When purchasing a used car, extra care has to be taken not only for searching for a good deal, but also you should be able to spot out a bad one. In the process of pricing a used car, there are several factors that always come in to play which range from the make and model of the car to the mileage and vehicle’s condition.
This article would guide you as a consumer to learn more on how you can determine the value of a used car. Below are the outlined steps to take in to consideration.
Firstly, start your search with the book. (Nada Blue Book or Kelley Blue Book)
The # 1 thing you want to do is to first determine the value of a used car you have in mind. Nada Guide and Kelley Blue Book are where you want to go. You can find estimate values for vehicles based on their make, model, year, mileage, condition, geographical region of scale and how they are being sold. For instance, the trade in value for a vehicle is found to be much less than when the car was being sold privately.
These two guide, nada guides and Kelley blue book would not only provide you the data for the car values you are researching about, they also give you more insight in to the general value of the vehicle, since businesses and individual get their information from this guides, you will also be benefiting the same way they do.
Secondly, Do Yourself a Favor by Pricing Other Comparable Vehicles
It is quite advisable before completing a particular used car sale to start pricing out other similar vehicles in your area. Assuming, you are about to purchase a used Mazda 2006 and you are skeptical how the price measures up. Try to search through your area’s classified ads, both online and offline for other Mazda 2006 with similar mileage listings.
Doing this would definitely make you understand what other availabilities are in the markets and would surely guide you in making a clearer judgment of how a reasonable price and the actual value of your used car
Thirdly, You Should Have the Car Inspected.
Except it has come with the manufacturer’s certifications, it is strongly advisable to have any used car you plan to buy thoroughly inspected by a certified and third part mechanic. The independent and professional inspection of the vehicle would also make you understand clearly the actual worth of the car. This step is very important as a good mechanic would easily spot out a flaw or prior damage that has been recently repaired or simply hidden which you might not being able to notice.
You could do it in such a way that you request the vehicle to be brought to a nearby mechanic or you bring one with you on the day of inspection.
Fourthly, You Should Know That The Higher the Mileage, the Older the Car and the Lower the Value
Normally, when the mileage of a car is high and has been for many years, such is expected to be very cheap. Only if you are dealing with a vintage collections then age should not be a matter of importance to you in determining the value of such car, otherwise age of the car should be considered carefully.
Have it in mind that every car has a timing belt that should be changed about every 100,000 miles it has been driven. In case where the car you are about to purchase has been drive at or above that total distance, remember to ask whether the belt has been changed since the price to purchase this belt fall around $500-$1000 which might be an additional expenses on you if you never asked.
Lastly, You Should Examine the Condition of the Car
While it is quite easy to clean up a car or have it detailed, you should understand clearly that how a car is well maintained both inside and outside should assist you in making a good valuation of the vehicle. Make sure you watch out for stains, odors, leaking fluid, burn marks, dirty fluids and other stuff that might not have been properly take care of.
How You Can Use NADA Guides to Assess a Car’s Value
You should go directly to Nada.com website. Please note that NADA.com has three main branches of the NADA i.e. “Consumer, Business and Dealer’s Association”. Do read information under the links to each of the three branches carefully and know more information about them.
Go to the “Consumer” link to get basic information about car values. Only in the consumer section of the Nada site you would be able to see new and used cars for sale alongside with the appraisals on any vehicle you own.
You should download the e-valuator software from the NADA Business section. The e-valuator gives you much more in depth online guide to car values. Take note that you would be required to subscribe to NADA online before you can download the e-valuator software.
Make use of the “CAR PRICES” links in the NADA consumer section of the website to look for cars that are similar to yours. A careful examination of these prices would surely give you a good clue in knowing the right value for your car or the one you intend to purchase.
You would want to buy the NADA price guide from the “Buy a Price Guide” link. This guide is a subscription service that gives updates on car prices once a month for the length of your subscription time.
Tips & Warnings to Take Note
* Make sure you subscribe to NADA online from the “Business” link on the main NADA website. The subscription not only gives you the access to information that would help you make a good assessment of your car’s value or the car you intend to purchase, but also gives you a great deal of information to “dealer only” details on prices and availability of cars, trucks and even farm equipment.
* Be warned that even though the information from NADA guides are great when you want to access your car’s value, there are still some conditions that the standard guide might not accurately cover. For example, if you customized your car, your car value would be higher. It is best advisable to use the NADA guides to give you a rough estimate but you should always contact a trained appraiser for an accurate appraisal value.