Whether you're buying or selling, these car valuation guidelines can help

The used car market can be a real treasure trove for bargain hunters, but to make sure you get the right deal it's always a great idea to check out some independent car valuation advice.

The same can be said for those of you planning on selling your old car on the private market - after all, you're going to want to make sure you get a fair price.

What is this car worth?

One of the first questions buyers and sellers need to ask is how much any given car is worth. While you might have a good idea yourself, getting an independent car valuation can be a great way to ensure you don't pay over the odds, or sell for less than market value.

There are a number of great resources available to ensure that you know exactly what to look out for, including a number of excellent websites and other options such as having a mechanic take a look at the vehicle for you.

What determines the car's value?

The most important factor in figuring out how much a car is worth is usually its age. Since cars depreciate as time passes, the older a car is the less it is going to be worth. Obviously this has some exceptions, particularly when we talk about vintage cars, but for the most part you want to make sure you're getting a fair price based on the age of the car.

The next thing you want to consider is the mileage. It is possible that an older car may not have been used all that much, so a lower mileage could well increase its market value. This is usually where a good mechanic will come in. By taking a look at the mileage on the car's dash, as well as examining the engine, a seasoned mechanic will be able to advice on a reasonable value for the car.

Helpful tips

You can take a look at prices of similarly aged vehicles by popping over to autotrader.co.uk and entering the correct information into the search engine. From there you'll be able to compare various prices in order to give you some rough ideas of car valuation.

Alternatively, pop into your local used car lot and check out some of the vehicles on offer. It's worth remembering that these will usually be a little more expensive, but you should get a reasonable taste for the current prices.

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