If you didn’t already know, there are so many easy ways to determine the proper value of your current vehicle. When opting to sell your used car to the third-party buyer, many will underestimate their used car’s value and unfortunately walk away with the short end of the stick. However, this can be avoided so that you never have to let this happen to you.
No matter what dealership you decide on, from the east coast to west, you need to understand value. This doesn’t just mean the value of the car, but the value of the dealership and your own abilities. It all begins with keeping an informed and confident mindset. Here are some handy ways to gain that superior value.
Three important pieces of advice to keep in mind when selling your car:
- Research the Kelley Blue Book value, and only accept comparable offers
- Don’t always sell to the first or most enthusiastic buyer
- Avoid the headache of a private sale altogether
Selling a used car can be a war, and the best weapon you can have in the arsenal is knowledge. Make sure to do your research even before coming to the dealership. When it comes to this battle, you can never be too prepared to fight for the value you are owned.
Adding value to your car:
- Newer year model
- Low mileage
- Know your car inside and out
- Do minor cosmetic fixes
There are plenty of things that add value to your used car, but year and mileage are not factors you can change, and having a mechanic fix the issues under the hood is only natural when selling. That is why doing minor touch-ups is your best option to gain some last minute value.
Here are some ways you personally can improve your car’s cosmetic value:
- Fresh wax
- Replace lights
- Have your vehicle detailed and cleaned inside and out
- Replace upholstery
- Finally, here are some important items you must know and have when selling your used car for the top value:
- The title
- Maintenance records.
- Bill of sale
- Release of Liability
- Warranty documents
- As-is documentation
Note, these items do vary by state, so check your own state’s regulations before going to a dealership.
What to Look for In a Used Car Buyer
- Lower Fees
- Superior Variety
- Transparent and Reliable
- Focused on Customer Individual Budget and Time
- Constant Availability Through Call, Email, and Online Chat
- Exclusive Offers, Discounts, and Rewards
- Cash Offers
You need a dealership that completely understands the value of not just your used car, but the value of your knowledge and loyalty. They should be the type of dealership that is empowered by your mutual satisfaction alone and will provide you anything you require to make not just the right choice but the smart choice. A dealer that you can tell is fearful of you equipping yourself with the knowledge to gain the best value is not the dealership you want to sell to.
Sources for Used Car Values
Kelly Blue Books
Kelly Blue Books is one of the most popular used car sources available on the internet today. Since 1926, they have done a lot of good for the automotive industry and are still extending their resources and reputation to unheard of levels. They provide reliability with their Best Buy award, and expert certified reviews. Their site is a one-stop resource that gives you the most accurate values. Just input your used cars year, model, and trim and they will provide you with the fairest purchase price.
At CARFAX you can gain very detail you could ever desire on your used vehicle. It completes highly with KBB in order to be the most comprehensive vehicle history database available in North America. Here are a few of the items you will find on a CARFAX report:
- Title information, including salvaged or junked titles
- Flood damage history
- Total loss accident history
- Odometer readings
- Lemon history
- Number of owners
- Accident indicators, such as airbag deployments
- State emissions inspection results
- Service records (taxi, rental, lease, etc.)
CARFAX is most certainly worth a look when you need to determine the optimal value of your pre-owned car.
NADA or National Appraisal Guides, Inc. has an easy to follow site that lists everything from power trucks to pony cars. They work together with millions of vehicle shoppers, dealers, financial institutions, credit unions, government agencies, insurance companies, marketers, auctions, manufacturers and rental agencies in order to get the most accurate and easily understood market value of vehicles. This is a site and company that can be depended on to offer you insight into value.
Another one of the many amazing resources available for gaining valuable information, Autotrader, has a long list of items it prides itself on:
- Large selection of vehicle inventory from dealers and private sellers
- A comprehensive selection of buying and selling tips
- Complete research and compare tools, including reviews, photos, videos, and more
- Vehicle pricing, including seller specials and dealer discounts
- Safety information and vehicle history reports
- Finance, insurance, and warranty programs
If you enjoy this site, it will practically do all the work for you.
Advertising and Selling Tips
These tips are mostly for self-sellers but can be useful in any case.
- Take clear pictures of car from every angle (good for records as well)
- Record everything
- Add price information, mileage, condition rating, modifications, VIN, and contact information
- Ask for the buyer’s information
- Clarify forms of payment
- Be wary of checks and money orders
- Don’t accept paying in installments
The difficulty of selling a car for a reasonable value is only comparable to buying a car at one. The information required could almost take a whole college class to master, yet you are expected to clearly understand all of it for just these moments. Luckily, there are a plethora of sources, guides, and well-informed people that are willing to aid you on this journey, and hopefully, this article can get you started. When it comes to used car values, it is as simple as knowing your worth every penny.