What Is My Car Worth?
No. In this post I won't be telling you how much your car is worth. But, I will be telling you what goes into determining your car's value, and, maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to figure it out yourself. Of course, the ideal situation is you throwing your hands in the air, saying "you do it" and giving us a call asking "What is my car worth?" and then selling it to us.
What Goes into Answering "What's My Car Worth"?
First, you need to assess the condition of your car… age, mileage, make, model, rarity. Next, take a look at the car's location. Then you need to look at what similar cars have sold for through reputable and reliable outlets, like auctions. Actually, not "like auctions", auctions. You need to look at auctions. Here's a bit of detail.
Car's Condition on Determining Its Value
First step: Know the year, make and model of your car. New cars are worth more than cars that are several years old. Conversely, really old cars are worth more than newer cars. And, there are certain years of certain cars that are worth more than others. Those tend to be fairly rare cars. A 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 is very valuable. A 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass, not-so-much.
Some brands hold their value better than others, as well. A Mercedes-Benz holds value better than a Cadillac; Toyota retains more than Kia, even though they are similarly equipped and priced cars.
It's a no-brainer, but the condition of a car is probably the second biggest factor in determining its value and to see how much cash you can get for your car. A rust-free, low-mileage car with no body damage, a great interior that runs and drives well will be worth significantly more than the same year, make and model car that is rusty, high-mileage that is completely torn-up, inside and out. Where does your car fall in this spectrum?
But wait, there's more. Your car may look great. It may run great. But, it may also have a bit of a checkered past. If your car has had an accident or majors repairs in the past, you can expect it to be worth up to 30-percent less than a car with a clean history. You can check pretty much every modern car in the country's history on either AutoCheck or CarFax. Read up more on that here.
Location. Location. Location.
Where you live and where the car is located have significant impacts on how much your car is worth. If you lived in Dallas, Texas, a Ford F-150 would probably have more value than if you lived in Manhattan, New York. Or, a convertible Chevrolet Corvette would get you more if you lived in Los Angeles, California than Anchorage, Alaska. So, definitely keep the needs of your specific geographic milieu when valuing your car.
Ok, So What are Similar Cars Going For?
Now that you've taken a good, hard look at your car, it's time to take a look at what similar cars have been selling for.
A lot of people look at the price of similar cars at dealerships and on auto classified sites like Cars.com, CarGurus.com and AutoTrader.com. Dealerships and whatnot only give you retail prices. That's all well and good if you're planning to sell your car yourself. But, if you plan on trading your car in or selling it outright to a business, you need to look at wholesale prices.
There are the Books of Various Colors… Black… Blue…
Kelly Blue Book is not the answer. Yes, they have "trade-in values," but they aren't generally very accurate. KBB is more of a starting point. In terms of chromatic literature, black is where it's at. By that, I mean the Black Book.
Remember when I said auctions are they key for legitimate pricing? This is where you can find the data. A car is only worth what someone will pay for it, and dealers buy a lot of cars from wholesale auctions. The prices that dealers are really paying for cars end up in the Black Book. So, the values in the Black Book for a given car are current, valid and fairly accurate. Keep in mind, these are wholesale prices only.
Black Book used to be an auto industry professional only book. In recent years, however, they've begun to offer limited access to the general public through online portals. New Black Books are released weekly. Inside each book (yeah, they're actually printed books, but they do have digital versions) are current values for pretty much every car out here.
These prices are broken down by condition (Extra Clean, Clean, Average and Rough) and have a little table of options and appropriate amount to add to your value (4x4, navigation, etc). Find your car, look at the table of options, find the price for the right condition and BOOM you have the current wholesale value for your car.
Then, if your car is damaged, not running, not driving or missing parts, you need to take off even more. Start at a reduction of 30-percent and go from there.
Just Get an Offer, Already.
In the end, the only way of determining how much your car is honestly worth is to get a few offers. Like I said, a car is only worth what someone will pay for it. Get some offers and sell your car to the highest one, just make sure the offer is legit and guaranteed.
It just so happens that offers from DamagedCars.com are legit and guaranteed. We also specialize in buying damaged cars and cars in less-than-perfect condition. Give a click to the Get and Offer button above or give us a shout at 1-877-877-7911. We'll be happy to give you the best offer we can. We know exactly what your car is worth.