Value My Car: What’s My Car Worth

February 5, 2024

Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s my car worth?” Well, you’re not alone. Every month, close to 20 million people question their vehicle’s true value. Most of these car owners consider trading their trusted wheels for something better and new.

It’s as simple as using an online car value estimator. In just a few short minutes, you can unlock a series of valuations based on the basic information about your vehicle.

However, not all online tools are created equal. That’s why we’ve created a car value guide to help with your quest for automotive enlightenment.

No more guessing games or vague estimates. We’re here to provide concrete, reliable information to let you know your car’s worth!

Importance of Determining the Value of Your Car

Importance of Determining the Value of Your Car

Knowing the value of your car comes in handy whether you’re figuring out insurance options, getting ready to buy or sell, thinking about a refinance, or just curious about your overall net worth.

7 Factors Influencing Your Car’s Value

On average, your new car is likely to lose about 60% of its value within the first three years. However, there’s a silver lining—this isn’t a strict and unbreakable rule. Cars hold their value differently, and some retain more worth than you expect.

We’ve compiled a list of factors influencing your car’s value. When the time comes to part ways with your vehicle, it’s crucial to understand how to assess its value.

Remember, your car is unique, and that should be seen in its valuation.

Make and Model

A vehicle’s make and model means exploring its brand and specific version. Consider a Toyota FJ Cruiser–Toyota is the make, and FJ Cruiser is the model.

Some makes and models have a knack for maintaining value, while others experience a swifter depreciation.

Luxury cars, for instance, often see a faster drop in value compared to other types. Why? This is because they come with heftier operating costs, and the bills for parts and maintenance can add up quickly.

Number of Previous Owners

A car with only one previous owner can have a better resale value. Each new owner usually pays less and might treat it based on what they shelled out, not its original cost. However, the number of previous owners doesn’t always reveal the car’s condition.

When snagging a used car, aim for one with fewer past owners. More owners might mean the car’s seen wear and tear, and not everyone’s a car care whiz.

Classic cars might not lose value drastically with multiple past owners. However, the more there are, the less appealing it becomes to potential buyers.


Here are some of the features that may affect your car’s value:

Engine Size: Cars with larger engines generally have a higher price tag than those with smaller engines. Nevertheless, the car’s fuel efficiency is another factor in determining its value. Fuel-efficient cars are in greater demand, commanding higher prices in the market.

Fuel Type: Vehicles powered by diesel or hybrid engines typically cost more than those running on petrol. The rationale is that diesel and hybrid engines offer superior fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness, making them more attractive to potential buyers.

Exterior and Interior Features: Alterations to a car’s external appearance, such as new paint, body kit enhancements, and spoilers, can impact its overall valuation.

Similarly, features such as leather seats, sound systems, and reverse cameras can either increase or decrease its value.

Colour: About 61% of cars sold are in neutral shades like black, white, silver, or grey. Although not the most vibrant choices, these safe and neutral colours are easier to sell due to their widespread appeal.

While bright or exotic colours may appeal to collectors or buyers seeking unique options, the smaller pool of adventurous buyers may need more patience or negotiation from sellers. This is especially true for rare colours like lime green.

Car Condition

The value of a car significantly influences its overall condition. Various factors determine a vehicle’s market worth, including wear and tear, actual damage, and past repairs.

Factors Affecting Car Condition

Severity Matters: Certain issues, such as deployed airbags, wheel misalignment, and frame damage, have a more substantial negative impact on a car’s value compared to minor concerns like fender dents or paint scratches.

Importance of Accuracy: When preparing to sell a car, it’s important to assess its condition accurately. This ensures a realistic understanding of its market value and aids in making informed decisions during the selling process.

Here’s how to maximise car value through maintenance:

Proactive Measures: Regular maintenance practices, including oil changes and tyre rotations, are instrumental in preserving a car’s condition. This keeps the vehicle in good shape and contributes to an increase in its overall value.

Here are the steps to assess your car’s condition:

Exterior Inspection

  • Scrutinize the body for scratches, dents, or rust.
  • Examine paint, windows, and mirrors for signs of damage or wear.

