March 27, 2020

Car Value Estimates: A Guide


How much is your car worth? If you are like most car owners, you probably don’t know the true value of your car. Thankfully, it is easier than ever to get car value estimates that will help you determine how much your car is worth. The following guide will help you understand how to get an estimate and what can affect the estimate value of your vehicle.

What Can Impact a Car’s Value?

There are many different factors which can impact a car’s value. Some of the most important factors that could affect an estimate of your vehicle include:

  • Age of the car
  • Specific make and model
  • Any previous accident damage
  • Any previous restoration work (and the quality of the restoration/repair work)
  • Mileage
  • Aesthetics (color, window tints, etc.)
  • Features (and whether or not they were natural to the make/model or an addition)

Although these are not the only factors that can influence car value, they are the factors that the average car owner will come across when determining a car estimate or having an estimate performed professionally.

Types of Car Value Estimates

There are actually several different types of estimates that can determine the value of the car. The most common include:

  • Book/Web estimates: These are estimates that are not performed by a professional but are instead calculated based on general information from a book or slightly more detailed information provided using an online tool. These estimates are designed to help give you a general idea of your car’s value, but may not take into account specific details.
  • For instance, a book may suggest a value for a used car from a certain year, but it may not offer information about how mileage or features may specifically affect value. Or an online tool may only ask “Does your car have accident damage?” and not specify the time—since not all types of accident damage will impact value the same way, this means the estimate is not as specific as possible.
  • Dealership estimates: A dealership that wants to buy your used vehicle or that offers the service as a separate add-on may offer an estimate of their own. This estimate will be based on a specific list of factors and is a good way to establish a paper trail of professional value estimates for your car.
  • Third party estimates: If you don’t want to get an estimate from a dealer, you can also contact companies who perform car value estimates on their own. These estimates, like those from a dealership, will be based on specific factors.

Why You Need an Estimate

There are many reasons why you will need a car value estimate. Car value estimates can be used before purchasing certain types of insurance; they can be used during negotiations for selling a used car; and they can be useful if you plan on selling the car at any future date.

Remember to keep the above important information in mind when you are looking to get your car’s value estimated.

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