Vehicle Sourcing Solutions
Home Further information Our Services Help & Advice Contact us
About Us Sourced cars Our Costs Warranty Terms and Conditions
Finance Servicing Storage Relocation
Avoiding the pitfalls Car values - buying & selling
Vehicle Sourcing Solutions

Car Values – Buying & Selling

Car values can change on a monthly basis, this does not always mean a reduction in value but it is often the case.

downloadable pdf of this page

A number of guides can help in pricing your current car, in addition to the vehicle you are looking to purchase.

The trade will in most cases use what’s called the CAP or Black Book guide. However, some dealers will refer to the Glass’ Guide. Both are credible value references but they often will differ marginally. What Car and Parkers are other guides that are available to the public, however please remember that the motor-trade will rely only on trade guides.

Several pricing bands are used, there can be vast differences in value. The bands are: Retail, Clean, Average & Below Average. It’s worth taking a look at the following definitions in order to appropriately position the car you are selling or part-exchanging.

Vehicle Sourcing Solutions will aim to secure your next vehicle in the Clean category (that is a perfect vehicle at trade prices) with only sourcing fees to add.

  • A realistic price based on national research
  • Remember this includes a margin to cover overheads, which at large dealerships will be extensive. It will also include a profit margin on top.
  • Typically the trade price achieved for a virtually perfect car that is ready to retail
  • Mechanically sound
  • Current MOT
  • Bodywork free from damage
  • Interior clean & well cared for, in original condition
  • All documents available & in order
  • Full Service History
  • Reasonable condition for age and mileage
  • Requires only minor work other than routine cleaning
  • Mechanically sound
  • Current MOT
  • Acceptable colour
  • Interior largely undamaged and complete and in need of only minor cleaning
  • All documentation complete and in order
Below Average
  • A vehicle in poor or hard worked condition that would prove uneconomical to restore to acceptable retail standard
  • Mechanically unsound
  • Little or no MOT
  • Damaged or corroded bodywork
  • Incomplete or damaged interior trim
Other factors influencing a valuation are:


The right combination of colour and specification is paramount, especially on executive models. Leather and automatic transmission can make considerable differences to the values of some makes and models.

Cars with desirable manufacturer supplied extras can often achieve more than CAP clean

However, cars fitted with non-approved extras, body kits and modifications can be undesired and be worth less than standard models – despite the previous owner having invested significant sums.


A metallic colour can often be worth more than a standard plain colour and poor colours such a beige or brown are usually worth less. Some paint colours fade badly with age and should be avoided.


Cars without verified mileage or full service history are often valued less than CAP clean – despite their appearance. Those affected more than most are executive and prestige models. Vehicles without a current MOT will achieve low values only. Therefore when selling it’s always worth ensure the MOT is valid.

Please feel free to call for a no obligation QUOTATION

Further information:
buy a car
Read reports and opinions from about all aspects of the motor industry. Their team of bloggers write daily stories about what's new in the industry but also cover all aspects of car ownership including buying cars, car care tips, selling & motor shows.

Simon Shutler, e-mail: