Factors to Keep in Mind About Car ValueA car value calculator may reveal several amounts for a vehicle. These sums vary based on the intended transaction or who is involved in a change of ownership, such as:
- A trade-in, which means using the vehicle as credit towards another, usually a new car at a dealership. This car value amount will be the lowest, as dealers want to make a profit when the trade-in is sold to another party or broken down for parts. Before reselling a car traded in for a more expensive vehicle, the dealer will fix or recondition anything on the vehicle to increase its worth to other potential buyers.
- A private party, which means transferring ownership (whether buying or selling) to another person, not a business. This amount is arguably the truest car value figure
- The dealer retail, which is the price that a dealer would likely list the vehicle for and will be the most expensive amount.
The car value for a trade-in will typically be 15 to 20 percent less than if you, the owner, sold it to a private buyer. However, certain vehicles, like collector cars, may not have an accurate estimate. This is because of enthusiasts, special markets and sentimental value.
Influencers of Car ValueThe value of your car is affected by its original manufacturer's suggested retail value, age and mileage. Similarly, the condition -- how it looks and runs -- plays a huge part in car value, as a vehicle with a lot of damage or needed repairs cost money to repair.
Little things, like color and having a detailed report of service history, can also influence the value of a vehicle. Aftermarket parts and modifications can decrease the value for buyers who want unmodified cars or increase its worth amongst tuner aficionados. A car value calculator can’t estimate the meaningfulness a buyer might personally place on these features.
How to Find Car Value ServicesYou can find a car value calculator online in informative vehicle websites. Several car sellers also have online calculators to estimate the worth of vehicles. The most popular car value services include websites like:
- Kelly’s Blue Book, which used car dealers often refer to when pricing vehicles for sale.
- Edmunds, which is often used by private parties since the site provides other useful information for both buyers and sellers to consider.
- National Automotive Dealership Association (NADA), which is the preferred car value site for banks and other lenders since it often presents the cheapest valuation.
The best way to determine your car’s value is to take an average of these figures. Likewise, you can go to a dealership, if you plan to trade your vehicle in, to accurately find out what the dealer will credit for your vehicle.