Last modified: 22/06/2011
How to value a car for probate
If the gross value of the estate is likely to be less than £250,000 (before debts and inheritance tax exemptions/reliefs have been taken off), there is no need to obtain an accurate valuation of the car, according to HM Revenue & Customs guidance.
In this case, an estimate based on information available to you will suffice. You should make an estimation based on the make, model, mileage and condition of the car, perhaps by checking for similar cars on websites such as Auto Trader.
Larger and taxable estates
For larger estates, there is an onus on the personal representatives to obtain a more accurate valuation. This is particularly true of taxable estates.
Although the method of valuation is a decision for the personal representatives, HM Revenue & Customs advises that you must take “reasonable care”.
And for cars worth more than around £500, this should involve obtaining a professional valuation, according to official guidance.
A professional valuation could be from a local dealer or garage, it should be in writing and it should be an open market valuation at the date of death.
If the car was owned jointly with a surviving owner, it ought still to be valued as suggested above. Assuming there were two joint owners, the deceased’s share will be 50% of the total value.
Loan or hire-purchase agreement
If the car was purchased with a loan or on hire-purchase, this should be noted as a debt, to be taken off the total value of the estate.
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