What is My Car Worth? Finding an accurate evaluation

Published: 18th May 2012
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A carís value is far more complicated than a simple number. An owner needs to take into account the quality of the make and model, the specific carís history, and consumer demand for the type of automobile. For those not closely involved with the car industry, pricing a car can be overwhelming. Consider a few important factors when assessing the value of your car.

Nail down a general figure by finding a base price for your carís make and model. Read a consumerís guide or look at review sites. Used car listings can also be a good resource in this step. Like any product, certain brand names are trusted more than others. Websites will provide this baseline price when you enter the carís make, model, and year. Now adjust that baseline price by several key factors.

First, consider the vehicleís overall appearance. The appearance will create the potential sellerís initial impression of its condition and the care it received. Repair any dents or scrapes if possible, and make sure itís freshly washed and waxed. Even the appearance of the engine and the carís inner workings can indicate misuse or careful maintenance.

Next, evaluate the specifics such as the carís mileage, the lifespan of the tires, and other usage matters. Also consider physical features specific to your car. Did you add on features like a sunroof or an enhanced sound system? Those should increase the carís value. Likewise, recall any features in your car that might be missing from another car of the same make and model. Replacing stolen parts or buying cheaper features may lessen the carís worth.

Another element that will affect your carís price is its history. If you are the carís first owner, the vehicle has suddenly become more attractive to potential buyers. If the carís interior is well-kept, it communicates to a buyer that you cared for your car and the value climbs. Saving the receipts for all repairs and maintenance performed will also bring added value to the sale. With these elements in place, you have the ability to charge an amount thatís near the top of the price range.

There are negative aspects to a carís history that impact the price as well. If the record shows the car has been in a wreck or a flood, the autoís value drops. Also, money owed on the car or other entanglements may impact the selling price. If you happen to have a discontinued model, a classic car, or another rare type of vehicle, consumers are often willing to pay more for it. Investigate the background of your car if you suspect you might own a collectorís item. In these cases, the condition and the maintenance it received will factor heavily into its value.

Finally, the market demand for your car plays a large part in its value. Itís only worth what another consumer is willing to pay for it, after all. To assess the general market interest in your car, browse various used car sales sites or newspaper listings. How do similar cars compare? Make sure to account for variations such as your carís mileage and mechanical condition. If you look for prices on auction sites, be sure to evaluate the price of cars receiving bids, not just any car listed.

After this evaluation, if youíre still wondering, ďwhat is my car worth?Ē there are a few services available to help you determine this. Many websites offer a free or low-cost valuation of your car when you provide a few key facts. These sites request your UK number plate so they can offer a price range specific to your car. Enter the information into their online form or submit it via text message or email, depending on the siteís requirements. Many of these services offer certified estimates that may be used for insurance purposes or for pricing a vehicle for a sale. These sites boast accurate results, due to the use of industry experts, mechanics, current market value listings, and other pertinent resources.

After receiving this estimate, itís still wise to evaluate the price based on what you already know of your vehicle. Factor in any information the website did not request, such as its condition or after-market features. As the carís owner, you have the most accurate knowledge to assess the carís value. For novices who need the extra assistance, many expert resources are available through the Internet. Accurate pricing can lead to eager buyers and a profitable sale of the car.

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