Estimating a car’s true value is not any easy thing to do since appraising vehicles is a very complex process. People who are not knowledgeable or experienced with evaluating automobiles will not be able to accurately tell how much a vehicle is really worth. Most people will end up overestimating or underestimating the value of a car.
However, there is a standard procedure that insurance companies and auto dealerships use in order find out how much a vehicle is really worth. Most industries that work with the sale, resale and the repair of automobiles use books to figure out how much a car is really worth. Here are 6 useful tips to estimate your cars value that can be used to get an accurate estimate for a vehicle.
Tip #1: Accurately Determine a Vehicle’s Condition
Most automotive experts evaluate cars by evaluating their basic condition. A vehicle’s condition is important to its resale value. All people should be aware of the fact that when a vehicle is taken off of the showroom floor it instantly depreciates.
The reality is that no matter how well a person maintains a car it will never be in the same condition as it was when they first brought it from the dealership. No matter what type of effort that they put into keeping it in excellent condition, a vehicle will always lose value after it is taken off a lot. That’s just the way it is.
Even though a car naturally depreciates that does not mean that it is not valuable. The condition of a vehicle does matter and owners should do everything to make sure that they keep their vehicles in good condition.
The exterior of the vehicle should be clean and free of scratches and dents and the interior should not have stains or a worn out look. If a vehicle has any of these problems an owner should do their best to correct the problem as soon as possible before they try to sell the vehicle. Owners should not put more money into fixing up a vehicle than its worth.
Tip #2: A Vehicle’s Marketability
Another important factor that is used to figure out the value of a car is to determine its marketability. It’s a known fact that some cars have a tendency to sell better than other vehicles. When a person is trying to sell their automobile they should find out if there is a demand for their type of vehicle. Without having this knowledge a person can end up having a difficult time trying to sell or trade it in to a dealership.
People can search online and check with industry publications in order to figure out what type of cars are currently selling. Once they figure out the marketability of their vehicle they can then use this information in order to effectively advertise and sell their auto.
Tip #3: Mileage
A vehicle with low kilometres will sell better than a vehicle with many. Most people probably cannot control the amount of mileage that they put onto their vehicles especially if they have to use them to meet their daily transportation needs. Cars with higher mileage are prone to have more problems than those have not been used as much.
Vehicle owners should keep in mind that if they decide to sell their auto and it has high mileage they won’t receive as much money for their cars. Cars are made to last longer than they once were and vehicles with over 100,000 kilometres can still retain some of their value but they usually do not sell better than vehicles with under 100,000 Km’s.
Tip #4: Engine Quality
An automobile owner should realize that their vehicle will also be worth less if the engine and various systems are not working properly. All cars will need to be repaired sooner or later and vehicles that have a lot of engine problems will lose their overall value.
If a vehicle has a hard time starting up or cuts off when a person is using it, this could be an indication that there is something seriously wrong. The transmission, undercarriage, brakes and steering and engine compartment should be evaluated and repaired (if necessary) before trying to sell the vehicle.
Tip #5: Technology and Options
Newer model cars have updated technology that is more sophisticated than older vehicles from the past. Options for vehicles include:
- MP3 players
- Satellite Radio
- DVD entertainment systems
- Intelligent cruise control
- Hands free phone systems
- Internet and email computers
- Dual airbags
- Electronic rear window defogger
- Heated and cooled seats
- Key less entry
Vehicles that have these options will certainly be worth more than vehicles that do not carry them. Newer vehicles come equipped with at least a few of these extras and they can significantly increase the price of an auto. People who have these amenities on their cars should not overestimate their value but they should not devalue them either.
Tip #6: Book Value Information
The automotive industry has publications that rates the true value of a vehicle based off of certain criteria. Most of these publications can be accessed online through a website that offers automotive information to the public. A person can access a blue book site and use its calculator to determine how much a vehicle is worth. They can enter the year, make, model and mileage of their vehicle into the calculator.
A blue book calculator will also ask a person to describe the category of their vehicle so it can figure out if it is a sedan, hatchback or some other class. The calculator will also inquire if a car comes equipped with options. Most calculators will then give inquirer’s a value for their vehicle for trade-in or private sale.
When the prices appear for the value of a car it will be divided into four categories. These categories are dependent on the condition of a vehicle. They are rated excellent, very good, good and fair. Most of these values will change on a weekly basis and they must constantly be checked to ensure a vehicle is being correctly appraised.
Blue book calculators are important since the value of cars constantly change. This is one major reason as to why it’s hard to get an accurate appraisal of its true value. People should make it a point to look critically at their auto with the aid of industry information. This will help them to have a realistic outlook about how much their vehicle is really worth. Once a person is armed with this knowledge they can effectively sell or trade in their vehicle for a fair price.
Resource links to blue book websites: