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Car Value: Learn How to Determine a Cars Value

car value

How do you determine car value if you have a vehicle to sell? It just takes a little research.


The first step in determining car value is to compare prices of cars similar to your own. The Internet is a great tool for this. Web sites such as list cars for sale. You can easily explore such a site and find many cars like your own. This gives you a range to use to determine your own car’s value.


Honestly look at the condition of your car. To increase value of your car, give it a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Fix any imperfections that you can, such as stains on the carpets. Is the paint job in good shape or is it covered in dings and scratches? Although normal wear and tear on a paint job is expected on a used car, too much can lower the car value. The better the condition of your car, the higher its value will be in relationship to similar cars.


If you are having a hard time deciding where your old car falls on the price range you found for similar cars, you can try taking the car to a dealership to determine its value. Ask the dealership for an estimate of what it would pay for the car. Be strong if you plan to do this, though. You don’t want to be pressured into selling your car on the spot. Whatever the dealership tells you, you can probably count on your car value being at least a couple of thousand more than what they offer you.

Final thoughts

There are a few points to remember when it comes to determining car value.

The fair market value it somewhere between what you would get if you decided to trade-in your car and what it would sell for at retail. Just because you see a car at a dealership similar to yours at a certain price does not mean that you can sell it for that price on your own.

When deciding your car’s value, remember to set the pricing close to what you have seen online. Potential buyers are going to the same Web sites that you are and are seeing those prices, too.

Also, give yourself about a $500 cushion. If you decide to price the car at the amount that you need to sell it for, you won’t have any wiggle room if someone offers you less.

Finally, be realistic. As much as you would like to make a lot of money selling your car, the objective car value just may not warrant it. However, by selling the car on your own rather than trading it in, you should be able to make more than you would at a dealership.


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