If you’re thinking about selling your car, you may need some help determining how much to sell it for. There are a few smart questions to ask when considering the best price: How long have you had it? What is the make and model? How many miles are on it? In addition, there are free tools that can help you determine a competitive sale price.
How much is my car worth?
Unfortunately, the priceless times you’ve had with your car don’t equate to dollar signs. Determining your car’s value is best approached by a combination of market research, an objective personal evaluation and how you plan on selling.
How to find the value of my car
Your car’s worth isn’t the same as the day you bought it. There are online tools you can use to estimate your car’s value. Chase provides their customers with an online resource where you can upload your car details and see the estimated value and maintenance information. When conducting your research, the following five items are the main factors in estimating your car's value:
Your car age is the number one indicator in determining value. Except for vintage vehicles or other high value collectible cars, the older your car gets, the more its value depreciates.
2. Make and model
The make and model of a car will help determine the resale value, as well. Researching your make and model will allow you to compare different resale values online.
Mileage is the total number of miles driven on a car during its lifetime according to its odometer. The more you drive, the more the wear and tear. What does that mean? A lower sale price.
4. Car color and features
Certain car colors are more popular than others, and therefore boost a car's value. For example, black, white and silver cars are usually more expensive than red or yellow because there’s more demand for certain neutral colors. Car features play a role in pricing, too. If you kept your car at a base level trim, that means you didn’t add anything onto the basic build. If you get a higher trim, say one with heated seats or a special leather interior, it may sell for more.
5. Condition of the vehicle
The final factor that will help estimate your car value is the condition of your vehicle. If you were a good car owner, that means your vehicle may be in near mint condition with minimal scratches, a pristine interior and a smooth-running engine, indicating a car in good condition. If your car has lived in the fast lane, its age may show, and the value may unfortunately suffer.
Three ways to sell your car
A private party sale means you’ve found an individual who is willing to purchase your car for their personal use. It’s possible to get the most money out of a private sale because, unlike selling your car to a dealer, a private buyer isn’t usually looking to turn a profit. This path to sale will likely take the most amount of effort because every step of the sale, from advertising to negotiating and transferring the title, is on you.
Dealership or third-party website
Many dealerships or online car-buyers purchase, refurbish and resell vehicles. This channel may be easier to navigate than a private sale, but you’ll likely compromise on the sale price. A dealer or third party’s maximum purchase price will be lower since their goal is to turn a profit from the eventual resale of your car.
Another option is to trade in your current vehicle for a new one. If you’re looking to purchase or lease a new car, this is a good option. You can bring your car to a dealership and offer to trade it in for a new car. You’ll still have to cover the difference between your used car and your new car, but it is a one-stop shop to selling an old car and applying the money from the sale directly to your new one.
In the end, how much you should sell your car for depends on an array of factors including its age, make and model, condition, mileage and trim. Comparing your car with others like it will help you arrive at a competitive price, ensuring you to get the most out of the sale so you don’t leave money on the table.