Parkers car price guide – car valuation guide
Selling a used car is never easy. Finding a place to sell it, going through the whole “tyre-kicking” process, and waiting for the sale; it’s hassle.
Before any of that can happen, you need to know one thing; how much is your used car worth?
There are plenty of time consuming ways to figure that out.
Or, you could do it the quick and easy way.
One of the most straightforward ways to get an instant car valuation is via the Parkers online car valuation tool. There are many car valuation options both online and offline, but Parkers is one of the most established and trusted.
In our 3-minute guide to using Parkers to get a used car valuation, we’ll cover each step of the process with screenshots.
Valuing a car on Parkers explained:
- Why use Parkers to value your car?
- Step by step guide to using Parkers valuation tool
- Understanding what your valuation means
- How to get a Premium valuation
- What can I use my valuation for?
- Compare valuations and sell your car
It’s important to remember, if you fill out any of the options incorrectly, it’s going to skew the valuation. That could mean your car is worth more than you think, or you have an unrealistic valuation.
The more details you know about your car, the more accurate the valuation is going to be.
Why Use Parkers Guide To Value Your Car?
Parkers have been one of the go-to places for used car valuations for years.
It’s a free tool for anyone with a used car. There is a premium valuation option available, but we feel the standard valuation gives more than enough detail.
Their data dates to 1972, and most vehicles produced after 2004 can be valued quickly and easily online.
If your car was produced before 2004, you’ll need to access their premium membership, or another car valuation service.
Vehicle valuations are based on average mileage for that year.
For instance, if your vehicle is a 2006 plate, you’ll be looking at an average mileage of 120,000.
Using their premium service will allow used car sellers to adjust the valuation based on additional extras, condition and mileage; this gives a much more accurate valuation.
#1 – Navigate To The Car Valuation Tool
Start by heading over to the car valuation tool. The Parkers valuation tool can be found here.
Once you are on the Parkers website, you’ll presented with a tool that looks like this.
#2 – Choose Car, Or Enter Your Registration
The easiest way to get the details of your car, is to enter your registration.
The car valuation tool will then access a database to grab your car’s details; perfect if you are unsure about the specifics of your car such as fuel type and model.
But, if you are not currently with your car and don’t know the registration, you can select the make, range and model to find your car.
There’s a similar option to navigate the tool using the car’s make, model and year at the bottom of the page.
It looks like this:
#3 – Get Your Initial Valuation
Once you’ve entered your vehicle details or registration, you’ll need to hit the “Get Valuation” button.
This will give an initial valuation for your used car.
Take this value loosely, in the example above of the BMW 3-Series Coupe (06-13), there’s a 7-year gap between models.
That’s going to mean a huge price difference. Sometimes, this can be £10,000 or more.
This is evident with the valuation we’ve received.
#4 – Update Car Details
To get a more detailed valuation, you’ll need to ensure you select the exact make and model.
So, you need to update your car’s details. There’s an option to change the year (2006 in our example) and the exact model (320d SE 2d in our example).
#5 – Get A Free Valuation For Selected Year And Model
Now the details of your vehicle are more accurate, the valuation that Parkers gives is going to be a lot more accurate too.
Hit the “Get Free Valuation For Selected Year/Version” to update your valuation.
The valuations will then go from the initial £3,000-£18,000 range, to a much tighter range.
The prices offered will depend on condition, and where the car is sold. But, the new valuation is much more realistic.
#6 – Mileage Based Valuations
The valuation for the vehicle here is based on 120,000 miles with no modifications.
Why 120,000 miles? Well, Parkers will always consider the year of the vehicle being valued, and base their prices on the average mileage for a vehicle of that year.
In this case, the average 2006 BMW has 120,000 miles.
#7 – Understanding What The Valuations Mean
Parkers doesn’t just offer a single valuation. It takes into account condition and where you sell the vehicle to provide several estimates.
So, what do the different valuations mean?
This is the price you’d expect to pay for the used car at an official dealer. For instance, a BMW being sold at a BMW franchise. This is not the price a dealer will pay for your vehicle.
This is the price buyers will pay for a used car at an unofficial dealer. For example, a BMW at a Vauxhall used dealer. Again, this is not the price a dealer will pay for your vehicle.
If selling privately (for example, on eBay), this is price you should expect if your car is in above average condition for age.
