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How Do I Determine the Value of My Used Car?

The values of used cars have increased 15 percent compared to last year. If you are in the market to replace your used car or sell it outright, you will want to find out the value of the vehicle first.

Good online estimators are Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds. These sites prompt you for information about your vehicle.

KBB asks you to provide details about your car – its make, model, mileage, color. It determines its value based on national data analysis that considers car sale trends. KBB provides you with trade-in and private party values and will offer you instant cash based on your car’s value which you can compare with the trade-in value.

Edmunds uses similar prompts, but unlike KBB which bases car values on nationwide trends, Edmunds bases its estimated value on specific TMVs, or the average sales price for new or used vehicles in your specific location.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Guide uses data from car dealerships. Its car values are used by dealerships that are members of NADA. A vehicle’s value is based on its wholesale price, current market price, and the demand for cars in your area. While the website has car comparison tools and can even connect you with a dealership, unlike KBB and Edmunds, NADA does not provide an instant price or value.

You can also check used car marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay Motors and Autotrader. Searching for cars with the specific make and model, a similar model year and mileage as your vehicle will give you an idea of what your car is worth.

Remember that there is a difference between a vehicle’s book value and its market value. Market values reflect what people are willing to pay at the present time.

In addition, how you decide to sell your car can change its value. Trading-in your car is convenient, but can lower its value since the dealership will base their price on their operating costs and profit margins, and the cost to recondition your vehicle and get it ready for sale.

Another option is for you to sell your car privately and determine its value and price on your own. You will likely get more money than if you trade it in at a dealership, but it may be time consuming to find a buyer.

You have a lot of tools at your fingertips to get the best deal possible for your used car. Do your research and you will have more cash in your pocket.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned. CarouselPreowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

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