Whether you're hoping to sell your current car, trade it in, purchase a used car, or some combination of the above, you're probably wondering, "How much is my car worth?" Luckily, these days we have a wealth of online financial resources at our fingertips. As you're probably aware, a new car's value plummets as soon as you drive it off the lot. Your car's current value will be based on its age, its mileage, its make, its model, and more. Read on to learn the various factors involved and for helpful resources to help you determine what your car is worth.
The Factors Involved
First, let's look at the factors involved in determining the value of a used car. After all, if you're unhappy with the results of this quest (or pleasantly surprised), you may want to know what's to blame. How do we know how much buyers are willing to pay for a particular vehicle? Who's to say what's valuable and what's worthless? When it comes to cars, these are the factors that will likely influence your car's worth:
• Make, Model, & Age: These are perhaps the most obvious factors. Don't be surprised if the first question you get when investigating your car's value is, "Make, model, and year?" Some brands are simply more valuable than others.
• Mileage: The more miles the car has been driven, the greater its wear and tear will likely be. Although this isn't always the case, buyers will undoubtedly look at your car's mileage with a discerning eye. The more it has traveled, the less desirable it will be.
• Condition: Any bumps, dents, and scratches will be taken into consideration, so treat your car with care! This includes aesthetic flaws as well as mechanical issues.
• Aesthetics: Your choices regarding paint color, upholstery fabric, and other aesthetic features will certainly affect the car's resale value. Stick with classic colors (black, silver, red, white, etc.) for best results.
• Options & Features: These days, cars are full of bells and whistles. Features like all-wheel drive and a diesel engine can boost a car's value in certain markets.
• Location: Although mid-size sedans sell well everywhere, some cars work better in certain areas. For example, convertibles and sports cars sell well in warmer climates, while SUVs and trucks with four-wheel drive are coveted in snowy locales.
Of course, sometimes these factors can influence the value of a car in a different way. For example, although old age hurts the value of most vehicles, it could benefit a beautiful vintage car.
Ready to figure out what your car is worth? We recommend that you take advantage of the two following resources. Both are reputable, respected, and conveniently available online:
We also encourage you to check out local used-car dealerships in your area to see the price at which your car is currently selling to real buyers. You might be surprised!