Used Car Estimate: Setting Your Price

January 27, 2012

Selling a car starts with figuring out the used car estimate, or what you’ll charge for it. Before you make a mistake and ask too much or too little, you should do some research on the car’s value. Start by figuring out the most basic and most well-known price gauge: the Kelley Blue Book value. You can do that by going to Enter all the information about the particular make and model you are trying to sell. The computer will then generate three different price values. It is suggested that you start with the “Suggested Retail Price.”

Now it’s time to consider other factors that could change what the computer comes up with for retail value. Is the car really rare? Is it a classic or antique? If so, depending on the condition of course, your car could be worth quite a bit more than what the Blue Book value reflects. Also, certain makes and models can actually acquire value over the years rather than lose it.

The Toyota Tundra is just one example of a vehicle that owners often refuse to part with unless the buyer is willing to pay more than what the owner initially bought the truck for. These trucks are very hard to find for sale and this also drives up the value. According to, “Both Kelley Blue Book and found the Tundra to have the highest resale value in it’s class in their most recent studies.”

Some people insist on factoring the amount of money spent on the maintenance and repair of the car over the years, into its value. Don’t go too far in trying to justify thousands of dollars spent on run-of-the-mill repairs. The big ticket items, that make a huge difference to the car’s performance, are enough to talk about. Sometimes talking too much about repairs can even turn customers off, so keep it to a limit. If you replaced the original factory engine with a high performance one and did other extreme customizations, by all means factor these changes into the cost. If you just put a new set of wipers on or put a new stereo in, that’s no reason to add hundreds of dollars to the bill. Just be sensible.

Is your car famous? Did something memorable or historic happen that is associated with your vehicle?

You can definitely add sentimental value if your vehicle made some kind of impact on the world or was featured in a blockbuster movie. If your car drives around asking people, “Do you know who I am,” it could be worth thousands, maybe even a million more than the Blue Book value.

Finally, you have to be honest about your vehicle’s worst faults. It can be painful, but sometimes you have to take a little off the top for your car’s serious hang-ups. If it’s going to need to be fixed at some point, it’s better to let the buyer know ahead of time and prove you’re not trying to hide the problems the vehicle may have. If you feel there is something that is a little off and could use an upgrade or replacement, don’t hesitate to take a couple hundred dollars off the base price to appease a reluctant buyer. Most of the time these things present themselves on a test drive, so keep that in mind. Honesty is the best policy.

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