Current value car: difference between replacement cost and market value

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Valuation of a vehicle: time and replacement value

Anyone who wants to buy or sell a car on the used car market knows the problem of the: what is a fair purchase price for a passenger car? Especially after years of wear and possible accident, this question seems very difficult to answer.

The valuation of a vehicle is not only important in the purchase process. In the event of a accident for example, you need the time value for the determination of the damage compensation amount.

The current value

The current value is used to determine the value, this is also important in the accounting of economic goods. It takes into account the time component and therefore the loss of value when determining the value of a commercial property at a fixed point in time. In connection with the valuation of a motor vehicle (KFZ), the current value can be either the sales value or the replacement value. Therefore the term is rather undefined. In case law, it is usually defined as replacement value. Depending on the question, the definition of value changes.

In the insurance industry, the term current value describes the new value of a car less wear and tear, use and age. Additional costs, such as for special equipment, are also taken into account. Since 1984, there has been a definition by the Federal Court of Justice in the general conditions for motor insurance (AKB). According to this, the current value is the amount that one would have to pay at a reputable dealer to be able to purchase an equivalent vehicle. Since insurance profit-oriented work, you should check it again yourself. The value is particularly important for the insurance industry: The current value of a car in the event of a claim represents the amount of the claim settlement. This is the residual value of the vehicle at the present time, taking into account all economic data such as age, wear and tear, existing damage, etc.

The replacement value

The replacement value has become established in the used car market. In the case of insurance companies, the fair value is used as the overriding wear and tear of economic goods used. The replacement value, on the other hand, corresponds to the regional dealer selling price; provided there are comparable vehicles on the market.

The replacement value of a motor vehicle is the value without deduction of depreciation. In case of damage, the replacement value of an equivalent vehicle is considered as the new value. But this is not always paid by the insurance companies. It depends on whether the insurance contract contains a replacement value clause for compensation.

How does a claim settlement work??

After an accident, the replacement value determines how high the compensation for damages will be. According to the law, this value is the price of a comparable replacement vehicle. In order to be able to guarantee this, a reputable used car dealer and a careful technical inspection provided. Value-influencing factors such as the age of the car, the mileage and similar factors are taken into account.

If, when the damage is settled, the possible repair costs are higher than the replacement value, then the total economic loss before. Then no repair is worthwhile. Instead, the injured party receives the replacement value less any residual value. This residual value is called "wreckage value. It is measured according to the remaining usability of the car. the current value is always determined by the car insurance company. If you want to be on the safe side, you should consult an independent expert to obtain a second value calculation.

Total loss& theft: what does the insurance company reimburse?

In the event of total loss or theft, the insurance company will reimburse the following amounts replacement value, i.e. the value needed to buy an equivalent car. The replacement value is intended to ensure that the insured can purchase a car of equal value.

A possible residual value, that can still be obtained and the agreed deductible are taken into account when calculating the replacement value. Since there are regional price differences on the used car market, there can be corresponding differences.

Challenges in determining the value

The valuation of used cars is generally a complex subject. Particularly in the case of rare equipment or low demand for a vehicle, it can be difficult to determine the current value due to lack of comparison possibilities become difficult. A detailed research on the part of the appraiser is then necessary.

In most cases, the replacement value is higher than the current value, because it includes: dealer’s profit, financing costs and sales tax. Policyholders are granted a new price compensation recommended as an option in the insurance contract. This gives you the guarantee of always being able to demand the new price, regardless of the current value.

replacement value or current value for comprehensive motor vehicle insurance?

Car liability insurance is compulsory for all car owners. In addition, the policyholder has the option of taking out a comprehensive insurance policy. This offers, in the event of damage, not only the current value, but also the new value to be reimbursed.

Some comprehensive insurance companies only reimburse the new value in the first six months after initial registration. With other insurances, this period can last up to two years. In this respect, insurance with a period of between 12 and 24 months is recommended.

In the case of comprehensive insurance, it is important to consider whether the additional costs are worthwhile. One should not forget that used cars lose value quickly. If the current value of a vehicle is very low, the premium for comprehensive insurance can quickly exceed the amount to be reimbursed when settling a claim.

market value vs. replacement value

The market value of a car is based on the price that would be achieved by selling it on the corresponding used car market. Thus, it represents the current value of the vehicle on the market. In most cases this is the estimated average price on the private used car market. The final price excluding value-added tax is decisive. the market value is often between the replacement value and the dealer purchase price. The market value is determined by the supply and demand for equivalent vehicles on the used car market.

In the event of damage, the insurer commissions an expert to prepare an appraisal. In this replacement value determined. The appraiser needs the technical data of the car, the mileage and the equipment. All damage and previous damage that has an influence on the replacement value is documented. All necessary costs are estimated. This point is especially important for collector’s items such as vintage cars. In the case of rare cars, the pure current value cannot replace the damage. Then the insurance company has to check each individual case. Often the replacement value is paid out, which is usually higher than the current market value. In the case of rare vehicles such as classic cars, the net trade-in amount, international auction results and the international market situation may also be included in the market value.

