Several online sites have vehicle-pricing tools that will determine the fair market value for purchasing a new vehicle from a dealership. The information on these sites does not guarantee that the fair market value price -- should you offer it to the dealership -- will be accepted. A comprehensive online tool for determining the fair market value of a vehicle is the Kelley Blue Book.
Enter your ZIP code, as well as the make, model and year of the vehicle you would like pricing on, and the site gives you the factory invoice price , average price paid and manufacturer's suggested retail price. It is less detailed than other websites; however, it is still valuable, as it details nearby vehicles equipped with the options you selected. You will need to select all the options and equipment you would like priced with your desired vehicle. After calculating the invoice price and the MSRP, this tool does not give you a fair market value price. It is assumed that the fair market value would be an agreed-upon number somewhere between invoice and MSRP.
Fair market value on a used vehicle can be used for researching a vehicle you would like to purchase or one you would like to sell.
The tools are all designed to give you a range of pricing for similarly equipped vehicles in a similar condition. Major features, such as the car's transmission, engine type and whether it has all-wheel drive, can have a big impact on the value of the car.
How much is my car worth?
The same goes for options such as leather seats, navigation, a sunroof or automatic climate control. If you can remember your car's options off the top of your head, great. If not, here are some suggestions on where to get the information you need. The vehicle's original window sticker is the best place to find options information. Unfortunately, few people actually hang onto the sticker. Without it, your best bet is to sit in your car and make a note of its options.
If you're using a smartphone, tablet or laptop assuming you're within Wi-Fi range , you can complete the options check from the driver's seat. Otherwise, print out the options page from the Edmunds website and check off the items as you sit in your car, and then enter the information online.
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It is crucial to get the style and options right. Without them, you may be under- or overvaluing your car.
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As mentioned earlier, Edmunds' free online used car value tool has five condition levels: outstanding, clean, average, rough and damaged. You might be tempted to choose "outstanding" to get more money for your used auto. After all, you've pampered your car the entire time you've owned it, right?
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But the truth is that few cars qualify for this rating. Another good example, Arca says, would be a Honda Prelude SH with 50, original miles that has very little wear on the interior and the factory paint that"s still glossy. The price of a car in a less-than-clean state is adjusted downward from there, and it reflects what it would cost to get the vehicle up to clean state. That's how much a seller would have to spend to bring it up to the "clean" state. If your vehicle was in an accident, it could still be considered "clean" if it was repaired with factory parts and according to the manufacturer's specifications, Arca says.
Car Value Estimator | Trade In & Market Value - Consumer Reports
He adds that some of the factors that affect the value are severity of the damage, the quality of the repair, and the demand for that particular model. Be honest and objective about the used-vehicle state you choose.
Try to see things from a potential buyer's perspective. Here's a recap of the prices you'll see at the end of the appraisal: trade-in, private party, dealer retail and certified used. As the name suggests, the trade-in price is what you can expect the dealership to give you if you trade in your vehicle. The trade in value is always the lowest figure. The private-party price is what you can expect to get for the car if you sell it on your own. This is always a higher amount than the trade-in price, but it takes more work. The used-car dealer retail price is aimed at used-car shoppers.
This price is an average amount you could expect to pay if you bought the car at a dealership. The Edmunds web and mobile sites also list the certified used price if the vehicle is still relatively new. This also is aimed at used-car shoppers, showing what that vehicle's listed price would be if it were being sold as a certified pre-owned CPO vehicle. This price will usually be the highest compared to the other car valuation amounts, since CPO cars sell at a premium over non-certified cars.
The buyer is essentially paying for the thorough inspection and added warranty. Getting a realistic value for your car is key to what you do next, whether that's selling the car, trading it in or even keeping it for a while longer. By using the Edmunds car appraisal tool in any of its forms, you'll have a clear-eyed assessment of your car's real worth, not a number based on guesswork and high hopes. Selling your car today is a different experience than it was 10 or 15 years ago, thanks to the tools available on the Internet. Online appraisal tools and Internet classified ads have made the process faster and more convenient.
You can also print out this article and use it as a checklist to keep you on track. Following these recommendations will give you a clearer picture of the market in your area so you can determine a reasonable asking price when you sell your car. But remember, the market is changing constantly due to the weather, holidays and available inventory.
The sale price you set will ultimately be a combination of many factors — including a gut feeling about the desirability of your car. At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. Our opinions are our own. Find out how much money you can get for your car by selling or trading it in.
Understand Your Car's Market Value
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