What’s My Car Worth?
“What’s my car worth?” is one of the most common questions we get. There are plenty of reasons why you might need to value your trade. Maybe you want to sell and need to know the trade-in value, or perhaps you’re looking to refinance your auto loan. Here are the key factors.
How Much is My Car Worth?
Online tools can provide some idea of your car’s worth, but they’re only ever an estimate. In general, here are the factors that come into play.
- Condition: The most obvious factor is the car’s condition. Any item of damage can reduce the value by hundreds of dollars, especially if it’s a luxury model. Don’t just think about the exterior — buyers will also want to look under the hood and check out the cabin.
- Mileage: Along with condition, mileage is a primary factor in car value. As mileage increases, so does wear and tear, so this number is often the first thing people look at.
- Service History: Potential buyers will value a car more highly if you can show it has been regularly checked by professionals.
- Color: This might sound like a minor concern, but certain colors are more popular with certain models. If you’re struggling to sell, a simple respray can often do wonders.
- Brand: Some brands enjoy stronger name recognition and reputations for long-term reliability. Honda and Toyota, for example, tend to command strong resale values.
- Modifications: Buyers usually prefer unmodified cars, so yours might lose value if you made a replacement using a performance part.
Different Kinds of Used Car Valuation
Before moving forward, understand that used car values will differ based on the type of value you’re looking at:
- Retail Value: Go to a dealership in Minnetonka, Brooklyn Park, or Maple Grove and you might find used cars listed under their retail value. This will be higher than the value you get since dealerships have other costs to cover.
- Trade-In Value: The value you can expect from a dealer if you sell to them instead of doing it yourself.
- Private Party Value: Sell your car to another private individual and you’ll be getting the private party value — but you’ll have to spend a lot of extra time to make it happen.