How To Determine The Value Of A Used Car

By Katy Gilligan
Updated April 9, 2015
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How To Determine The Value Of A Used CarWhether you are shopping for a used car, or you are trying to sell your used car, it is important to find the best value for the car. You want to make sure you are not overpaying or underselling, and with so many different websites and car dealerships giving you different numbers, it is hard to decide what the best value is. Determining the value of a used car can be difficult if you do not know the history of the car. It can take some time to do the research, but if you take that time and put in the effort, you are guaranteed to find the best value for a used car.

The first thing you need to do when determining the value of a used car is getting all of your information together. If you are selling your car, make sure you know the exact make, model, year and mileage. Make note of any damage to the body that may have occurred in an accident, and note how old some parts are. That way you can give your buyer all the information they need, and you will have accurate information when inputting it into a website or talking to a dealership.

When buying a used car, it is actually pretty easy to determine the value. You can look at the tires and see how much wear and tear they have. Ask the owner or seller how often or when the last time they were rotated. Look at the interior of the car. If it is in good condition, it probably means that the previous owner took good care of their car overall. Ask for service reports for the car and see how well it was maintained. If it wasn’t maintained well, the value of the car is going to decrease immensely. You can have two identical cars with the same mileage on them, but the way they were cared for will drastically change the value of the car.

Online websites such as Kelley Blue Book will need most of the information listed above to determine the value of a used car. You need to make sure this information is accurate so you can get the best price on a car. The website will rate the car in three different conditions, good, fair and poor. If the car is in good condition, it will be worth the most, and if you are at a dealership, dealers will often value the car based on the condition rating. Compare the prices on different websites and through different dealerships and try and find a median price. That way you can tell your buyer, or tell the person you are buying a car from that cars with similar traits are going for a specific median price, so you don’t undercharge or overpay.

Knowing all the information about the car you are selling or the car you want to buy is extremely important with used cars, because their history can be such a mystery. Make sure to take your time and do all the research you can before selling or purchasing a used car.





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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.