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What is your 280 worth?

In terms of selling and Insurance valuations


The Docs Rules

(updated 22nd October 2011)

In recent times I have had calls from Capri 280 owners asking me to give an estimate of the value of their 280 over the phone, unseen and no pictures. I cannot do that.

Secondly, people have been asking me what their 280 'is worth to me'? I used to give an honest estimate and then ask if I could come and see the car with a view to buying. A number of things happened that stopped me from doing that again.

People would say they had 'changed their mind and were now not selling the car' - not always true - they were selling the car but just wanted me to fix a price for them to sell to someone else!

Or else they would let me drive over a hundred miles and not tell me they had decided not to sell until I was nearly at their home - sad but true.

So, what I will tell you if you call to ask whether I want your car is this:-

1. What is your asking price? If I get an asking price I will either say yes or make an alternative offer. That's how the market place works as you know.

2. If you say - 'I don't know what to ask, make me an offer' - I will politely decline and invite you to decide what your selling price is, then come back to me.

3. It has become an unworkable situation to guess what someone wants for their 280, only for them to go and sell it elsewhere once Dr B has suggested a price.

I hope that helps a bit. If you call and I ask what you want for your car, that's why - it's reasonable and fair.


I have turned down really low miles Capri 280's for the reasons stated above.


I put this section here because I am getting a lot of enquiries asking me what people think their Capri 280 is worth.

Now, this is a tricky area. Firstly I will probably not know nearly enough about your car at the time of asking.

Secondly, I'm not sure why you want to know. Why do I say this? If you just bought the car then it's worth what you paid for it. If you are wanting to sell it then advertise and you will quickly see from the responses whether you pitched it right or not.

If you want your Capri 280 valued for Insurance purposes then you will have to approach your local Capri Club and ask the Secretary to do you a valuation. CCI provide this service I think.

What I tell people is this:-

Every car has 3 prices.

1. The price a buyer would like to pay - usually less than what the seller thinks

2. A price the seller thinks it's worth - sometimes right on the button but mostly over optimistic

3. The price that someone is actually prepared to pay for it - that is market price i.e. what the 'market' says it's worth.

Now I know there's more to it than that but this pretty much sums it up. The things that people look for are generally:-

History - how well documented

Services - garage or enthusiast

Damage - accidents - how well repaired

Repairs - welding, plating, new panels

Genuine panels - a must for serious cars

Coachwork - condition of paint (most 280's today will have newer than 1987 paint on)

Gaps - how do panels line up door/wing/bonnet/scuttle?

Leather - creased, cracked, ripped or perfect

Driving - does it feel planted? - non pulling steering, nice engine sound, pulls well, noisy gearbox, back axle?

Wheels - refurbed - or scuffed and kerbed.

Molested - you know what I mean you molesters out there!! You would not believe the 'bling' and crazy bits I've ripped off 280's to get them back to 'normal'.

And the list goes on.............................


Bear in mind a classic car can either be a thing of passion, a craving, a 'must have' or else it's a hole into which you throw money and your relationships!! Someone's thing of beauty can be someone elses banger!

Bottom line is a Capri 280 can be worth anything from £500 to £20,000 at todays prices. A breaker to a delivery miles car and anywhere in between.

I therefore hesitate to provide 'valuations' over the phone or email as it's plain inaccurate and can cause you problems (and me) if you then start quoting Dr Brooklands as saying your 280 is worth £xxx.

Please don't be offended if I decline to 'guesstimate' your car's value - it is just not an exact science. I do appreciate the fact that people feel my opinion is worth asking in fact it's quite flattering, but telling someone what you think their car is worth is fraught with problems.

You can be sure that if your car is 'right' and you ask me if I want to buy - then one phone call and a visit will usually settle it.

Likewise if you want to buy one of mine - just look at the site and the cars that are presented there. I think it speaks for itself.

Hope that clarifies the matter a tad more?

Thanks to everyone who contacts me - I really like to know what's out there despite what I've just said. Keep the info coming - but don't expect me to say whether you got 'a steal' or 'lost a fortune'!


Insurance Agreed Valuations

OK this is a black art. A mine-field and prone, it has to be said to abuses and even fraud I suppose. Strong words, but justifiable I think.

To insure your beloved car at a representative value is a reasonable thing to want. Clearly there is a difference between what you believe your car is worth and what an Insurance company thinks it's worth.

The trick, for want of a better word, is to convince the Insurance company that your car is worth what you say it is. Bit obvious?

How do you do this?

Be honest. Make sure your car is every bit as good as the pictures you send in. If you try a Photoshop jobbie on them, and the 'nasty' happens, and you need to file a claim, any half decent Assessor will examine your car and if it's not the car that the pictures suggested, your claim will either be dropped or devalued. So what's the point of hyping up your car?

Well, part of the hype is this. A false premise that if you get a broker of insurer to agree your value, you can claim bragging rights down your local and at club meets, i.e. "Oh yes, she's insured for £30k mate". Which really means one of three things:-


1. It's actually worth 30k and you pitched it right

2. It's worth even more but you couldn't afford the premium

3. It was worth a punt, and the insurance company fell for it!

Thing is, Insurers are getting savvy at recognising what's going on. They don't have time to send assessors out to every car to evaluate it, so they ask for nice pictures and a letter of valuation from a Car Club. There's another anomaly, unless the car club in question inspect your car or know it personally, they have to take a bit of a guess based on your honesty again.


Insurers contact me from time to time and tell me that they are now calling into question over-estimated values on classic cars.

The one thing they do, which seems reasonable is to ask what you paid for the car, how much you spent to improve it or add value to it.

If you just say 'I've kept it in a warm garage and polished it regularly', that alone does not add the value you hope it does.

You might have to produce your purchase receipt AND any invoices on work done to increase value. If not, don't be surprised if they will not agree your value.

The upside of agreed value and classic car insurance is that with agreed annual miles etc you can insurance an expensive car - fully comp and with breakdown cover for very modest premiums (by todays standards).

The Insurance companies rationale is this. If you have a car worth 40, 50, 100k it's likely to be one of the most cared for and protected car on the roads, hence, little likelihood for a claim, ergo, the Insurance company wins!! They are, afterall in business to make money based on risk assessment.

They do not exist to make life easier for you and me!






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