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Get a market-related price for your car

When Shakespeare penned those immortal lines 'to be or not to be?' he likely foresaw the insurance conundrum many people face today: to insure for market value or retail value?
Co-founders of auction.co.za, William Miller and Renaldo de Jager
Conventional wisdom states that market value is the price someone is prepared to pay for your vehicle. Now, judging by the state of some of the cars on South African roads, you can just imagine that this is hardly an ideal option for many.

Retail value, on the other hand, is the guideline price of a car based on a host of intelligent-sounding metrics, stats, and other mathematical formulae that would make Einstein dizzy.

So, if the latter is the way to go in case your car gets stolen, written off, or the like, what do you need to do to ensure you get maximum value for your car?

William Miller and Renaldo de Jager, co-founders of auction.co.za, provide a few tips.

Definitions


First, get to grips with the terms of the industry. Book value is a rough guide to determine the price of your car based on numerous permutations.

Retail price is what the dealer uses when he sells your car and trade price is what he will pay you for your car. Clear? Good.

Understanding value


Things that influence the value of your car include its make and model, running condition (yes, a working car would be nice), any previous accidents, number of previous owners, and obviously what it looks like. So, next time you want that neon green paint job, consider how it might drop the value of the car.

Browse around


Another good indication of fair value for your precious mode of transport is to browse the auction and car sales websites. Yes, this might not be the most scientific way of measuring value (after all, your car is a unique and precious commodity), but it still gives you a good idea of what people are paying for similar models.
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Pimp your ride


Okay, the neon green paint job might be a bad idea, but many of your add-ons and other amenities do add value to the car. Sunroof, leather interior, sound system extras, tinted windows (or bullet-proof ones), run-flat tyres, and so on, all contribute to how much your car can sell for when compared with similar models.

Keep it clean


Having a clean car means more than just a pretty-looking ride. Just as a clean house is well-received by future buyers, so too can a clean car add to its value. Taking it for a proper valet every now and again is never a bad idea.

Keep it healthy


Oh, yes, and be sure to service it regularly. If possible, keeping a full-service book is always a winner. It is better to spend a bit of money now on proper maintenance than pay the price with thousands of rands later (in decreased value) because it only starts properly if you put your foot on the petrol while turning the steering wheel 45 degrees counter-clockwise.
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