If you’re thinking about selling your car, it’s bound to be useful if you know how much it’s worth. But, how to answer that million-dollar question “What is the value of my car?”
Lucky for you, there’s plenty of valuable help online from car sites such as Kelley Blue Book, Parkers, Autotrader, WhatCar, Edmunds, Car and Driver, NADA, and many more.
To help get the ball rolling, we’ve decided to write this blog. We’ll look at some of the factors that can affect the value of your car, useful terms to know, and more.
Several factors come into play when determining the value of a used car. They include the condition of the car, its mileage, and what equipment it has. Before you start checking any pricing guides or asking for estimates, it’s good to understand what makes your used car worth less or more than a similar model.
The Different Types of Used Car Values
If you want to know the true value of your car, there’s some information you need to gather. Make a note of its exact model and trim level. If you’re selling a truck, you’ll also need to note the style of the cab and the length of the bed. Be objective when you’re looking at the interior and exterior and be honest in your assessment. What is the vehicle’s true mileage? Has it got any noticeable damage? Does it run well?
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, you’ll be able to enter it, along with your zip code, into one of the many car evaluation tools available online.
You’ll find several different values, depending on who’s doing the buying and selling. Some of the more common values you’ll likely encounter include:
Generally, retail values refer to the price of models similar to the one you want to sell if sold at a car dealership. Typically, they’ll be higher than prices you see from private parties. They’ll also be significantly higher than a trade-in value. The reason for this is that dealerships have to cover additional selling costs, such as overheads and preparing the vehicle for sale.
If you’re wondering what is the trade-in value of your car, this price will be an estimation of what a dealer will offer you should you trade in the car rather than sell it yourself.
A trade-in value tends to be lower than the price you might get if you were to sell it yourself, but it’ll be a lot less hassle. It’s always useful to know the trade-in value of your car before you head to your local dealership. That way, you’re less likely to accept a lowball offer and might be able to negotiate a higher trade-in price.
If you want to get more money for your car, it’s always a good idea to try and sell it privately first. When you put it up for sale privately, make sure the price is near the private party value. A potential buyer is not going to want to pay more than the car’s worth. The private-party value is also the price you can expect to pay for a car you buy from an individual.
Current Market Value
You can use online valuation tools such as CarsGurus’ Instant Market Value for an up-to-date estimate based on real selling prices. Tools like these use databases that track car sales and prices across the US.
Why Do Websites Give Different Used Car Values?
If you use many different websites you may get different valuations. Values tend to differ because different websites use different methods of calculation. Some websites track vehicles according to completed sales while others track listed vehicles that haven’t found a buyer yet.
The accuracy of the values also depends on the depth of the price analysis. When a valuation company takes into account optional equipment, towing packages, paint colors, or various upgraded features, it should be able to provide a more precise quote compared to a basic appraisal.
What Role Does Location Play in a Car’s Value?
The region can play a key role in the value of your car, mainly because of the weather. For example, the weather in Massachusetts is very different from the weather in Southern California. The weather impacts how your car ages.
The weather is not the only regional difference that affects the value of your car. Economic factors are also key, such as the differences in supply and demand between metropolitan and rural areas.
Seasonable variance can also make a difference to the value of your car. For example, a convertible is likely going to have a lower value in the winter compared to the summer. If a website asks for your zip code, it’s taking into account regional differences.
Is There Anything Else That Affects the Value of a Car?
Another important factor is the condition of your car. It can be a good indicator as to how well a car was looked after. If the interior is smelly, the engine is clanky, it’s got a scratched glass or dented doors, your car hasn’t been treated with care.
Generally, the different evaluation sites don’t have point-by-point checklists. Instead, you’re asked to give a general description of the car’s overall condition. For example, you need to honestly decide whether your car’s condition is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor.
If your car is in good condition, it’s likely going to fetch a higher price. The value of your car is also going to increase if it’s got popular features that prospective buyers will like, such as leather seats or cruise control.
If your car’s particular model has been labeled as one of the best cheapest SUVs or used cars, for example, it also increases the chance of a higher value.
Tips For Setting the Sale Price
So, you’ve managed to find the answer to your question “What is the value of my used car?” and decided you want to put it out there to sell. How do you decide what sale price to set?
The key is getting an accurate price and as you’ve already discovered, most sites provide different numbers, depending on whether you want to trade it in or sell it privately. In addition, the prices you’ve got are averages based on a much wider market value. To get a good selling price, you might have to use some guesswork.
It’s always a good idea to check what similar cars are going for in your area. Take a quick look at Craigslist or another used car site such as eBay Cars. If your car is the only one in your area, you might be able to demand a higher price. However, if there are dozens of similar models, you might have to drop the price to sell it.
Whether you’re in the market for a new car or are trying to sell your old one, don’t forget us here at USTrans.com. We offer affordable, swift, and smooth vehicle shipping services across the United States.
What is the blue book value of my car?
The answer to this question also applies if you want to know “What is the Kelley Blue Book value of my car?” The Kelley Blue Book is a car guide that lists the value of new vehicles. It also lists used car values. Ever since the 1920s, it’s been the standard within the US auto industry.
What is the book value of my car?
The book value of your car is the current market value. In other words, it’s how much your vehicle could be worth if you sold it today.
What is the NADA value of my car?
NADA stands for the National Automobile Dealers Association. It is a trade organization that represents all franchised new-car dealers, both foreign and domestic. Since the first publication of its Official Used Car Guide, it’s been an important resource for dealerships in determining retail and trade-in values.
What is the actual cash value of my car?
You can work out the actual cash value of your car by determining the replacement cost of your vehicle minus depreciation.
What is the salvage value of my car?
The salvage value of your car is what you would expect to receive if an insurance company sold it to a salvage yard for the parts and frame.
What is the fair market value of my car?
The fair market value of your car is the price at which it would change hands between yourself and a willing buyer. The buyer should have reasonable knowledge of relevant facts and take into consideration the car’s age, condition, mileage, and other histories.