Sunday, April 29, 2012

How Much Is My Car Worth? (Evaluating Your Estimate)

ByChris Sparks

Many online companies provide a car valuation service that helps both the car expert and the novice determine a car's value. Whether buying or selling a used car, consumers can tap into this resource to judge the value of an automobile before any sales are finalized. Even if you only need the value for an insurance record, these sites provide an easy way to assess your car's value. These sites go beyond a generalized value of a certain make and model. The service looks at your specific car to determine the most accurate value available. Locate one of these services by typing how much is my car worth in a search engine. Choose a reliable site that provides unbiased values from appropriate resources and industry experts. Use more than one site if you need a second opinion, and average the results.

Most sites ask for minimal information, such as the UK registration number, mileage, and the car's condition. Input the information via the online form, text message, or email, depending on the site's setup, and receive a report on your car's value within minutes. Some even offer this service for free or for a nominal fee. What you receive is usually a series of numbers or even a full-blown value report that may still leave you wondering what your car is actually worth. With a little information, you can easily interpret the numbers you've received.

First, look at the type of prices given and determine which applies to your situation. A dealer price will tell you what a certified auto dealer might charge for your vehicle. This is probably only useful if you are shopping for the car in question, and it's usually the highest of the prices listed. A private price is often provided in these services as well. This is the value of the car if sold between two private individuals without a retailer involved. Another price you might see is the part exchange price or a trade price. This is the car's value when traded in to a dealer in exchange for another car on the lot. This number is often less than a private party value. Finally, the report may list the car's retail value. This is the value of the car when sold new from a licensed retail facility.

After selecting the proper base price, you may need to adjust the number based on several factors the service may not have considered. Think about added features, such as low mileage or any after-market products you have purchased. To see a standard feature set for your car, look at websites for a list of standard industry items. Add or subtract from the car's estimate accordingly. Also take into account the car's condition and its overall physical appearance. A clean car with a well-kept interior can raise its value in the eyes of a buyer. Also look for any mechanical or surface level damage. Does the car run well? Does everything function properly?

Consider also the local market for your car, if your goal is a local private party sale. Check consumer reports and local car listings to determine the value of similar cars in your area. Some cars are designed for specific climate types and thus sell better in those areas. The economy and fuel costs also factor in to your car's value. When fuel costs soar high, a fuel-efficient or hybrid car will be worth far more than a standard vehicle.

To take the valuation a step further, obtain an actual offer from the valuation service, if it's offered. Some websites will offer a preliminary value and then, after gathering more information, submit a formal offer to purchase your car. Because this step requires more accurate, car-specific details, it will provide the most accurate price for your car. Often the sites will ask for specifics on its condition, the exact mileage, and any history to take into consideration. The information is reviewed by industry experts and you are presented with a definite value for your car, and an offer to purchase it. This number is only a quote, with no obligation attached.

Now that you have a general idea of your car's value, you can attempt to sell it at that price. Keep in mind that pricing it too high may keep you from making the sale. List it in an online auction, taking into consideration the competition you face among similar cars for sale and price it accordingly. Posting newspaper or online ads may also bring you private party buyers. You can also take the car price estimate to a local dealership for a car exchange, using the information gathered in your negotiations. For those still uncertain about reading their car's value, visit a help link on a valuation website to seek further guidance.

Chris works with online valuation sites and can provide you with how to get an answer to the question: How much is my car worth? click the link for more information.

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