About Used Vehicle Values: How Much is My Car Worth?

The condition, price, trade-in value, and mileage come into play when determining the value of your car.

Your used car value depends on many different factors. The condition, original price, and mileage of your vehicle are just some of the variables that come into play when determining its value. However, one thing most people don’t think about is how you might be able to use the information you already have to get a rough estimate of your car’s current market worth.

Vehicle values are often hard to pin down because they vary between sources and depend on the area in which you live as well as other things that affect resale prices. Even so, there are a few things you can do to help narrow down your options and get an idea of what your car is actually worth. Here's everything you need to know about researching your car's value.

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Used Vehicle Price Table of Contents
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    How to Find Your Car's Value

    First, you’ll need to find a reputable source of information about your car's value. There are several different ways to do this including:

    • Go online or contact a local dealership and ask them for their estimate.
    • Look up the value of similar cars in your area on sites like Kelley Blue Book (KBB), Autotrader, or Cars.com.
    • Contact a private party or auto broker and ask for estimates for your specific car.

    Remember that there are many variables in play when determining vehicle values. When comparing prices, make sure to compare similar make and models of vehicles with the same features and mileage. You can also keep track of how much you spend on maintenance and repairs since completing high value scheduled service items can increase market worth by a little bit.

    About Car Book Values


    The Main Reason Your Car Loses Value

    Depreciation is a term that refers to the decreasing value of a used car as it gets older. This happens mainly because people buy cars with the idea that they will hold their value for years instead of buying a new one. When a car loses its value, it can be difficult to find someone willing to pay you the same amount for your old car. The main reason your car loses value is depreciation, and there are some specific factors that can affect how much it will decrease in worth.

    There are many factors that contribute to depreciation, but one of the most important is age. Older cars depreciate at faster rates than newer ones, and those with high mileage tend to lose more value than those with low mileage. There are also other reasons for cars to lose value, like damage or wear and tear from use over time which might make them harder or less desirable to sell.

    Vehicle Condition

    Car Accidents, Paint Condition, and Interior Wear All Play a Role

    The condition of your car can be a big factor in the price you might pay for it. Take the 2010 Toyota Camry SE for example. The original MSRP for this model was $21,835, but on average, someone shopping today will be able to find a used 2010 Camry SE with fewer than 30,000 miles priced at around $10,700 to $12,200 per KBB values in 2022. The earlier models were more expensive than the later ones and had better gas mileage as well. This is just one example of how the condition can affect the value of your car. As long as you know what has happened to your car over its lifetime, you should be able to get an estimate of its current worth. If not, make sure you do some research about what typically happens with cars in your area when it comes to accidents and other types of damage that might affect their resale price.

    Automotive History

    CARFAX and Car Accident Reporting Plays a Role

    The history of your car can help determine how much your car is worth. For example, if you have a car that has been in an accident, it will likely be worth less than a car that has never been in an accident. If you have a car with a lot of miles on it, it will likely be worth less than a car with fewer miles. If you have a car that has been well-maintained with maintenance records, it will likely be worth more than a car that has not been well-maintained. The CARFAX report shows exactly that information.

    The CARFAX report is a great and accurate way to get detailed information about a car or truck. This report is based on the car or truck's vehicle identification number, or VIN number. Whenever a vehicle is significantly repaired or fixed under an insurance claim, the repair shop will enter information about the repair into a database. The database updates the history record. This information is then used to generate the CARFAX report. The report will show exactly when and what repairs have been made to the vehicle, as well as any other information about the car or truck like oil changes and standard maintenance check ups.

    Vehicle Mileage

    More Miles Equals Less Value

    One of the most important things to keep in mind when speculating on a car’s value is mileage. Driver's often travel around 12,000 miles a year. More miles means less value because it takes longer for the vehicle to depreciate and for a person to recoup the full cost of their car. If a vehicle has more than 60,000 miles, it is considered to have more mileage. Vehicles with 100,000 or more miles are "high-mileage" and might have a lower resale value. So, if you are considering selling your used car, make sure to consider how many miles it has before making your decision.

    Car Popularity with Consumers

    Some Cars Hold Their Value Better Than Others

    The popularity of your car is the most important factor in determining its market worth. Whether it’s because people are more willing to pay for it or because it’s less desirable, the popularity of a particular car will have an effect on its value. Popular cars often see their values increase over time, while unpopular cars see their values decrease.

    The following list shows the 20 most popular cars in America, according to Kelley Blue Book. They include the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Wrangler, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Jeep Cherokee. These values trend to be more sought after than others and have a higher resale transaction value when it comes to used car pricing.

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    Your Location

    Where You Live and Local Market Conditions Can Impact Values

    The value of your vehicle will depend on the condition, how many miles are on the odometer, and how close you live to a dealership. Your car's market worth is also influenced by where you live. If you live in a place where there's a lot of competition for used cars, then the values are going to be lower. However, if you live in an area with few cars on the road or no dealerships nearby, then the values might be higher. However, value can also be affected by other factors such as state regulations and resale taxes. There are some states that require tax stamps and sometimes require additional fees when selling used vehicles. This can result in lower sales prices when trying to sell your car locally.

