How to Calculate the Value of Your Car
The car selling landscape has changed a lot in the past 10 to 15 years, thanks to the proliferation of the Internet and the easy access to tools that make selling faster and more convenient.
However, these technical conveniences to car selling come with a disadvantage. For one thing, with the ease at which car selling can be done nowadays, competition can be fierce. So how do you ensure that your car will sell, and fast? The answer lies in the critical first step of car selling: pricing it wisely.
One of the most common mistakes that private car sellers commit is miscalculating their car's resale value and overpricing their vehicle. Car buyers today are more aware of how much a car should cost, and if you’re asking too much for your car, then you are likely causing a lot of potential buyers to skip your ad, and your car gets to sit too long on the shelf. You may even end up not selling the car at all. To avoid this problem, Carmudi shows you how to calculate the value of your car.
Consider the market
You have to know the market inside out. You really don’t have to delve into the minute details, but just keep in mind some information that you have to know very well. These include the market demand for your car and the right time to sell it. Here are some basic selling guidelines to help you come up with the ideal number:
- Sedans, regardless of make and model, are constantly in demand.
- Sports cars and convertibles sell better during the warm seasons.
- Commercial trucks and vans tend to sell quickly, but you can’t really demand a high price for them.
- Collector cars can stay on the shelf for a long time, but the payoff can be worth it when you find the right buyer.
Determine your car’s fair market value
Since we don’t have a local version yet, you can use the appraisal tools on international websites such as Edmunds.com and Cars.com to get an idea of the value of your car.
Keep in mind that these tools help you determine your car’s transaction price, not its asking price. The asking price is the price that you will accept for your car. You can always go over or less than your vehicle’s transactional price if you so choose.
Be sure to consider any other factors that can have an impact on your car. For instance, if yours uses a gas engine and fuel prices are high, you may have to sell your car for lower than you want.
Study the competition
Search Carmudi’s used car listings to see how similar makes and models are priced in your area. Carmudi offers advanced search tools to find the closest matches to your vehicle.
Keep in mind that these are asking prices, and can be prone to overpricing. Look at all the pictures and establish the car’s mileage, condition, and location. Let them guide in you setting the right price for your vehicle.
Visit used car dealerships
If you live in an area where used car dealerships abound, then consider yourself lucky, because you have a vast pool of used car pricing resources well within your reach. Visit these locations and see if they have a vehicle of similar make and model.
Ask them how they justify the price of the cars they’re selling. Of course, don’t tell them that you own a similar car yourself and are planning to sell it. Just tell them that you’re interested in one of their vehicles and simply want to know the price that you’ll have to pay for it. You can then compare their prices afterward.
Factor in likely repair work
You’re not likely to sell your car at the price you want if it’s not in good working condition. For instance, if used pricing sources say your car costs P500,000 second hand, but the engine needs to be overhauled, the don’t expect to receive the full value.
You can sell the car as is, just be sure to reduce the price in accordance with the repairs necessary to get the car up and running. To know how much the repairs are going to cost, take the car to a repair shop and have it estimated.
Go with your gut
After you’ve gathered and considered all available pricing data, it’s time to consult your own intuition. If you believe there’s someone out there who will be extremely interested in your car, then go for the price you have in mind. On the other hand, if you think that will only net you a handful of interested parties, then reduce your price to what you think is right.
That said, it’s better to start with a high number and just keep reducing until you get callers. If you start low, you may sell the car fast, but you miss out on the car’s full potential value.
Be honest with your assessment
Since you will likely be going with your intuition with your final price, it’s important for you to render an honest evaluation of your car’s condition.
Is your vehicle in tiptop shape, or are you driving a relic that’s prone to breakdowns? Has the vehicle seen excessive use and mileage? Be honest with your evaluation and price your car accordingly.
What if your car is hard to price?
If you have a vintage/antique/classic car, pricing guides and comparisons may not be available to you. If this is the case, you’ll have to personally approach a professional car evaluator. Ask fellow car enthusiasts if they know one, or use Google to locate one near you.
You may also get lucky with Google by typing in your car’s pertinent details, such as year, make and model, and then adding the phrase ‘for sale’ in your search inquiry. You may find many local classified ad listings that will be helpful to your car pricing and valuation goals.