Understanding the market value of your car is essential when it comes to selling, trading in or insuring it. But which factors influence its worth? Age, mileage, condition, service history, modifications and even brand reputation all play a role. 

This guide will provide an overview of the factors that affect your vehicle's market value in Australia. We'll also explore some reliable sources you can use to gauge its worth and offer tips for maximising its value before the sale.

10 Factors Affecting the Market Value of Your Car

Several factors influence the market value of your car in Australia. To get an accurate valuation, you'll need to consider them all. Let's take a look at the ten most critical:

  • Age and mileage of the vehicle: As a general rule, the older and higher-mileage your car is, the less it’s worth. The wear and tear on a vehicle driven for many years will significantly lower its value.
  • Condition of the interior and exterior: A car in good condition, both inside and out, will be valued more highly than one with visible signs of damage or neglect. In addition to looking at cosmetic blemishes, assess the overall state of all components such as tyres, brakes, suspensions, etc. 
  • Service history and maintenance records: Regular servicing can help increase your car's market value, as potential buyers will have peace of mind that it is well maintained. Having records of all service and repair work will indicate to the buyer that you've taken proper care of your car.
  • Modifications or upgrades: Depending on the type and quality of the modifications, they may add or detract from the car's value. For example, a high-end stereo system may appeal to some buyers, while others may consider it unnecessary.
  • Supply and demand in the market: Availability plays a vital role in determining market value. You can expect a higher price if there’s high demand for a particular model. 
  • Brand and model reputation: Certain car makes and models are more sought-after than others due to their performance or features. This can result in buyers being willing to pay extra for your vehicle if it has the right brand and model name associated with it. 
  • Transmission: An automatic transmission is typically worth more than a manual for the same year, make and model of car. This is because most new cars sold in Australia are automatics, and buyers may be willing to pay extra for this feature. 
  • Method of sale: How you sell your car can affect its market price. For example, if you’re selling through a dealership, you may receive a lower price than if you were to list it online or through an auction because the dealership expects to profit from its resale.
  • Method of import: Cars imported as new in Australia tend to be worth more than those imported as used or second-hand. The same goes for cars that are locally manufactured versus those that are imported from overseas.
  • Trade-in: Occasionally, it can be beneficial to accept a trade-in value when selling your car. This is because the buyer’s old vehicle may have some residual value that offsets the cost of buying yours, resulting in a better overall deal for both parties.

Sources to Determine the Market Value of Your Car

Fortunately, many sources are available to help you get an accurate valuation. For instance, you'll find over 7,500 cars listed on OnlyCars.com.au, which you can use to compare your car against similar makes and models. Other sources include: 

  • Car history report: Car history reports provide comprehensive information on used cars in Australia and can be used to determine the market value of your vehicle.
  • Used car dealers: Many used car dealers know the current market price for different vehicles and can reasonably estimate their value. 
  • Online valuation tools: Several online valuation tools, such as Redbook or Glass's Guide, provide detailed information on a vehicle's worth based on age, make and model. 
  • Price guides: Magazines like Wheels, Motor Trader and Drive offer comprehensive price guides that list prices for different makes and models across Australia so you can get an idea of what to expect for yours.
  • Newspaper listings:  Several national and local newspapers regularly feature classified car listings. This is a great way to get an idea of what people are charging for their vehicles.

While these sources are great for understanding market value, an independent vehicle valuation service is the best way to get a reliable and accurate assessment. Also, if you ever get into any legal disputes over the worth of your car, an independent valuation could be used in a court of law as evidence. 

How to Use the Valuation Tools

Online valuation services consider various factors like make and model, age, condition and more when calculating the value of your vehicle. 

To get an accurate estimate using a valuation tool, you must provide detailed information about your car, such as its registration date and number plate. You'll also have to answer questions about its service history, modifications and other details that may affect its worth. 

Once you receive a report, check it for accuracy and cross-reference the data with other sources.

Tips for Maximising the Value of Your Car

If you want to get the most out of your vehicle, here are a few tips for maximising its value: 

  • Keep up with regular maintenance and repairs. Service records and other documentation will help demonstrate that the car has been properly looked after. 
  • Make sure any modifications are legal in Australia. This includes all parts used and the workmanship involved. 
  • Clean both inside and outside before selling or trading it in; this could add a few extra dollars to its market value. 
  • Take high-quality photos of your car from different angles, preferably in daylight. Good images will attract more buyers.


When researching the market value of your car, pay attention to its condition, make and model. Also, consider how similar cars are priced locally using location and other filters available on OnlyCars. Use reputable valuation tools to get an accurate estimate of your car’s worth. 

Finally, take steps towards improving your vehicle to maximise its resale price when it comes time to sell or trade it in. By doing all these things, you should be able to determine and get a fair and accurate market value for your car in Australia.


Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.