How do I find a used cars value?

how do I find a used cars valueIf you are shopping for a used car today, you no doubt have several different concerns on your mind. You may be using an online car insurance rate comparison site to shop for auto insurance rates. By entering your ZIP code into a rate comparison website, you can quickly and easily compare several different quotes to find the best deal on car insurance. In addition to shopping for rates, you may be concerned about getting a great deal on your upcoming car purchase. Nobody wants to learn after buying a vehicle that they paid far more than what it’s really worth. This can be frustrating, and it can also cost you money.

Researching Car Values

By taking time to research a car’s value online, you can more easily determine if the asking price is a fair price to pay or not. Keep in mind that car dealerships, used car lots, and direct sellers all have the ability to set the price they want to charge for a vehicle. Some sellers may be requesting a certain sales price for a vehicle based on different factors that have little to do with the actual value of the vehicle. Some of these factors include:

  • The amount a dealership or used car lot purchased the vehicle for
  • The amount of money a direct seller owes on the vehicle
  • The amount of money a direct seller wants to obtain to use as a down payment on a future car purchase

Because a seller may have other reasons for listing a vehicle at a certain sales price than what the actual value of the vehicle is, it is important to take time to research the value of the vehicle on your own before making a purchase.

How to Determine Car Values

So how can you determine a vehicle’s value if you cannot rely on the seller to list a vehicle at a fair price? There are several different car valuation websites that you may use to determine a vehicle’s value. These websites are typically free to use, and they can provide you with a reasonable value on a vehicle within a few minutes. The sites will request information such as:

  • The year the car was built
  • The make and model
  • The engine type
  • The trim model
  • Special features in the car
  • The location of the vehicle

find a used cars valueIt is important to enter all information into a valuation website carefully and accurately in order to determine an accurate value for a vehicle.

Retail Car Value vs. Trade-In Value

Car valuation websites are designed for both used car buyers and used car sellers to use. Sellers can use them to determine a fair asking price to ask for their vehicle. However, they may also take into account other factors, such as how much other sellers with the same make and model are asking for their own vehicle. Buyers can use these websites to determine what is a fair price to pay for a vehicle. To accommodate the two different uses, these valuation websites can provide you with two different values. The trade-in value is the price that a seller can reasonably expect to get when trading in a vehicle to a car dealership. The retail car value is the price that a buyer may expect to pay when buying a used vehicle from a dealership.

Why These Values Are Not Equal

When a seller trades his or her used vehicle in to a dealership, the dealership wants to make a profit on their efforts to sell the vehicle. They must pay their own sales staff for their efforts as well as marketing costs, make-ready costs and more. Because of this, the retail car value is generally at least a few hundred dollars higher than the trade-in value. Many sellers will attempt to make more money on the sale of their vehicle by selling their vehicle to a buyer on their own.

While some sellers will attempt to sell their vehicle for the retail car value price, others will offer the vehicle for a sales price that lies somewhere between the retail car value and the trade-in value. As a buyer, this middle ground provides you with some room to negotiate the sales price.

The Condition of the Vehicle

do I find a used cars valueAnother factor to consider when valuing a used car is the condition of the vehicle. Some used vehicles are in impeccable condition. They may be in like-new condition after having limited time on the roadway, being stored in a garage and being otherwise well-maintained. These are “excellent” condition vehicles. Vehicles that show minor signs of wear and tear but that are free of mechanical issues and significant signs of wear and tear are in “good” or “average” condition.

Vehicles in “poor” condition may have significant mechanical issues, significant body damage or scratches and more. The value of the car will be based on the condition of the vehicle. Many sellers may attempt to sell a vehicle based on an “excellent” rating, but you may determine the car to be closer to “good” or “average” condition. In many cases, this is another gray area that provides you with some room to negotiate the sales price.

It can be difficult to determine the value of a used vehicle, but used car valuation websites are a helpful tool to make this process easier. While online, be sure to visit an online insurance rate comparison site to shop for auto insurance quotes. These sites provide you with numerous rate quotes by simply entering your ZIP code into the search form.

Leave a Reply