Car Buying Sites: What’s My Car Really Worth?
Thinking about selling your car online, but not sure which car buying site or service to choose?
Perhaps you’re wondering “how much is my car really worth”?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this guide we run through some of the best car buying sites in the UK, and give you the lowdown on:
- What they offer
- Their advantages
- Their disadvantages
For each site we’ll also be grabbing a valuation for a couple of real cars (a 2013 petrol Nissan Juke, and a 2006 diesel Ford Mondeo) to see what we get.
Motorway: The Smart Way To Compare Car Buying Sites
As you will see in a moment, there are a lot of online car buying sites in the UK.
And (spoiler) there is some serious variation in the prices they will offer online for your used car.
So if you want to find the best deal and get the most cash for your car what are your options?
You could: visit all the sites individually, enter your details, and compare offers.
But that’s going to take time. And let’s be honest, it’s also a bit of a drag.
Fortunately, there’s a much simpler way to do it.
Motorway is the UK’s first online car buyer comparison site. Just enter your registration number, mileage, and postcode, and we’ll instantly compare offers from the UK’s leading car buying sites.
You’ll find everything you need to know (offer, fees, collection details) on one page. Much easier right?
You can start comparing the car buying market here, otherwise read on for our full run-down of the UK’s best car buying sites.
Best Online Car Buying Sites
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest and best car buying sites on the web.
We’ll start with the market leader.
WeBuyAnyCar.com has become synonymous with selling your car online over the past 10 years. You’ve seen and heard the adverts. You know the jingle. You know what they offer.
But is it still the best car buying site?
Well, yes, and no.
As far as valuing your car goes, it’s simple and fast. You’ll get your offer in seconds and they really will buy most (if not all) cars. We explain the full WeBuyAnyCar process here.
They haven’t got to be as big as they are by offering a bad service. They buy any car and do what they say on the tin.
Firstly, you’ll have to take your car to one of their branches. Which is fine if you live in a big city, but not so easy if you’re rural.
There have also been many reports in the media, and online forums about final offers being considerably lower than the initial online valuation.
So let’s see what they offered for our two cars:
- Nissan Juke: £5,125
- Ford Mondeo: £175
* 2013 Nissan Juke Acenta (petrol) with 45,000 miles on the clock, 1 previous owner. 2006 Ford Mondeo (diesel) with 95,000 miles on the clock, 5+ previous owners.
As you will see below, those offers were at the lower end of the scale. Particularly for the Juke.
So, while they might be the Coca Cola of car buying sites in terms of brand recognition, it’s definitely worth shopping around.
WeWantAnyCar.com are a very close cousin of WeBuyAnyCar, as the name would suggest. I should point out I’m talking about features here, the companies are not linked.
In fact, their service is practically identical, as like We Buy Any Car, you’ll normally have to take your car to one of their branches.
They claim to buy any road worthy car…
But unfortunately, they were unable to provide an offer for the Mondeo.
Their online offer for the Juke however was almost £600 more than WeBuyAnyCar.
- Nissan Juke: £5,711
- Ford Mondeo: No offer
A 10% increase in the cash offer for the Juke is pretty substantial. So assuming the final offer meets the valuation and they don’t knock money off on inspection, it looks like WeWantAnyCar may be a better place to sell this particular car.
Again, you’ll need to take your car to one of their depots. For me (being based in Scotland), that would mean a 250 mile round trip to either Aberdeen, Glasgow, or Edinburgh. Not ideal!
WeBuyAnyCar on the other hand, have a branch in Inverness.
It’s not exactly round the corner, but it is considerably closer.
And on that note, WeWantAnyCar claim to have 70 branches UK wide, while WeBuyAnyCar have over 200.
* bold because… similar names, and confusing.
So that’s a definite tick in the WeBuyAnyCar box that might negate some of the extra cash offered by other car buying sites.
The Car Buying Group
The Car Buying Group’s site was one of the simplest to use, and was able to give me an offer for both the Nissan Juke and the Ford Mondeo.
They guarantee their offers over the phone, there are no admin fees, and they will collect your car from any address of your choice for free.
They also send payment instantly to your bank account on the day they collect your car. Perfect!
Not so good:
The offer for the Juke was considerably lower than both WeBuyAnyCar and WeWantAnyCar. Although this should be balanced against the lack of fees and the free collection.
And also, judging by their review scores on Motorway, they are unlikely to knock down the price on collection day and they are an absolute pleasure to deal with!
- Nissan Juke: £4,958
- Ford Mondeo: £139
Something else to point out is that on their homepage they guarantee to beat any like for like online purchase price, so that’s a real plus too.
So it’s probably worth giving them a call and seeing if they will bump up the offer price a bit based on other valuations.
Another site that falls very much into the WeBuy stable in terms of design (and branding).
But unlike WeBuyAnyCar, you’ll get free collection anywhere in the UK and instant payment.
They were able to offer me a price for both the Juke and the Mondeo. Although the offer for the Mondeo is probably less than the scrap value, so I doubt I would take them up on it.
