Plan Insurance Blog

How Do You Price A Used Car?

Looking to off load your used Ferrari for a quick cash injection but not sure what price you should be slapping on it? We answer the all important question – How do you price a used car?

This blog is aimed at aspiring car dealers and those that sell the occasional vehicle. Hopefully a little bit of expert advice based on conversations with those that trade day in day out will assist your efforts.

1. Taking a good hard look at your car…

It may sound silly, but the first step is to clean your car. Next, organise your documents that outline the history of the car, and (more importantly!) all the documents needed to make a sale. Make sure you have both pairs of keys. In general, the more information you have about the vehicle, the better.

Before you think about writing your used car advert online, honestly assess the condition of your car to the best of your knowledge. Look at the service history, think about how long you’ve had the car and how many miles you think it has left.

If your business buys, sells, repairs or modifies vehicles then Plan Insurance Brokers can source a tailored Motor Trade insurance policy for you. If you have any more questions or would like a quote call our expert team, request a call back or fill in a quote form.

2. The big question: retail or trade?

Trade is how much a dealer or an online used car retailer like We Buy Any Car or Motorway, will pay for your car. As we’ve covered extensively in the Plan blog, used cars have become more valuable because of a logjam in the production of new vehicles, and supply is limited (article published in March 2022).

Retail is how much either the end-user would pay for it, or how much you’d make for it in a private sale. If you trade your car into a used car dealer, you’ll have to take less than cars similar to yours you see on the forecourt. The difference is the gross profit dealers will make.

The question is simple… do you want a quick sale or the best price?

If you want cash quick, then websites like We Buy Any Car are your best bet. If you want to find the best price, then selling direct to the customer instead of to trade will get you a better price.

Car Dealer Magazine says: ‘If selling to a trade buyer, a private seller should price their car for less than a dealer would sell it for. That trader will need to make a profit on the price in order to sell it on.’ On top of that, they add a warranty as well as preparing, storing and advertising the car.

Selling privately will bring you more money, but it’s a lot more hassle and effort.

3. Here’s how to get an approximate price on your used car

The better you know your car, the greater insight you’ll have into how much you can make selling it. Cap HPI offers free approximate valuations on their website, this is a great place to start.

Cap HPI has estimated how much-used cars are worth for over 75 years. Their methodology has been developed by experts at the University of Leeds Institute for Transport Studies. You can simply enter your registration and answer a few questions to get an approximate price.

The next step is to trade websites like Motorway and WeBuyAnyCar, and straight-to-customer retail used car advertising websites like Auto Trader, eBay and From there, you’ll be able to gauge a ballpark figure on price.

3. Tips finding the best price on your used car

Do not…

  • Don’t settle for the first offer. There’s probably a better deal somewhere else.
  • Don’t assume that a similar car you see will help you predict the sale price of your car with 100% certainty. There are lots of things that could affect the amount of money you’ll make from your used car, including the number of miles you’ve driven and the service history.


  • Look at similar cars to get a very rough estimate of what your car is going for.
  • Consider pricing your vehicle at the lower end of what you see if you are looking to sell. If you want a higher price, you may have to be patient.
  • Use online price estimators, they are rough, but they can give you a ballpark figure to work with.

Final thoughts on pricing your used car

Selling a car isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling it during the gold rush of second-hand cars or at a time when everyone is buying new. Do your research and be patient. It’s hard to predict if used car prices will go back to what they were before the pandemic. With the ICE ban coming in 2030, today’s used cars may become like priceless antiques from a bygone era.

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