How to Calculate Your Used Car Value

March 1, 2013

The two main websites for used car valuation have user friendly tools for determining a particular used car value.

Calculating Used Car Value

Buyers and sellers alike have several tools to help determine the used car value of a vehicle they plan to buy or sell.

Calculate how much a car is worth here >>

Kelley Blue Book Online
The Kelley Blue Book is the recognized leader in determining used car values. The online site is very easy to use.

  • Go to the Kelley website.
  • Input the requested data: Year, Make and Model
  • Enter your zip code
  • Select which type of value you're looking for: Trade, Retail, Private Party
  • Select the correct trim
  • Select the correct transmission, enter the mileage and specify which options it has
  • Select the vehicle's condition
  • View the selected value

Edmunds is also another very highly recognized name in the auto valuation field. Many people use them every day to determine what their used car values are. The used car pricing that Edmunds gives users is what they call "True Market Value".

  • Go to the Edmunds website
  • Select the correct make of your car
  • Select the correct year
  • Select the correct model
  • Select the option package: SX,LX,DX, etc.
  • Select buy or sell, color, mileage, special options and overall condition
  • Towards the bottom, click "Get pricing report"
  • View results of your search

Check Local Dealerships
Local dealerships will tell you what they would give you as a trade-in value for your car if you were to buy a car from them. You won't be able to find out what your car is worth in a private party sale this way, but you can figure about $1000 to $1200 more than the trade in value.

Check the Papers
Your local newspaper's classified section can help to determine used car value price. Look for cars similar to your in the automotive classified where all the dealer ads are. Then go through the private party ads. Once you have a number of examples, take an average and you will have a pretty good idea of what your car is worth.