    Learn Selling

    Learning how to sell your car will help you make a better decision when it comes to trading vehicles or swapping out cars.

    Test Market

    Test the market by getting offers or by listing your car for sale. You don't have to sell until you have an offer you want to accept.

    Next Car

    Do you need another car once your old one is sold? Having a vehicle in mind tp buy next helps you find your new ride.

    Actual Cash Value

    What Is Your Car Worth in Cash?

    There are a few different ways to find out what your car is worth in cash. This is also called actual cash value, or ACV. One way is to use an online service like the Kelley Blue Book's accurate vehicle pricing and valuation service. This website provides information about the price of used cars and can help you determine a fair market value for your vehicle. The next best option for finding out what your car's worth in cash is to find someone who has recently sold their car and then ask them how much they sold it for. If this isn't possible, you can also try using an online auction site like eBay or asking dealerships how much they would pay if you were to trade in your car.

    Trade-in Vehicle Value

    What Dealers Will Give You for Your Car

    If you have a car that’s in good shape and still has plenty of tread left on the tires, there are many dealers willing to give you a little money for your old ride. This is one of the easiest ways to get an idea of just how much your car is worth. When you go to a dealership, bring along your old car's title, registration paperwork, and insurance card. Most dealerships will be able to run a quick VIN check and give you an estimate of what they would pay for your car if they were in the market for a vehicle like it. It doesn't always turn out so well, though! Most dealerships will offer much less than what they might buy another brand-new one for on their lot.

    Private Party Value

    Selling Your Car to an Individual

    If you’re looking for a quick way to get some cash, you might want to consider selling your car privately. The best part about selling your car privately is you can control the price. You’ll also have the advantage of choosing exactly who buys it and what kind of car they get. It will also be harder for anyone looking to steal your vehicle because they won’t know who you are or where you live.

    Used Car Financing

    How Loan Terms Affect Your Car’s Value

    The first thing you should do when you’re trying to discover the value of your car is consider what your loan terms are. A personal loan, for example, is often less expensive than a loan secured through a dealership because the interest rates tend to be lower on personal loans. If you have a good credit score and can qualify for a personal loan, it might be worth it to look into this option before getting your vehicle appraised by an auto dealer. Another thing you might want to consider doing is looking into the type of loans that are available in your area.

    In some areas, you will have access to different types of loans from different lenders that might make your vehicle more valuable. For example, if you live in a state where there’s an abundance of lenders offering zero-down financing for cars like yours, then this could make it easier for you to get more money out of selling it. If the cost of appraising your car is too expensive or if you can’t get the necessary information about loan terms or other factors that impact its value, consider finding another car that has similar features and values as yours but is better in condition or mileage. At least then, you know what your options are and how much they cost.

    Putting the Value of Your Vehicle Together

    How to Find the Value

    As you can see, the answer isn't always simple as there are a number of factors that can affect your car's value. If you're looking to sell your used car, you might be wondering the best way to figure out how much it's worth. Take some time to evaluate your car and do some research. You can get a good idea of how much it's worth and make the most out of the sale.

    • Use Your Resources

      Don't go into selling your car blindly. Do your research and know how much your vehicle's value is worth on KBB or Edmunds. You can also look at the price of comparable vehicles in your area and price it a little bit lower than those cars to entice people to come out to see it.

    • Understanding the Price

      It's important that you don't price your vehicle too high or low when trying to sell it. You need to find out how much similar vehicles are going for in order to properly judge its value. Look online at different websites like KBB or Edmunds and find out what other people are selling their cars for before making a decision about how much yours is worth.

    • Work Up the Price

      Work up the price by cleaning your car and showcasing the value. Get a CARFAX report online to show buyers your vehicle hasn't had any maintenance trouble and is free of problems. If you are selling your car yourself as a private sale, don't be afraid to haggle with people who want to buy your car. If you are selling to a dealership and they offer you less money than what you think the car is worth, you can always get a second offer through Carvana or another vehicle reseller. This will help you get the best offer for your car possible.

    • Prep for the Sale

      When you're ready to sell your car privately, make sure that there is room in your driveway or near your residence for potential buyers to park their cars. Organize your bill of sale, vehicle title, and other documents. If the buyer decides that they would like to take a test drive, get a copy of their driver's license and make sure they are serious about buying it.

    • Make it Happen

      Follow through with the car sale when you have an offer you are satisfied with and when you are ready to complete the sale. If you are selling to a dealer, see if you can trade-in for another vehicle on their car lot. If you are selling to a private seller, make sure all of the parties sign the bill of sale and title. Also, remember to remove your license plates from the car since they are registered to you.

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    Used Car Sales FAQs

    Have questions about how to sell your used car? Get answers, and find information to make the sale happen.

    Kelley Blue Book values are often the most accurate when it comes to valuing trade-in and used vehicles. They are very similar to National Automotive Dealership Association, or NADA, values.

    CARFAX reports are usually very accurate. However, there can be cases when home or DIY repairs are not reported to the vehicle database. Also, make sure the vehicle's report is complete and no pages are left out.

    Yes, prepurchase inspections are recommended when buying a used car. These checks help to make sure the vehicle is free from major defects and is in good working condition. Many include a 60 point or more inspection, remove wheels, check the engine, and the undercarriage.