Adjusted Guide Prices

While vehicles leave the factory with a standard specification, many vehicles are enhanced with optional specifications when sold.

It is important to add this additional specification to the standard model to get accurate valuations.

Adding optional spec will also help customers find your stock. If customers search for Sat Nav or Park Assist, and it was only fitted as optional spec, they will not see your car in their search results unless you’ve added it.

The difference between ‘average’ and ‘adjusted’ guide prices

Average price

Where no additional specifications are added, an ‘average’ price is provided for that derivative.

This is an average of the retail price of that derivative, ranging from no specifications all the way through to ‘fully loaded’ cars. For example, these four BMW420D Autos have a range of prices between no spec and fully loaded could be thousands of pounds. The ‘average’ could therefore be much higher than the ‘no spec’ price for that derivative.

Spec adjusted price

When you start adding specifications, an accurate valuation is built up from a ‘no spec’ baseline, and values for each spec item is added to this baseline. The value for each item is calculated using our retail sales data, not the original RRP for that spec item.

If only a few items of spec are added – which is less than the average spec for that derivative - you may see the spec adjusted price fall, compared to the ‘market average’ guide price.

If you have a high specification vehicle, you should see the spec adjusted price rise above the market average.

In both instances, a spec adjusted price will be more accurate than relying on the average price.

Best practice

Follow these simple tips to ensure you get full value from adding additional specifications:

  • Ensure optional extras are spelt correctly
  • Don't use all capital letters to emphasise certain features
  • Separate spec items using commas
  • Use complete words, for example Pack instead of Pck/Pk

Frequently asked questions

Adding optional extras will not automatically update your advert price, and the market average retail guide price is not sensitive to optional extras. The fully adjusted valuation is only available to customers with Retail Check, i-Control or Retail Accelerator giving the most accurate valuation for the exact vehicle spec.

We initially extract the features from the advert text, and only the advert text, to identify optional spec for that derivative.

Each item is analysed, along with its observed impact on the retail value, before a value is assigned. The value is not an absolute value (i.e. £300) but assigned as a % of the market average price.

To assign values to items, we need hundreds of observations. Auto Trader is therefore well placed to provide these, using data from the UK’s largest automotive marketplace.

Initially, new items will not have the full value attributed straight away but will increase in value as more observations are made giving greater confidence in the value.

Adding optional extras to your stock is more important than ever with car buyers wanting to know as much as they can about their next car before they visit your forecourt.

Outlined below are ways to add optional extras depending on what type of customer you are.

Portal user
Under the 'confirm spec' menu, add the optional extras in the 'options and upgrades' section using the 'add' buttons. Please follow best practice outlined below to ensure extras are taken into account.

Retail Check / Retail Accelerator user
Add optional extras by clicking on the 'confirm spec' button then using the tick-box options – these are Glass generated options and do not allow for extras to be manually added like portal.

Datafeed customers
Most datafeeds pass additional spec items automatically to Auto Trader.