Why Do Online Car Quote Services Ask for My Zip Code?

January 27, 2012

Some drivers may wonder why they have to enter their zip code in an online site offering a car quote for shoppers who want to find a new set of wheels. The answer has to do with how cars are valued as a specific kind of asset.

Local Value

Vehicles are often valued partially according to their location. That's partly because auto value to local buyers depends on local factors like a cost of living index. Conditions such as climate in different parts of the country have an influence over auto value. States with less harsh weather leave older cars less ravaged by the elements, for example. That's why a car value calculation often includes a zip code.

Dealer Cost

Another reason for using zip codes to pinpoint auto location in a car quote is that every dealership has its own cost and its own needs for protecting a profit margin. A dealer's lot with higher overhead in one neighborhood may sell cars at higher prices than one in the next town. A car value site uses quotes from local dealers to present a kind of generic quote value to Web users. So zip codes come in handy to help run the calculations for estimating values locals can expect.

Think about the above when using an online car quote to learn about the value of your desired vehicle. Use local classified ads to help present what values buyers can realistically expect in your local market. With a little local research, you will know what a certain model can bring on the market and profit from well-negotiated sales.

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