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Car Price Guides - AutoTrader Car Valuations

There are a number of used car price guides available online, so it's well worth checking a few before buying your next car. Get a free valuation from Price Any Car with our free, fast and easy to use service.

What Are AutoTrader/CAP Used Car Valuations?

Autotrader and CAP offer motorists used car valuations. Both are well-known names in their respective fields, with Autotrader being known as the go-to place for buying and selling a car and CAP for its trade-only price guides. On Autotrader's website, the user enters the vehicle's registration number and mileage. If the user doesn't have that information, they select  manufacturer, model, and trim instead, confirms the mileage and when the car was registered.

Some optional extras add value to a car, others make it more desirable (but don't affect the price) and some, although potentially expensive when new, don't add anything at all. The Autotrader/CAP pricing system allows the user to price these into the car's value for an additional cost of £3.95 for a single second-hand car valuation or £8.95 for three, which is payable by debit or credit card. The buyer is then receives one instant valuation plus two credits which must be redeemed within sixty days.

The valuation you receive will tell you the dealer retail price, private sale price, plus values for a clean, average, and below average trade-in. They are presented within a range, for example the dealer retail price £5,400 to £5,700. You also get a brief technical summary that will confirm key details about the car, including engine power, performance and standard equipment. If you searched by the car's registration mark, you will also get the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

What About CAP's Trade-Only Black Book?

CAP has always been focussed on the trade side of the car pricing business (as opposed to being on the side of the consumer). Its great rival is Glass's Guide, which is the other key pricing resource for dealers and traders. Many dealers use CAP as a guide for buying cars and Glass's Guide for retailing them. CAP compiles its pricing by taking raw data that is collected from between one and two-million transactions per year. This is from all sectors of the industry, from disposals at auction to dealers and private sellers.

They see many of the sales of modern vehicles that take place within the United Kingdom. The subsequent values are listed manufacturer, model, and derivative, e.g. Ford Mondeo 1.6 LX Hatchback Automatic. Trade prices for each vehicle are categorised as clean, average, and below average, alongside the suggested retail figures.

As with the values on Autotrader, CAP's Black Book will also adjust the valuations for high and low mileage and for optional extras such as satellite navigation. In addition, the Black Book contains editorial content and market commentary. As well as the Black Book for modern cars, CAP offers via subscription to the trade a Red Book (light/heavy commercial vehicles), Green Book (motorbikes), and Grey Book (foreign imports).

What Is the History Of CAP?

CAP can trace its origins back to the late 1970 and is one of the best-known names in the motor trade. The firm has shaken-up the valuations business during its lifespan, taking on the more established Glass's Guide. It was the first guide to include prices for cars in varying conditions and of varying mileage (1983). Other innovations included offering valuations over the phone (1984) for one-off and specialist vehicles and in 1988, making values available on computer disk. Its computer-based offerings have continued to evolve, with a Windows-based service from 1996 and ASCII/Palm Pilot two years later. CAP then celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2004 with a Special Edition Silver Book (rather than black) and its thirtieth was marked with a vibrant Pearl Edition in 2009.

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