High market value of the car

Current car models are not considered to be a value investment. Hardly any item loses value faster than a motor vehicle. As a rule of thumb, it can be assumed that a passenger car already has after three years it has lost about half of its value has. In order to obtain the highest possible market value, however, there are a few points that can be taken into account.

Since the market value is determined by supply and demand, it is advantageous to drive a car that is in high demand. Well-known models of renowned manufacturers in common colors promise a good basis here. In addition, it is advantageous to purchase the car in a optimum condition and to carry out regular inspections. When it comes to equipment, expensive extras that are only demanded by a few people should also be avoided.

Calculate the current value of a car yourself

Generally, the current value of an item depends on the period of use and its current condition. There are various economic data of a vehicle necessary for the valuation. This includes the purchase value, age, average service life and state of preservation.

The information on the current value must be substantiated. Alternatively, they can be taken from corresponding tables. There are for example generally valid tables by the federal ministry of finance for different types of used goods. Many private buyers and sellers of used cars in particular use the numerous internet portals to obtain a valuation for their vehicles.

What are current value tables?

There are car value lists with vehicle tables, which give an overview of the percentage development of vehicles. The percentage figure represents the loss in value of the vehicle. With the help of the information about the commodity, it is possible, for example, in the current value tables of the federal ministry of finance, to calculate the Percentage current value read.

With this percentage figure and the following formula, the current value can be determined:

Current value (in euros) = (purchase x percentage current value) / 100

All factors play a role in the current value of the car changes in value an important role. This includes value increases as well as decreases. Various factors are taken into account in the calculation: in addition to the age of the vehicle and its general condition, these include signs of wear and tear, operating time, mileage and equipment. supply and demand on the used car market are also an important criterion.

For example, if you buy a car for 10.If a customer has purchased a used car for 000 euros and the percentage loss in value according to the vehicle table is 30 percent, the fair value is 3.000 euros:

Current value (in euros) = (10.000 x 30 %) / 100 = 3.000

What is the schwacke list?

When determining the current value of a car, the schwacke list is the best known option in germany. With the help of the model, year of construction, equipment and mileage, the list gives an average value for each vehicle type approximate residual value again. For a small fee, both private and commercial buyers and sellers can have their vehicles valued on the basis of the schwacke list.

In 1957, the first list was published by car dealer hanns W. Schwacke published. He used this to implement a vehicle valuation similar to the american market. In the meantime, the schwacke list contains over 3.000 different vehicle models. The valuation is carried out online or by telephone. eurotax schwacke gmbh from hesse is the publisher of the schwacke list. The company has a large amount of current data on different types of vehicles at its disposal at any time.

How the schwacke-list works?

An extensive database is used to collect and analyze the relevant data. Current information from the trade press, classified ads, price lists and car exchanges is constantly collected and re-evaluated. This is supplemented by evaluations of regular information from car dealers on regional market and value developments. Statistical data such as new registrations, inventory and service life also flow into the database. With this available data, a computer is used to make a average value for each vehicle type determined.

In order to take into account regional differences in supply and demand and other price fluctuations, the electronically determined values are also compared with the actual values compared with values from practical experience. Most of the people who have their cars appraised by schwacke are private individuals. It is relatively easy to determine the value of a vehicle using an online appraisal. Business owners usually have to have several vehicles appraised at the same time. For this purpose, car dealers can take out a schwacke subscription.

It should be noted that the schwacke lists only contain vehicle models with average mileage and standard equipment.

More detailed determination of the current value with correction lists

For the actual, individual current value of a car you need correction lists. These contain, for example lists of optional equipment and extras. For a fee of €7.90, you can carry out an online valuation at schwacke.

The following data is requested:

  • year of construction
  • Brand
  • Models
  • Fuel type
  • Number of doors
  • Mileage

The schwacke calculator uses the data entered to generate an overview with corresponding vehicles and different equipment. The user searches for the suitable model from. the next step is to select any optional extras. Step by step you approach the current value of the car.

Conclusion: car valuation

When buying or selling a used car the time value of special importance. For the insurance company it is a hypothetical value, which the vehicle would bring in at the present time. When trading on the used car market, this hypothetical value becomes the concrete amount. Statistically speaking, a car loses its value after a mileage of 15.000 kilometers about a quarter of its original purchase price. After three years, the value is halved. Furthermore, the value may depend on the season. For example, a motorhome is worth more in the spring and summer than in the autumn or winter months.

It is obvious that depending on the situation, the fair value is defined differently. The market value is usually higher than the replacement value. In the event of a claim, policyholders should not rely solely on the insurance company’s calculation of the value of the vehicle. The opinion of a independent, knowledgeable expert is recommended. This appraisal may be submitted with legal effect if necessary. When it comes to comprehensive insurance, it is important to weigh up whether the additional costs are worthwhile. If you are interested, you can calculate the current value of your own vehicle free of charge on various portals on the internet. Here it is important to note that marketing can also be at work. However, these guideline values cannot replace an expert’s opinion.


David gerginov has published on topics such as the debt brake and today deals with all questions relating to the economy, politics and finance.

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