Interior Inspection

  • Evaluate the seats, dashboard, and carpets for damage or wear.
  • Check the condition of the air conditioning, heating, and sound system.

Engine Examination

  • Inspect the engine for leaks, rust, or damage.
  • Check oil levels and examine belts and hoses for wear and tear.

Tire Check

  • Examine tyres for wear, uneven patterns, and tread depth.
  • Ensure proper tyre pressure.

Mileage Assessment

  • Compare the car’s mileage with the average for its age.
  • Low mileage can positively impact the car’s value.

Professional Inspection

Consider a comprehensive inspection by a professional mechanic to ensure a thorough assessment of the car’s condition. Mad Man Motors offers top-notch services—brake checks, fluid inspections, and electrical peeks. Book a service here.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

A manufacturer’s warranty is the automaker’s commitment to accommodate repairs within a specified time frame or mileage limit. This warranty is integral to the new vehicle’s cost, assuring the buyer of the car’s durability.

A manufacturer’s warranty can enhance the vehicle’s resale value when selling a car. A dependable and easily transferable coverage from a reputable warranty company can significantly contribute to the final resale price.

Conversely, a car without a transferable extended warranty will likely have a lower value than a similar vehicle with such coverage.

Gain extra peace of mind with an Extended Warranty for all used vehicles sold at Mad Man Motors. Your journey just got even more secure!


The mileage of a car significantly influences its value. Generally, cars with higher mileage are valued less than those with lower mileage.

This is because as a car accumulates more miles, it experiences increased wear and tear, potentially leading to mechanical issues.

As an illustration, let’s consider a new car purchased for $36,668. After covering 20,000 miles, its value might decrease to $29,335. At 40,000 miles, it could be worth $23,468, and so forth.

However, mileage is just one factor indicating a car’s condition. A car with 60,000 miles may be in worse shape than one with 120,000 miles.

When selling a car, it’s vital to consider the mileage and its impact on its value. Buyers will factor in the remaining unused miles when determining the vehicle’s worth.

While a higher mileage may result in more wear and tear, a car with fewer miles on the odometer doesn’t necessarily guarantee better overall condition.

Current Market Conditions

A car’s worth can change based on where you are and what’s happening in the market. For instance, if many want a certain type of car, its value might increase. On the flip side, if too many of the same kind of car are available, its value could drop.

Let’s take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example. When more people started looking for used cars, the prices went up. This happened because there weren’t enough new cars due to supply chain problems, and more people wanted their ride for safety reasons.

Also, the value of electric cars has gone up recently. More car owners are into ecofriendly vehicles, so the demand for electric cars has increased.

Formula for Car Depreciation

Formula for Car Depreciation

No matter the make or model you’re eyeing, there’s a straightforward method for estimating a car’s depreciation. You can refer to sources like Redbook or similar websites to understand your vehicle’s current value. Now, let’s break down the easy formula:

  • Find the difference between the car’s new value and today’s value.
  • Divide that difference by the new-car value, multiplied by 100.

Here’s an example:

New-car value: $35,880

Car’s current value: $23,700

Now, do the math:

Different Types of Car Values

Different Types of Car Values

Various car values are employed to assess a vehicle’s worth. Each metric serves purposes and may fluctuate based on the car’s condition, age, mileage, make, model, and location.

Trade-in Value

The trade-in value of a car refers to the sum a dealer offers if you decide to trade in your current car for another.

This value is determined by various factors, such as the car’s make, model, age, and condition during the trade.

Typically, the trade-in value is lower than the retail value, reflecting the dealer’s need to profit when reselling the car.

Let’s explore a couple of scenarios to understand trade-in values better:

Positive Trade-In Value

Suppose you still owe $15,000 on your car, but the dealer will offer you $20,000. In this case, the trade-in value is calculated by subtracting the amount you owe ($15,000) from the dealer’s offer ($20,000). Therefore, the trade-in value is $5,000.

Negative Trade-In Value

If your car has a retail value of $12,000, but the dealer offers a trade-in value of $10,500, you are essentially paying the dealer $1,500. This difference accounts for the dealer’s cost to clean, repair, and prepare the car for resale.

Private Party Value

The private party value of a car is the amount you can receive after selling your car directly to an individual buyer. This value is often higher than the trade-in value, as it doesn’t include the need to accommodate a dealer’s profit.

