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Used Car Price Guide - How to determine the value of a used car

market sell retail vehicle

Never underestimate the value of the sense of freedom a person gets from owning a set of wheels. An older car with no hubcaps in need of a paint job might be the perfect ride for some driver. That’s why you should be careful not to sell a used car for less than it is worth to potential owners.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in the market to buy or sell, it is important to follow a valid used car price guide before you close any deal. You will settle for less (up to 50%) if you trade or sell to a dealership compared to a private sale. Consider your options carefully.

Car lots sell used vehicles at a retail price. Retail is the highest price option for a used car. A private party used car transaction might not demand retail price but it will be a higher price than trade in value. Trade in value is the wholesale price of a vehicle. Buying wholesale usually implies that the buyer plans to resell and make a profit. Any transactions with a car dealership include a margin of profit. It doesn’t matter if you are the buyer or the seller in a retail or wholesale market; you still need to determine the car’s value according to a generic used car price guide accepted by both parties.

Avoid simply settling for the standard used car price guide used by car dealerships. Market trends, geographic area, special condition of the vehicle and other factors influence value. You can look at sources like Kelly’s Blue Book or the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Guide but don’t limit yourself to those quotes. Information is quickly outdated and could cause you to misjudge the true market value of the car. Both on line sources are free so use them to get an idea of a price range.

Other helpful tools to get a more accurate value involve looking up the same brand and model of vehicle at EBay Motors, Used Cars or Auto Trader. Seeing what vehicles actually demand on the market is a great negotiating tool and helps adjust a used car price guideline to reflect current market trends.

Besides considering those sources, look at specific location and circumstances impacting accuracy for your used car price guide. Regional market prices reflected in the classifieds ads influence the used car market. Unique circumstances like damage due to salt on winter roadways can lower the value. In contrast, car bodies that aren’t damaged sell for a higher value in those markets.

Determining the value of a used car depends on developing as accurate used car price guideline. You need to consider all the factors and arrive at a suitable number. It takes a blend of common sense, salesmanship and accurate tools to set a price on a used vehicle. Once the price is set, the rest is up to you.

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