The value of your car may not be vital to you in your day-to-day operations. But, when it’s time to upgrade, sell, or possibly reallocate your finances, the value of your vehicle suddenly comes to mind. The question is, how do you figure out the car’s value? Is it’s estimated worth the same as someone else’s?

One thing you always need to remember is; the value of your car to you is not the same as it is to other people. If you have plans of selling your vehicle, then the worth is based on the value placed on it by someone else.

Knowing your car’s cash worth is paramount; whether you’re purchasing from a private party or a car dealership. This worth we’re emphasizing is dependent on the car’s condition, mileage, age, the region where it’s being marketed, and optional features.

When trying to sell used cars, there are two price categories: wholesale and retail.

Wholesale Price: Wholesale price is also labeled as trade-in worth. This is the worth the dealership values the car. Car dealerships buy at this price because they don’t intend to use the car but rather sell it off to someone else for profit.

Retail Price: This brings more money into your pocket because you’re going to sell the car at the price you would buy a used car from a dealership. Retail price is often higher than the wholesale price because you’re selling to a private party who may have personal needs for the car’s use.

A vehicle can command multiple prices in the wholesale section of the market. One sub-category is the dealership-to-customer price while the other is the dealership-to-dealership price. There is also a sub-section called “wholesale auction”.

In wholesale auctions, brokers and dealers look forward to buying a car with the mindset of selling it later. In every process of the sale, the intermediaries collect some markup thus the vehicle obtains new worth.

Work Out the Vehicle’s Value

Checking the book value of a car is the first step to take if you want the true value of a used car.

When checking listing sites and pricing guides for used cars, you will find this base value at retail pricing. Some car platforms let you input the mileage and condition of the vehicle in order to help give you the net value of the car rather than a gross estimate.

For reference, one site to check for these purposes is Kelly Black Book. When you start haggling pricing with potential buyers, looking-up multiple sources for additional pricing info can really be of help.

What Questions do Sellers Ask?

General pricing ideas can be found via website appraisals and price guides, but localizing your search will help you better realize the worth of the car. You can verify this via dealer advertisements in publications in your locality, and sites where used cars are being sold.

Platforms such as Kijiji, Car Gurus or Autotrader where used cars are being sold should be checked. Note that prices of cars in your region may differ from prices of the same vehicle type in your area.

Bear in mind that the prices listed for cars are the asking price and not what customers are actually paying. Hence, having a knowledge of the price people are requesting for similar cars will equip you to bid lower for the car you wish to purchase.

My Car’s Value

The inner, outer, and mechanical condition of your car contribute to its value.

  1. Inner and Outer Condition – The truth is, a clean vehicle sells faster. Clean and well-conditioned cars are what buyers look forward to. Evidence and history of accidents, body or paint damage and the overall look and feel of the car are what buyers take into consideration when reviewing a car they wish to buy. When there’s body damage, paint peeling, or interior damage that may not be easily overlooked, and the value drops below normal.

Here’s what you can do to improve your car’s value

  • Enhance the color, quality, and feel of the vehicle by thoroughly washing the car and using wax/polish on affected parts. You may consider replacing the tires. If it’s not financially possible, blackening it may help.
  • Odours, stains, glass, carpets, and other interior components that may need replacement or polishing should be detailed because these bring up the value of your vehicle.
  1. Mechanical Condition – Your car looks and sounds okay to you, but we still recommend you call in a mechanic to help check how your car runs mechanically; whether a major reconditioning or repair is needed. Spending money for a pre-sale inspection can be worth it most times because it gives your buyer peace of mind; knowing the mechanical condition and real worth of the car.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it’s a car, truck, van or SUV, if it was your vehicle, you’ll always have fond memories that inflate its value. Whether you realize it or not. Sit back and take that objective view of your ride and you’ll not only sell faster, but you’ll also rest assured that you made the right decision to drive off in a new direction.