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How to Determine the Value of Your Used Car

Used Car Values

There’s no shame in wanting to get the best value out of your used car or truck. It is only natural. After all, you have probably been through a lot with this vehicle. Whether it is a boring or exciting past history, there is no denying that owners make special connections with their vehicles. This bond is almost unbreakable except when it comes time to make an upgrade.Unfortunately, when you have to figure out the value of your used vehicle, this is a difficult process. All of the special qualities and feelings you have for it go out the window. That final monetary value is based on nothing more than the condition and age of the vehicle. Usually, this means you will find the value will fail to meet your high expectations.To prevent this outcome, it is important to know how to accurately value your used vehicle in the first place. While you are thinking about the good old days with it, you need to be doing your research in the right places to get the best deal possible. If you ask for too much, you’re unlikely to sell it in the first place. If you ask too little, you might fail to get the money the car is truly worth.Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to figure out the true value of your vehicle. By doing a little research and talking with the right experts, you will know what to ask in no time.


Doing Your Own Research

You probably don’t have a degree or extensive experience in vehicle valuation. To really understand the true worth of your used vehicle, this is a necessary. Instead, all you have to do is conduct a little research online to see what other experts think it is worth. This will give you a baseline to start with.The internet is full of online resources that can give you a good idea of your vehicle’s current value. Kelly Blue Book, for example, maintains an active database of used car values that is easy to reach with a few keystrokes and clicks. If you have access to a computer, you can find these resources available at your local library as well.Dealership-specific websites may also have certain value calculators you can use. Without having to make any final commitments for trade-in or sell, this type of calculators will give you an idea of what dealerships are likely to offer you in a potential trade.Using all this information is important. Having a baseline understanding of the value of your car means you know how low or high you can deviate. In other words, if you’re going to sell your car on your own or to a dealership, you know what your starting price is. If there is any haggling involved, you can use this baseline as a way to realistically set your bottom-line sale price.If you aren’t completely satisfied with the evaluation, however, there are further steps you can take. Once you feel like you’ve done enough research on your own or exhausted your resources, it’s time to talk to an expert.


Talk to Live Human Beings

You might be scared to go to a dealership and request a car valuation at first. After all, it can feel like you are actually making the first step toward selling your car before you feel absolutely ready. In most cases, however, this will not be the outcome. Instead, you’ll be able to talk to a live human being with experience and knowledge in automotive sales.The key is to be clear upfront about your intentions. In other words, make sure the person you speak with understands you are looking to make a sale at this time. Instead, you aren’t there to see what the specific dealership may be able to offer you for a used vehicle whether it is a sale or a trade-in.To maximize this approach, speak with several people if possible. Shop around at different dealerships to see what their individual offers may be. This way, you’ll get a bigger picture of how much each offer differs from the others. If they are all fairly consistent with one another, you will know the evaluation is pretty spot on. If they drastically differ, however, you may have some room to negotiate or at least pick whichever dealership will give you the best deal.If you don’t want to talk with someone face-to-face, contact them online. In fact, there are many online resources that allow you to put in your vehicle’s specific information and history for an instant quote or valuation. This way, you don’t even have to talk with a single individual. You will still have the same important information you will need to make the right decision to sell your car.


Understand Your Limits

Even though it is important to remain realistic about the value of your car, you still need to have a bottom-line price in mind. In other words, what is the least amount of money you are willing to take for it? This bottom-line price should be based on the valuations you have discovered or have been given up to this point.Be prepared to negotiate if possible. Some dealerships operate with a no-haggle policy, meaning the value they offer you will be the only one. If this is the case, negotiation will not be necessary. The bottom-line price will let you know whether the offer meets your expectations are not.If you choose to sell your car privately, negotiation is to be expected. This is where the bottom-line price comes in. Haggling is all about meeting somewhere in the middle. The potential buyer will come in low while you come in high. Eventually, each one should meet their limit if a price isn’t agreed-upon. If the other person isn’t willing to budge, it isn’t worth making the sale unless you’re absolutely sure you are willing to go below your bottom line.

Make Smart Decisions

Once again, it’s difficult to sell a vehicle you have a particular bond or emotional attachment with. If this isn’t the case, finding the actual value of the vehicle and selling it should be more straightforward. If not, however, you have to remain focused on making smart decisions.Don’t let the emotions and experiences affect your decision-making process. Value your car in a realistic manner using the information you find online or that is provided to you by an expert. Shop around and compare different valuations for the best results.When it comes time to actually sell the vehicle, focus on the reason you’re doing it in the first place. Whether your downscaling or upgrading, selling a used vehicle is just a step toward something better. Make the smart choices ahead of time so you will have more freedom to enjoy the final results in the end.

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