Take A Look
So, have a look around the car. There are many good indicators to a cars mileage, many of which are usually overlooked.
One of the best indicators is the steering wheel, if you take a look at the centre of your steering wheel you will see a texture, this texture has always been there since the car was new. Then take a look at the parts of the steering wheel which is held. When a car has high mileage you can almost be certain that the texture of the steering wheel would have been worn away. If the car truly is low mileage then the steering wheel should have no signs of wear whatsoever.
So the steering wheel has been replaced? Well what to look for next. The next port of call would be the gear stick, if the head of the gearstick is bald and shiny then we can be sure that the car's mileage isn't as low as first thought. Similarly to the steering wheel over time the gearstick will pick up wear and this will show.
So the head of the gearstick has also been replaced? Well what to look for next. One of the more obvious places to check for wear is the drivers seat. Over time the drivers seat will begin to look more like Grandads old chair. If you can tell the seat has seen better days, then you probably need to ask questions about the mileage.
No, the seat has also been replaced? Well if by this time you are still unsure of the mileage and the steering wheel, the gearstick, and the drivers seat have all been replaced. The next step would be to look at the pedals. When a car is manufacturered, the pedals have non slip grooves on them. If the car is genuinely low mileage these antislip grooves should still be visible. As with the other items you checked over time, the grooves will wear away and begin to show the true mileage.
Although the aboves are good indicators as to the mileage of the car. The only way you can truly be sure is to do an NMR check. The National mileage regsiter check will show you if there have been any incinsistencies with the acrs recorded mileage in the past.
Despite this a NMR check will only reveal a discrepency if the mileage in the past has been recorded as being higher than the mileage in the present.
MOT Check ?
So your pretty sure by now that you know the correct mileage of the car. Beofre you move on though, the best practice would be to do an MOT History check. An MOT history check is free to do through the direct.gov website and takes just a couple of minutes. All you need to do this is the Vehicle Regsitration Number and the V5 document ref number (this is found in the bottom left hand corner of the V5 document.
An MOT history check details the time, the place and the mileage of the vehicle each time it was MOT'd. So aswell as letting you know some of the exact mileages of the car it will also give you a bit of history on the location of the car.
Lift the Bonnet
One final check, just to make sure that your car all of teh above are telling the truth, would be to lift the bonnet. In brief, if the engine looks like it has lived under the sea for the last 15years then the mileage probably is a little higher than first thought. If there is dirt and oil everywhere along with a little rust then, think to yourself, there is no way that car has only done 2000miles. Whilst your there, it is always worth checking the oil and the water aswell, you definately don't want to buy a car that has been ran without oil and water.
One Last Check.
And finally, before you shut the bonnet, bring it down to eye level, so you can see straight down the length of it. This will reveal any stone chips, and any signs of things being touched up.Speaking with experience, if the car has been regularly doing 90mph up and down the motorway then there will be signs of stone chips and if the owner was genuinely a 90year old lady who only drove to church on a Sunday, then there shouldn't be any stone chips at all.
So you no know whether you have got an RS Turbo or a Ford Fiesta Pop, you also know if the car has done 2,000miles or 120,000miles. What else do I need to be aware of, you amy ask. Well the next thing we'd recommend would be to check the service history.
Service History Check ?
Step 3. Cheking the service history is definately one of the more difficult things to confirm on the list of checks, Without a service book or any receipts, the car may as well have no service history. You will struggle to back anything up and will struggle when you come around to selling it. Luckily if you do have the service book, then
that's where we'll begin. There are generally only two different types of services, main dealer servicing and not main dealer servicing. If the book tells you that the acr was serviced at a mian dealer, then this is good news. A car is always more desirable with main dealer service history and this type of servicing can be confirmed with a simple phone call to the dealer.
If by chance the servicing wasn' done by a mian dealer, but the servicing dealer is VAT registered, then similarly there shouldn't be any problems. A quick phone call to the servicing agrage should reveal the truth.
If on the other hand the car has always been serviced at "Bobs Backstreet Mechanics", all services are signed with the same colour pen, and there are no VAT regsitered invoices, then you should probably stay clear. Over time the stamps / signitures in the service book fade, so if you see a stamp from 6years ago and it looks the same as the stamp from yesterday, then you should be slightly warey.
Service History Checked?
So you have checked the service history? What now? Well we'll move on to step 4.
Step 4: There are plenty of websites out there that are offering you a book valuation, the truth is non of these websites will give you a true book valuation. The book valuation of a car would probably be a shock to most people other than dealers. So it isn't in anybodies interest to offer you a free book valuation, Why? Well if the person offering you the valuation tells you your car is worth £1000, which is the true book valuation, but somebody else tells you the book valuation is £1400, then who do you visit again. who do you recommend? Being non the wiser you are much happier with the false book valuation, so as I said earlier, nobody really gives out a free Book Valaution.
The only way to get a true Book Valuation is to "know a dealer" who has a book in front of him and wants to share the price with you.
Other than that there isn't another way to get a 100% accurate book valuation.
A great trick I used to use would be to use use a Logbook Loans website, it would give exactly half of (not to mention any names) a "Green" book's trade price, we can raise our "Glasses" to them, for helping us out here. It only takes seconds and is a great way to get a Free Car Valuation, just simply double their price.
But, What Is A Car Book Price ?
Well a book valuation, is almost exactly what it says it is. No, it's not a valuation of a book, it's a valuation of your car taken from a book. Most dealers these days will use CAP or Glasses guide, to get a book valuation on a vehicle. This is how much a dealer is "recommended" to pay for your car.
I've got my Book Valuation
Right, so now you know exactly what car you are valuing, you know the exact mileage of the car you are valuing, you know the service history of the car and now you have a Book Valuation. The truth is though even a correct book valuation is never correct when it comes to actually buying or selling a car. It is nothing more than a guide.
So whats next.
How Much Are They Selling For?
Step 5: Step 5 is to find out how much similar cars are selling for. The best place to do this is to use Autotrader.
The only real way to check how much your car is worth is by looking at how much similar cars are selling for. The big thing to remember when checking this, is the difference between a selling price and an advertising price. You may see an identical accr to yours for sale at £6000, but remember that that car could stay for sale for the next 3 years. Just because it is for sale doesn't necesarily mean that the car will sell. The best way to look is to look at cars that dealers have for sale, a dealer wants to sell his car as fast as possible, so these cars will be priced to sell.
Take everything into consideration, but find yourself a perfactg match to your own car.
This is by far the most accurate way to get yourself an accurate valuation.
Ticking The Boxes
Step 8. Before concluding your search for a valuation though there is one more thing to take into account. And this is whether your car "ticks the boxes":
When deciding whether your car ticks boxes you need to think what boxes potential buyers of your car will be looking to tick. These metaphorical boxes, include, leather seats, alloy wheels, fsh, low mileage, sat nav. If your car does tick these boxes then you can obviously be more demanding with the valuation / asking price, but if your car doesn't tick the boxes that cars in the same price group are ticking then you may need to reconcider the price.