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How to Work Out the Value of My Car for Insurance Purposes

Find out what your car is worth the easy way for insurance claims and policies or to get the best price when reselling.

Why is Knowing My Car’s Value Important?

Knowing your car’s worth can help you get the best deal when selling it. There are a variety of reasons why it’s important to know the value of your car. One reason is that it helps you obtain the best price if you’re trading in your car to a third-party or buying a new vehicle. Another reason is that it helps in filing an insurance claim if you’re involved in an accident. Today, many people do research about car values online before negotiating.

Finally, any time one is negotiating over the value of his/her car — whether with a prospective buyer, dealer, or insurer. It can help to know what the car is really worth. With that knowledge, one may gain a stronger sense of peace of mind after the transaction, knowing that you arranged the best possible fair price.

How Finding the Value of Your Car Works

To find the value of your car, there are a few terms you may need to become familiar with. First, there’s your car’s depreciating value. Next, the resale value, market value, and trade-in value of a vehicle.

What is Depreciation of a Car’s Value?

A car can depreciate in value if it gets older and needs repairs. When speaking about the value of your car, depreciation refers to the loss in value from when it was newly purchased to the date of valuation. All cars depreciate in value because they experience regular wear and tear.

What is the Retail Value of a Car?

The resale value of a used car is the amount a dealership is selling it for after it has been inspected and reconditioned. A used car is typically sold for less than a new one because it has already been driven and maintained. Different cars depreciate at different rates.

You can find out how fast your car will depreciate using this average depreciation estimator or you can check how it will depreciate based on the vehicle make and model.

Factors that Influence the Vehicle’s Depreciation Rate

  • Age of the car, including the year it was made and how long it has been owned.
  • Mileage or the odometer reading showing how far the vehicle has driven.
  • Motor Warranty Cover matters, since a car still under warranty with a longer time left under warranty will sell for a better price.
  • The Condition the motor vehicle is in can affect its depreciation rate. Minor damage can lead to breakdowns or further problems later on, which could deter potential buyers. Any wear on the vehicle or previous damage can increase its depreciation rate.
  • Service History plays a role, because vehicles with incomplete service records tend to be sold for lower values. This is because there is evidence 9or a lack of evidence) that shows it hasn’t been cared for in the proper way.

Other factors that can play a role include how many previous owners the vehicle has had, the reputation of the brand and make, the size of the vehicle, demand for the vehicle, the state of the economy and car resale market, and modifications made to the vehicle

How to Lower You Car’s Depreciation Rate

It’s impossible to avoid depreciation altogether, but car owners can try to minimise the impact it will have on them. If you are purchasing a used car, you can ensure you buy a vehicle that will hold its value better. You can also consider buying cars with as low mileage as possible. It is a good idea to avoid wild vehicle colours and to rather opt for a neutral shade, since neutral colours remain popular for longer.

Optional extras that have been added to the vehicle can bolster its resale value. You can add or consider features like car trackers, air conditioning, central locking, window tint, and MP3 players for your car. Other ways to lower the depreciation rate include servicing the vehicle regularly and keeping it in optimal condition.

What is the Trade-In Value of My Car?

The trade-in value is the price a dealer is willing to pay you to buy your used vehicle from you or to trade in your vehicle for another. The dealer works out the trade-in value based on an accurate valuation that can tell them how much it would sell for after being refurbished.

What is the Market Value of My Car?

This is the price vehicles in a similar condition and of the same make and age (etc) are being sold for on the market. It is usually lower than the retail value of the vehicle and comes into play when selling to a private buyer.


How to Calculate the Value of My Car

When trying to determine the value of your car, coming up with an average price isn’t a good idea. Since so many factors can influence the value of your car, finding accurate car prices is vital. The new-car value in the automotive industry for a vehicle is easier to find than its resale value.

But we have gathered all the information you’ll need to get accurate values for the worth of your vehicle in South Africa. Whether you need this info for a private sale or to save on car insurance, the below steps can help.

1. Gather All the Relevant Info About Your Vehicle

Whether you are using a professional value assessor, talking to someone who has experience with vehicle values, or using an online valuation tool, you will need certain information to get an accurate appraisal. You can gather this information before you begin to ensure the value you get is accurate.

  • The vehicle’s exact Make, Model, and Year of Manufacture.
  • The Up-To-Date Odometer Reading or Mileage of the Vehicle.
  • The Vehicle Condition – A vehicle in excellent condition will be worth more. Conversely, those that have experienced severe damage may be worth much less. If you are unsure about the condition of your vehicle, you can get an accurate appraisal from a professional. Consider minor damage, repairs, and wear and tear.
  • Added Features – Features such as four-wheel drive, electric window capability, and other add-ons can increase your car’s value.
  • Colour – Yes, the colour of your vehicle can affect its resale value. For example, did you know yellow cars have one of the best resale values? Sports cars sell better in bright colours. Neutral shades can also stay popular for longer.
  • Damage History – If your vehicle has experienced major damage, such as being involved in an accident, this can play a role in the value of the vehicle. Accident reports, an accident history, and paperwork appraising the car’s condition after the damaging incident can play a role in assessing its value.

2. Talk to a Car Value Estimator

For appraisal of condition and accurate valuation of your car, it’s best to call in an expert. Independent valuation will ensure the numbers you receive are fair and accurate. Accurate car valuation is important, so leaving it up to amateurs is not advised. It’s important to choose a trusted valuer in the industry, with a valuation history that is reliable. Someone who has experience with vehicle values and how each depreciation factor plays a role in the true value of your vehicle.

3. Find Out What Prices Look Like on the Market

You can research the sales price of your exact vehicle make and model by browsing online used vehicle sales websites. You can also find out the dealer price for a vehicle in a similar condition and make to yours to get an idea of what your vehicle might be worth. Researching your car’s value by comparing it to others can help you check whether the valuation you receive is accurate.

4. Take the Easy Way and Use a Car Valuation Tool

Sanlam Reality’s Car Value Estimator can help you estimate the value of your car when you input fields like the make, model, year, mileage, condition, and the value of extras on the vehicle in their form. Other similar tools exist online to make valuing your car easy, but remember they may deliver slightly different results. The actual condition of the vehicle may change the results you get. If it is actually in bad condition, but you aren’t aware of the extent, these online tools will deliver limited value.

The Value of My Car and Insurance in South Africa

When it comes to the value of a vehicle for insurance purposes, accuracy is important. Insurers may want photos or video of the car, or they may want to send their own valuer to assess the vehicle. In the context of an accident, this could determine the size of your payout.

Did you know some South African insurance companies like King Price car insurance will lower your premiums monthly as the value of your car depreciates? This helps you save on insurance and only pay for what you need. You can find the best car insurance policy for your needs by filling in the form on this page for a FREE quote from a reputable South African insurer.