personalized report.



Step 4: Calculate The Depreciation Rate


Depreciation is a significant element in determining the present worth of a vehicle. It plays a crucial role in your asking price and the length of the sale.


Your car's age, brand, condition, etc., can impact its depreciation rate. Calculating your car's depreciation rate can help you work out the reduction in market value that occurs with time.



8. What Can I Do To Improve The Value Of My Car?


Here are some tips that could increase your car's worth and potentially improve its value:


  • Periodically service your car to keep it in top-notch condition. Maintain a complete service history, as it is essential to prove that your vehicle is up-to-date in servicing.

  • A clean, well-maintained car will get the highest trade-in value. Ensure your vehicle looks and smells as clean as possible. You may require cleaning the interiors, polishing the exteriors, and removing any dents or scrapes before you put it up for sale. 

  • Replace defective components, such as faulty lights or internal buttons, as they can diminish your car's value. 


Consider fixing your car before you get a valuation quote, or ask about the repair work cost so that you can efficiently negotiate with a potential buyer.



9. Conclusion


Setting an accurate price for the car becomes easier when you have a researched valuation.


Popular valuation tools like RedBook serves as a standard, but the figures may differ from the actual car value that a buyer is ready to pay you.


The above steps and information will help you sell your car quickly and effortlessly.


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