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Retail value

A car's retail value is the amount that dealerships would expect to sell the car for, on average. It’s also the highest value your car can be insured for.

What value is my car insured for?

The value your car is insured for will vary from insurer to insurer but the three most common values from highest to lowest are:

  • Retail: The average amount car dealerships would sell your car for.
  • Market: The amount you would sell your car for if you were to sell it privately.
  • Trade-in: The average amount car dealerships would pay you for your car when trading it in.

Why does my car depreciate in value over time?

Your car generally starts losing its value as soon as it’s driven off the showroom floor. This is mainly because it has been used, causing wear and tear. Newer models are released regularly, which generally lowers the demand for older models, in turn reducing the resale value of your car further.

However, when it comes to insurance, most claims that insurers get are repair claims rather than total loss/write-off claims. Therefore, when setting your premium rates insurers usually look at the expected cost of repairing your car if it were damaged in an accident. So the cost of parts and labour will be one of the biggest drivers of your premium. This is particularly important if you have a car that’s not manufactured locally – the cost of importing parts will be factored into the calculation, leading to a higher premium.

What value will my classic car be insured for?

For classic cars, sales in the market are rare – making it difficult for your insurer to determine a fair price for them. They would generally ask you to provide them with the value you want to insure your car for. This would usually require you to get a valuation from a reputable car dealership or valuation specialist. Your car will then be insured for that amount.

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