How to Determine Your Car’s Worth

You’ve had your car for a while now and you decided it’s time for a change. As soon as you decide you want to sell your car, you run into a problem – you’re unsure about your car’s value. You know what you paid for it and for how long you’ve had it, but you have no idea how much you can get for it now. The fact is that the value of your car depends on many factors.

There are three main values for your car – the trade-in price which is a price a dealer is willing to pay for your car, the private party price which is the price two individuals will negotiate, and the retail price which is what the dealer expects to get for your car when selling it to another buyer.

Determine your car’s condition

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The main thing to do when trying to define your car’s value is to determine your car’s current condition. You have to be honest with yourself as you don’t want to overprice your car because you’re going to have a really hard time selling it, but you don’t want to set the price too low and deny yourself the money you deserve.

You can always ask a friend for help as they can inspect the car and tell you what they would pay you for it. You should also see the actual pricing data and resale trends which is something you can find on this website.

If your engine runs well, and its maintenance records are complete, you can probably expect to get good money for your car. Also, matching tires and the flawless paint on your car will further increase the price. Any damages on the interior or exterior will lower its value. The majority of used cars, however, have seen some darker days and have a scratch here and there. As long as the damages aren’t too big, the tires are still in decent shape, and the car has no major mechanical or cosmetic issues, you can expect a pretty good price for it.

Some of the main factors that will determine the value of your car are:

  • The model of the car
  • Running condition
  • Potential previous accidents
  • Mileage
  • Location
  • Warranties
  • Method of sale
  • Number of previous owners
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It is often advised that you simply sell your car in its current condition rather than making any cosmetic changes that can be quite expensive and you have no guarantee that it will pay off. As far as the look of your car goes, you can simply wax it, clean the tires, and wash it as those things can really improve the look of your car and are still rather inexpensive. Also, you should clean your interior especially if you had your dog or small kids ride in your back seat often. Any food and hair should be removed as they can drive away potential buyers.

Look for any comparable vehicles in your neighborhood and try to see where your car fits. Emphasis is on your neighborhood as the prices can vary greatly depending on the location.

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