Buyers will expect the interior and exterior of the vehicle to be above average condition.
If a car is obviously below average condition, this is the price you should expect.
This might be related to the interior, exterior, or both (i.e. scuffs on paint, low tyre tread depth or even tears in seats).
This is the actual price dealers will pay for your car. They will then advertise the vehicle for sale at the “Independent Dealer” or “Franchised Dealer” prices mentioned above.
#8 –Adjusted Valuations Using Premium Valuations
The premium valuation service costs £3.49.
But, there’s not always extra valuation options, as you can see here with our BMW example.
As Parkers has already suggested, accurately describing a car can change the valuation by as much as 30%. In the case of our BMW, that could mean getting an additional £600 when it comes to selling the vehicle.
For us (and our BMW), there’s only the option to change mileage, and nothing else. Simply edit the mileage using the slider and click “Update Valuation”.
Mileage adjustments can mean the difference between 100s and even 1000s of pounds when it comes to a used car valuation. This is the most basic, but most important valuation adjustment.
But, there are lots of other adjustments that can be made for other vehicles. Check to see if there are options for yours.
You can also use the “Click Here To Get Exact Prices” link that’s towards the top of the page.
For those with newer cars, they’ll be additional options asides from just mileage.
Whilst mileage alone can affect the valuation, there are a tonne of other options that can each make £100-300 difference to a car’s valuation. And, this starts to add up quickly.
Everything from sports packs, through to parking assist. You’ll have the option to detail everything that your current vehicle includes.
#9 – Paying For The Adjusted Valuation
Is the adjusted valuation worth it?
If you’re looking to get top dollar for your car, you need an accurate price. And, unless your car is average mileage, and average condition, the standard valuation tool could be up to 30% out on valuation.
So, how do you get a premium valuation?
If you’ve not done already, you’ll need to create a username and password.
Once you’ve done this, you can pay for Parkers premium valuation service using card or PayPal.
The prices for the premium service are:
- £3.49 for 24 hours access
- £5.99 for 7 days access
- £9.99 for 1 month’s access
It’s worth noting, the service isn’t limited to valuing one car. The prices listed above are for timed access, not for volume of valuations.
#10 – Adjusting Mileage And Ticking Options
Make sure you take the time to get all information correct.
Mileage is going to be the most important option, as that tends to be what affects a car’s valuation the most.
But, each additional extra will add to your car’s valuation.
#11 – Work Out What’s Worth Selling Privately
Once you’ve updated your valuation, think about the optional extras that can be easily removed.
For instance, if you have a set of alloys that can easily fetch £500 on eBay (and you have the original wheels), why not sell them privately?
Some extras are just not desirable, and therefore, they don’t add any additional value to a vehicle.
Manufacturer additional extras (such as integrated satellite navigation) will usually increase a vehicle’s value.
On the flip-side, most non-manufacturer based upgrades will not affect the valuation. The best option here is to put the car back to standard (if you have all the original parts) and sell the upgrades separately.
Get a list together of extras. Remove them from the “adjust your valuation” section of the tool, and see if the new price is affected.
If it isn’t, there’s a good chance selling these items separately is the best route to get the most cash.
#12 – What To Do With Your Valuation
Now you have your used car valuation, what do you do with it?
If you’re approaching a dealer to buy your used car, you’ll need to consider the part-exchange value given by Parkers. Dealers get offered 100s of cars per month, so they rarely pay above normal part-exchange value.
And, if selling privately, you’ll need to account for the private sale estimates.
Be realistic about whether your vehicle is in poor or good condition. The more a car is worth, the more people consider condition. And therefore, the more the price is affected.
So, setting expectations too high for a vehicle in poor condition is going to lead to one thing; no sale being made.
Don’t have the time to list a car privately, and don’t want to invest cash in advertisements?
Get a free and fair valuation from instant, online car buying sites using Motorway.
Motorway doesn’t work like a normal car buying website. We are an independent, dedicated car buying comparison service. Unlike companies who only give you one price, we offer multiple online valuations and let the UK’s most popular car buying companies compete to buy your car.
Each company is offered your vehicle and submits their best price. You choose from the offers available, picking the one that offers you the most cash for your car.
Looking for more valuation advice? Take a deep dive into our valuation guides below: