Home » Autos and Cars

How to Determine the Value of a Used Car

Jul 11, 2008
Purchasing a used car means you have to be ready to not only hunt down a good deal, but also spot a bad one. When pricing a used car, a variety of factors come into consideration from the make and model to the mileage and condition of the vehicle.

To protect yourself as a consumer, keep reading to learn how to determine the value of a used car.

1. Start with the Book

The first place you should look to determine the value of a used car is either the Kelley Blue Book or the NADA Guide. Both of these websites offer estimated values for vehicles based on their make, model, year, mileage, condition, geographical region of sale and how they're being sold. For example, the trade-in vehicle for a car is almost always much less than if the car were sold privately.

While the Blue Book and the NADA Guide are by no means indicators carved in stone, they can offer insight into the general value of the vehicle. And since many individuals and businesses lean on the information in these guides, you will benefit from doing the same.

2. Price Other Comparable Vehicles

Before you jump on a particular sale, price out other similar vehicles in your area. Let's say you're purchasing a used 2004 Toyota Camry, but you're not sure how the price measures up. Try searching through your area's classified ads, either online or offline, for other 2004 Toyota Camry's with similar mileage listings.

By understanding what else is available in the market, you'll have a clearer idea about a reasonable price and the actual value of your used car.

3. Have the Car Inspected

Unless it is certified by the manufacturer, you should have any used car you plan to purchase inspected by a certified, third-party mechanic. His independent assessment of the vehicle can help you obtain a clearer picture of the car's actual worth. Additionally, a good mechanic may also spot flaws or prior damage that has been repaired or simply hidden and which a car novice might otherwise miss.

You can either request the vehicle be brought to a nearby mechanic for assessment before you purchase it or even bring a mechanic with you.

4. The Higher the Mileage, the Older the Car and the Lower the Value

Typically a car with higher mileage and more years under its belt is going to be cheaper. Unless you're dealing with a vintage collectible, age is never going to be a plus when determining the value of a car.

Many cars also have a timing belt or chain that should be replaced about every 100,000 miles. If the car you are considering is at or above that total distance, be sure to ask whether the belt has indeed been replaced since the out-of-pocket expense that would fall on you to do so may range from an additional $500-1000.

5. Examine the Condition of the Car

While it's fairly easy to clean up a car or have it detailed, how well the car has been maintained, both inside and out, should have some impact on your valuation of the vehicle. Keep your eyes out for stains, odors, burn marks, leaking fluids, dirty fluids, and other indicators that the vehicle may not have received adequate care.
About the Author
For helpful information on car and truck recommendations, please visit http://www.cartrucktips.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning automotive choices and needs, such as the best new car prices , LED automotive lights , the Honda fuel cell car , and many more!
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 163
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources