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Knowing My Car’s Value

If you are ready to sell or trade-in your vehicle, one of the first questions to ask is, “How much is my car worth?”

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Perhaps more than any other form of car value, used car prices can be confusing for the seller and hard to figure out. You have to think about the options, the condition, the mileage and your local market. Price your vehicle too high, and it may take longer to sell than you were planning. Price it too low, and you may leave hundreds or thousands of dollars on the table.

Not to worry. With a little bit of homework and due diligence, KBB.ca can provide used car sellers with the knowledge and expertise to give you the information to price your used vehicle with confidence.

 

Where to Start

The first step in determining the value of your used vehicle is to research the range of asking prices for cars like yours with KBB.ca's Kelley Blue Book® Cars for Sale section or other local marketplaces. Doing this will give you a sense of what other people are asking for their vehicles. Search for cars in your area with not just the same make/model/style, but similar mileage and options.

While this first step will provide a range of asking prices, you can gain even more confidence and insight by using the Kelley Blue Book® Used Car Value online tool. It accurately determines the value of your car, whether you plan on trading in your vehicle or selling privately.

To determine your car's Used Car Value, you will need to know your vehicle's year, make, model, and mileage. To get an even more exact value of your car, you'll also need to know the colour, the standard and optional equipment that is on your vehicle, engine, transmission, drivetrain, etc. Note that it is essential to get the style and options right. Major features, such as the car's transmission, engine type and drivetrain can have a big impact on the value of your car.

The same goes for options such as heated or cooled leather seats, navigation, sunroof or automatic climate control. Without mentioning them, you may be under- or overvaluing your car. To find this level of detailed information, the best place to look is your car’s original bill of sale or leasing agreement or search older reviews of your car online.

 

Know the Condition of Your Vehicle

One of the critical steps in determining the Kelley Blue Book® Used Car Value for your car is knowing your vehicle's true condition. Used car owners tend to overestimate the value of their vehicle, which can lead to unrealistic expectations. If you ultimately set your asking price too high, you'll probably have more trouble selling it. If your vehicle is still under the original factory warranty, and you have kept up the scheduled maintenance, there should be no major defects or problems with your vehicle. But if you are trying to sell an older car or one where you are not the original owner, consider going to your mechanic for an assessment. They can identify problems with the engine, plus things you may overlook, like a broken taillight. This will help you in finding the true condition of your car, and ultimately what a fair price should be before you put it up for sale.

If you've spent money improving your car's condition, your car's value has probably changed as well. Check your Used Car Value the week you're ready to sell, as this will help you price your vehicle appropriately. Kelley Blue Book® takes much of the speculation out of determining a car's value. Our experts factor in everything from current economic conditions to industry developments to the location of the vehicle.

Whether you plan on trading in your vehicle at the dealership or selling privately is also a consideration. Car values depend on how you get rid of your car. The Kelley Blue Book® Private Party Value is usually more than the Trade-in Value because if you sell it yourself, you’re the one spending the money, time and effort. Trading in at the dealer is convenient, but you get a little less.

 

Now You Are ready to Set the Asking Price for Your Car

Knowing the value of your used vehicle, and getting a real value for your car — whether selling the car privately, trading it in on a new vehicle, or even keeping it for a while longer — is a valuable exercise to go through that can save you time and money. By using KBB.ca online resources such as our Kelley Blue Book® Cars for Sale and Kelley Blue Book® Used Car Value tools, you'll have a more accurate assessment of your car's real value, not a number based on guesswork and high hopes.

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