What Is My Car Worth?

Automotive, Home & Family
on October 14, 2011

Unless it is a collector’s item, just about every car depreciates over time. You may want to know the value of your vehicle either because you simply want to know the general worth or because you intend to sell it. There are various resources for assessing the worth of your vehicle, and each may calculate the values slightly differently. As noted by nationwide vehicle selling site AutoTrader, there is not necessarily a fixed price for any used vehicle.

Price guides. A number of price guides will help assess the general value of your car. In the past, price guides were only in print, but today they are also available in the form of convenient, searchable websites. This includes sites such as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NADA. These sites allow users to enter make, model, year and general condition of the vehicle.

Dealer quotes. If you’re interested in selling you car to a dealer or trading it in to reduce the price of a new vehicle, you can ask a dealer for a quote. But realize that the dealer isn’t likely to offer the full market value for the vehicle. That’s because the dealer is interested in reselling the vehicle, which means that you typically will be offered a lower trade-in price. Some consumers may take a lower price from the dealer simply because it is more convenient than selling the vehicle on their own.

Private buyers. You can sell your car to a private buyer if you’re willing to place an ad or use a website to list the vehicle. This may yield more money than a dealer quote, but there may be more hassle attached to working with a number of potential buyers. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide how much work you want to put into the process. In addition, the true market value is often determined when working with person-to-person sales. Price guides may list a general range, but what really matters is how much another individual is willing to pay.