Still, at least they were able to offer something.
The offer for the Juke crept up over £5K again, but was still considerably lower than others.
Nissan Juke: £5,080
- Ford Mondeo: £100
Also good: they’ll pay you when they collect your car, and there are no additional fees.
Their offers are only valid for 72 hours. Most sites give you 7 days to make your mind up. Their review scores are also lacking.
Evans Halshaw make a big play on their homepage (and on the TV) about beating any price offered by WeBuyAnyCar.com.
And to be fair to them, they did.
In fact, they were able to offer the highest price of any of the car buying sites for both the Juke and the Mondeo.
- Nissan Juke: £5,733
- Ford Mondeo: £568
The Mondeo price seemed a little at odds with the other offers I was getting, so I would be a little wary that I would actually get that price at final valuation.
But even if they knocked a couple of hundred pounds off the final price, it’s still going to be more than 2x more than any of the other offers I managed to get for that car.
How can they offer a higher price?
In theory, it’s because they themselves are car dealers.
They’ll take your car in, clean it up, and sell it on the forecourt, whereas other car buying sites will probably sell your car at auction. In other words, they have more margin to play with.
We did find a lot of forum discussions talking about how the final offer was much lower than the price offered on the web. So make sure you are honest about the condition of your car – including any dents, dings, or scratches.
Although to be fair to Evans Halshaw, that same advice does apply to all the car buying sites in our guide. There’s no point trying to hide anything when you get your initial valuation, all cars will be inspected prior to final offer.
Tootle’s service is a little different to the other car buying sites on our list.
It’s not an instant process.
You list your car, set a guide price, and you’ll get offers from dealers who are interested in buying your car.
I didn’t list the Juke here (as I don’t really want to be bombarded by offers), but I did try to list the Mondeo.
The first thing you’ll notice is that they ask a few more questions that the other car buying sites, and they also ask you to set your asking price.
But here’s the bad news…
Turns out they don’t buy cars that are over 10 years old.
So Tootle definitely can’t claim to ‘buy any car’. But from a glance at their reviews it would appear that for the cars they can buy, they are able to get a good price.
Takes a little longer to get your offer (and presumably the cash) and they don’t buy cars over 10 years old. If you would like to sell one of these cars you can often go straight to your local dealer to negotiate a price.
Car Take Back
Finally, we’ve got Car Take Back.
They are a little different to the other car buying sites in our guide, as they are really a ‘car buyer of last resort’.
Generally, this is the site you should go to if your car is a ‘non-runners’, junk, a write-off or simply scrap. That’s their speciality and, somewhat ironically, it probably means that they are the only car buying site that can truly claim to ‘buy any car’.
But that being said, they were able to make a decent offer for the Juke, albeit one that was a little vague.
Although even at the high end (£4,825) it’s still the lowest offer of any of the car buying sites on our list. So I doubt it’s going to be a good option if your car is in decent nick.
For the Mondeo they offered £34 for collection, and up to £90 if I dropped it off at a branch.
I was able to get them to up their offer to £44 for collection when I added some extra details (it still drives + mileage).
Nissan Juke: £2,325 – £4,825
Ford Mondeo: £44 for collection, up to £90 for drop off
Clearly you’re going to get a lowball offer for your car. But as I mentioned, this is where you’re going to go if you want to scrap your car, so we can’t really hold that against them. It is what it is.
If you just want to get rid, and can’t be bothered going to a scrapyard, then Car Take Back is a good option.
See our guide to scrapping your car for ways to squeeze out some extra £££.
Summing It All Up
That covers some of the biggest and best car buying sites in the UK (although there are more), so let’s see what we got.
Here are the offers for both cars from each of the car buyers in our guide:
|Site||Nissan Juke||Ford Mondeo|
|The Car Buying Group||£4,958||£139|
On the face of it, it looks like Evans Halshaw wins on both cars, but be wary of the caveats (e.g. higher online price than final valuation) I mentioned above.
Range Of Prices
And here’s the range of prices offered for each car:
- Nissan Juke: £4,825 – £5,733 (difference £908 / 17.2% variation)
- Ford Mondeo: £44 – £568 (difference £524 / 171.2% variation)
The Mondeo is not necessarily representative as the low price is for scrap, but the Nissan Juke shows a 17.2% variation between the lowest and highest offers.
That’s pretty substantial right?
And in pure pound note terms, I’m sure you would be quite happy to be walking around with an extra £900+ in your pocket.
Which is exactly why we launched our car price comparison service.
So let’s cut to the chase…
Why You Should Use Motorway To Compare Car Buyers
If you’re anything like us, you probably don’t have time to search Google, visit multiple sites, fill in multiple forms, and compare loads of offers manually.
So you might settle for the first offer you get and lose out on a serious chunk of cash. Which sucks.
By using our free comparison service to compare the entire car buying market, you can be sure that you are getting the very best price for your car.
Otherwise you could be seriously missing out:
Ready to compare the entire car buying market and get the very best price for your car? Start your free valuation here.