Should I insure my car for retail, trade-in or market value?

Should I insure my car for retail, trade-in or market value?

What is the retail value of your car?

The retail value is what your car would sell for if you were to buy it from a dealership. The retail price is usually also the closest value to the replacement cost of the car.

What is the trade-in value of your car?

The trade or book value of a motor vehicle represents the average price that a dealership would pay for your car.

What is the market value of your car?

The market value of a car is almost always lower than the retail value and takes into account a number of variables, including mileage, vehicle condition, service history and accident reports. If you were to sell your car privately, the market value would be the price that you could likely sell it for.

What should you insure your car for?

There is no right answer here. Generally, Santam recommends that clients insure their cars for its replacement value in the event that it is stolen and or completely written off in an accident. In most cases, this would amount to the retail value.


Santam’s online calculator can work out an estimated reasonable market value of your vehicle. There are 3 simple steps to follow:

Step 1: Guess how much you think your car is worth.

Step 2: Provide us with information about the make and model of your car.  

Step 3: The result.

The last screen will display the estimated value of your car. If your results indicate that you could be over-insured, contact your insurer or broker.

Calculate yours now.

Insure your car with Santam

Santam is South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, insuring risks of over R4 trillion. We’ve paid out 99% of all claims made in the past year. We also offer the following cover and benefits:

  •          Comprehensive cover for your car;
  •          Third-party liability insurance and
  •          Six free SOS services to our personal lines policyholders. 

Call us on 0860 444 444 or speak to your broker about the right insurance cover for your car today.

Request a quote Find a broker

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