Dealer Resale Value

The dealer resale value of a car is the sum a dealer can sell the vehicle for after acquiring it through a trade-in or auction.

Generally, the dealer resale value tends to be higher than the trade-in value because the dealer seeks to profit when reselling the car.

While it may not always be an exact figure, it provides a rough estimate of the asking price a dealer might set for the vehicle.

Enjoy the convenience of instant car trade-ins with Mad Man Motors. We offer a seamless process for getting the value your car deserves. Trade in with us today!

How to Compare Car Prices in Your Area

How to Compare Car Prices in Your Area

Used vehicle prices in Australia have experienced a 15.2% decrease from their peak in May 2022. However, they remain 49% higher than the pre-COVID levels recorded in August 2019.

Notably, the decline in prices is more evident in used passenger cars and SUVs, while the prices of utes are decreasing faster.

The ongoing challenges in the supply chain have prompted manufacturers to prioritize larger vehicles with higher profit margins.

Here’s a simple car price guide:

Compare Comparable Used Car Values Nationwide

Look at the average range for a vehicle similar to yours by examining used car listings across Australia.

Prices can vary based on location. So, comparing similar used car values nationwide is essential for a more accurate picture.

Research Online

Start your research by exploring Australian dealer websites such as Mad Man Motors. They provide comprehensive vehicle details, including prices, features, and dealer contact information.

Stay Informed on Market Trends

Keep yourself updated on market trends and industry news. Seasonal fluctuations, new model releases, or changes in government policies can impact car prices. Staying informed allows you to make comparisons based on the current market conditions.

How to Maximise the Value of Your Car

How to Maximise Your Cars Valuation

To maximize the value of your car during a trade-in or sale, you must do it objectively. While you may cherish your vehicle, dealers view it as just another car.

However, one key factor can significantly impact your car’s valuation – a comprehensive, fully documented service history.

Your car will likely receive a higher part-exchange valuation if an official dealership consistently serviced it.

On the contrary, a gap in the service history can adversely affect the valuation.

Cars with consistent service and MoT (Ministry of Transport) history generally command a premium of around 10% compared to those without proper documentation.

So, keep a complete record of all service and spare parts receipts. This can appeal to potential buyers, leading to a higher selling price.

Now, when it comes to evaluating the condition of your car, it’s crucial to scrutinize it up close. Look for any unnoticed scratches or damages, especially on the wheels, such as kerb scrapes on the alloys or tire damage.

Beyond servicing, a well-maintained car without scratches and scuffs tends to fetch a higher price. Therefore, taking extra care in parking and maneuvering pays off in the long run.

Addressing minor issues and presenting your car in a clean and tidy condition significantly enhances its valuation. This ensures that you won’t be caught off guard by the dealer’s offer and will be better positioned to negotiate a fair figure.


Can I Trust Online Tools to Estimate My Car’s Value?

You can trust online tools to determine your car’s value, but with caution. These tools provide estimates based on general data but might not capture unique features or local market nuances.

Use them as a starting point. Then, consider consulting with experts or getting multiple appraisals for a more accurate assessment of your car’s value.

How Often Should I Check the Value of My Car?

Check your car’s value annually or when significant changes occur. These include major repairs, modifications, or before selling. Regular assessments keep you informed about market fluctuations. They also ensure you make informed decisions about your vehicle’s worth in changing economic and automotive conditions.

Can I Negotiate the Value of My Car With Potential Buyers or Dealerships?

Negotiation is common when selling a car. You can present evidence, such as maintenance records or unique features, to justify your asking price. Stay flexible during discussions and be open to finding a mutually agreeable price with potential buyers or dealerships. Effective communication and a willingness to compromise can lead to a successful negotiation.

Final Take on Car Value

To sum it up, figuring out how much your car is worth can be tricky. It’s best to research and be a smart negotiator, whether independently selling your car or considering a dealership. We hope we have enlightened you to easily answer questions like “What is the value of my car?”.

Mad Man Motors can make things easy for you when you want to trade in your car, find its value, or buy a used one. Contact us today!

Mad Man Motors Free Car Valuation Tool