No two used cars are exactly the same. A used car has been driven by someone else, so it has been treated differently, used less or more, and had different populations riding in it. If you are wondering how to estimate the value of a used car, it is about more than just the mileage and the year. There are many ways to devalue or add additional value to a used car. To ensure that you aren’t overpaying, knowing how to determine a used car’s value is imperative to getting the car you want at the right price.
The good news is that there are a lot of resources online that will help you calculate how much a used car is worth. The biggest problem is that some of the factors are subjective and in the eye of the beholder. If your eyes for value aren’t that great, it might be a good idea to have the help of a dealership professional show you the difference.
Using different used car valuation resources
There are many different types of auto websites that will give you an estimate of how much a used car is worth. Sites like CarGurus, the Kelley Blue Book, and edmonds.com are just some of them. They are awesome and fast ways to get quick answers. But you will need to get the information necessary to access the value. They will look at different aspects of the car like the model, trim and mileage. Before you use a website, make sure to look over the car and write down the trim level, the exact model of the car, and the mileage. Also, inspect both the interior and the exterior to look for excessive damage or wear and tear. You will also want to take a test drive to see how it drives. Sometimes that can be an excellent indication of its worth. After you have all the information necessary, all you have to do is enter your zip code, and the website will give you the car’s estimated values. There are different value classifications, so knowing what they are can help guide you on how much you should pay.
The retail value
The retail value is the amount of money that the car is worth if it was sold by a retailer or dealership. Typically, the retail value is higher because you pay more when you buy from a dealership. This is because dealerships offer many advantages like customization, financing, extended warranties, and sometimes freebies and promotions. They also offer the additional security that if something major is wrong and you don’t see it, you won’t be left with an empty savings account and a car that you can’t drive.
The trade-in value is the amount of money that a retailer will pay for a car. It is the price that someone can get for selling their car to a dealer to purchase another car, without having the hassle of selling it themselves. Trade-in values are usually the lowest values for the car, and with reason. Once a dealership takes a trade-in used car, they are responsible for upgrading, repairing it, and selling it. Those all take additional costs. A trade-in value is also less because often it can lead someone in the market for a used car to get a better deal on another one.
Private party value
If you are going to buy or sell a used car on your own or from an independent owner, the private party value is the value of the car when compared to the same cars on the market. If you are going to buy from a private party, this is the price you can expect to pay.
Current market value
Sites like CarGurus use “current market values.” The current market value means that instead of the old ways of looking through books that can sometimes be out-of-date, the new car valuing resources use real-time statistics that give you a reliable and up-to-date value of the car as it stands. It’s the most reliable information that you can get, because it is what the car is selling for in your area at the time you are researching it.
If you are trying to figure out what a used car is worth, there are great resources online that can help you estimate. But sometimes a little bit of subjective opinion can change the value slightly. At Ride Time, we provide the consumer with the lowest price possible and the best guarantee for happiness and a good investment. Stop in today to see our inventory of valuable used cars.