Used Car Prices

parkers used car pricesHow does a car dealer arrive at a price for a used car?

There’s used car prices and then there’s Parkers used car prices! – Before taking ownership of a used car dealers will obviously need to decide what “trade” price they will be willing to pay and that decision is usually based on the following factors:

  • The market conditions they are currently operating in.
  • Used car prices – what the trade guides (usually CAP or Glasses) may tell them.
  • The results of researching what cars are selling on the internet for and working back.
  • Experience: many trade buyers just simply know what their product is worth.
  • Who they are buying from and how low a price they can offer to successfully conclude the deal.
  • Stock profiling: looking at how much similar models have sold for recently.
  • How rare, highly specified and how sought after a model is.
  • The condition, specification and desirability of the car itself.

Once they have considered these factors they can then decide on how they will put a retail margin across the car, and again this will depend on how many they already have (their stock levels) how many are for sale in their own network and more than likely a sense check against similar models on the internet within their radius.

Of course apart from the normal trade considerations about how much profit they are budgeted to make on each car and what they would need to spend on ensuring that car is prepared and presented properly, there are also things like regional variations and anomalies wherein diesels being inexplicably more popular in some places and automatics a safer bet in another.

So just how do used car price guides work?
How exactly does the motor trade come to a convincing value for a used car?
Do you know what the important factors employed to produce a credible car valuation are?

When exploring the price data supplied by used car price guides (whether industry only or otherwise) you will typically be presented with 3 unique price variations.

Dealer or Retail Price will be the price you are very likely to pay if purchasing from a new or used car dealer and is the basic retail or actual selling price. This price probably will be modified for mileage and condition to more realistically represent the cars market worth.

Trade Price is the basic value whenever a trade purchaser buys an individual unit for retail sale and is the amount (modified for mileage and condition as before) you are very likely to be given by a dealer should you part-exchange your vehicle.

Private Sale Price is the price in the middle. A private vendor will wish to make more than the dealer price and the private buyer won’t wish to pay the retail uplift at a dealer (which would certainly incorporate value added extras and reassurance)

Providing a car valuation is certainly not an exact science and, needless to say, each used car is unique. It is that originality which leads to sometimes hugely different price estimates. Following is a summary of many of the facets of a used cars overall condition that may have an effect on the ultimate price offered or paid out.

A typical car is commonly assumed to have covered 12,000 miles per year for the 1st 3 years of its life, 8,000 for the subsequent three and 6,000 for the next. As a consequence a 9 year old car with average mileage would have covered 78,000 miles.

The car needs to be in a condition that is commensurate with its age and mileage and possess a current MOT certificate.

Service History
The vehicle should have been serviced in compliance with the manufacturers recommended schedules up to 3 years and subsequently there needs to be adequate service history to attest to the recorded mileage being genuine.

The engine will need to be free from unnecessary noise, working correctly and be inside the legal emission limits. There should be no damage or leakage with no evidence of excessive wear.

Cooling System
Cooling fans need to be operating normally and the system should be free from leakages or damage.

Chassis Members and Sub Frames
There needs to be no evidence of repairs, rust or wear and they should be free from damage defects and distortion. The mountings and joints should all be sound.

The transmission system will need to be free from leakages and not require repair or adjustment.

Suspension and Steering
Power steering needs to be free of excessive noise and no leakage. There should be no evidence of wear or damage and all mountings should be free of damage or wear.

Must have at least 3mm of tread and must conform to manufacture and usage regulations.

Electrical units need to be free from malfunction and show no obvious indications of tampering.

Needs to be free from damage and rust. The paintwork needs to be sound and well taken care of and all bodywork fixtures and fittings present and freed from damage.

The interior condition of the vehicle needs to be commensurate with age and mileage, freed from damage and with no evidence of repairs having been performed.

Standard Equipment
All standard equipment fitted to the vehicle needs to be in one piece and in full operating condition.

The growth and ubiquity of the net has significantly enhanced the accessibility of information on used cars and their value. It was previously the case that this information was only ever accessible by the trade through professional publications but now you will find numerous sources of information for pricing used cars. Multiple sources of data mean, not surprisingly, that the values made available via different sources usually tend not to concur with each other.

This is because each data source acquires their information from different places and then produces their unique determination of that data.

The easiest way for a private car buyer or vendor to find out an satisfactory price for a used vehicle is to cross-check their information with numerous sources. This will give you as a seller a price that best represents the true market value of your vehicle and as a buyer will give you the price you should reasonably expect to pay for your next car.

Used car valuations:

Sell Your Car Like A Pro!
CAP Motor Research
Glasses Guide

Parkers used car prices

Parkers GuideParkers used car prices – Anyone who goes to the car auctions clutching a copy of the Parkers Guide to Used Car Prices sticks out like a sore thumb and motor trade professionals mark them down as a novice. As a result the Parkers guide has a reputation in the trade as being for the general public only and is therefore not really taken seriously. Whether or not a Parkers car value is better or worse than any other used car valuation is open to debate but the Parkers guide itself does have a good pedigree. The Parkers Guide started out as a car price guide in 1972 and is now the longest-running price guide available to the general public. It has expanded over the years to offer reviews, technical data and marketplace intelligence along with used car pricing. Parker’s also offers valuations for commercial vehicles and motorbikes. Parker’s is now owned and published by Bauer Media Group a large German publishing company based in Hamburg, which operates in 15 countries worldwide. In addition to Parker’s Bauer media also owns and operates the following brands within the automotive sector; Car, Classic Cars, Land Rover Owner International, Max Power, Practical Classics, Classic Car Weekly, AM (Automotive Management), Fleet News and Sewells.
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