I had been contemplating on whether to sell my car, to do a trade in or not to sell it at all. The reason for my dilemma was the fact that I knew I had to get a new car but letting go of my old car was proving to be very difficult. After giving it a thought for some time, I decided to sell it and buy a new one rather than owning two cars which are of course very expensive to maintain.

used car valuation

Making the decision to sell my car might have been hard but it is nothing compared to the shock that I got when the autotrader told me how much they were willing to pay for it. I must admit that I had a lot of expectations since my car was in great shape (or I assumed so), and it was also not very old. The price that I got from the used car valuation calculator was not even close to what I expected. It is this experience that made me discover five important things about used car valuation that every person should know.

  1. Understand used car evaluation before going for the valuation

If you intend to sell your used car, then the terms evaluation and valuation are going to be very common. More often than not most people will take them to mean the same thing in this context but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Although they lead to the same thing that is price determination for your used vehicle, they are quite different.

Used car evaluation takes place before the car is valued, and it is the key determinant of the price that you get for the car. The assessment entails examining the condition of the car starting with the engine, the interior, and the body. It is only after the evaluation that the car can be valued.

  1. The first offer you get is almost never the best

It is widely known that when you are selling anything you should shop around for the best deal but most people tend to ignore this. Personally I would have been one of these people were it not for the fact that I had a particular price in mind which I thought my car would fetch.

Auto dealers will often give you what might look like a good deal after the valuation, but this is almost never the best price that you can fetch from the car. If a dealer is willing to pay five thousand dollars then if you are shrewd enough you can probably sell it for as high as six thousand dollars. Taking the time to listen to different offer will fetch you a very decent price.

  1. The biggest mistake you can make is failing to do your own car valuation

There are many companies out there that offer valuation services for a fee, and you should take advantage of them. On the surface, it might look like an additional cost but it will benefit you in more ways than one.

First, you will be able to approach the whole situation from an informed point of view as you will have an accurate estimate of how much your car is worth. Secondly, it will help you during the bargaining and negotiations stage. A dealer will not be able to take advantage of you if you know how much your car is worth and you will be able to determine the least amount of money you can settle for.

  1. Make all the necessary repairs before the valuation

If the dealer notices that your car has a minor mechanical problem, and he still wants to buy it, then most will deduct the cost from their offer. In most cases, this is typically higher than what you would have spent on the repair. To avoid this make sure that your car is in perfect shape by taking it for servicing and maintenance before the valuation.

Used car valuation takes into account even subtle issues, and so nothing is too small to affect the price that you get for your car.

  1. Make use of car books

There are many books used in the industry to act as price guides for used cars. Some of these books include the Kelley Blue Book, NADA Used Car Guide, and Black Book from National Auto Research. These books record the average prices that different cars are fetching across the country, and so they can offer you tons of information not only about the valuation but also trends in the used car market.

All in all, it comes down to one thing which is Information. The more informed you are, the better off you are likely to be after your used car valuation. I eventually got what I considered a good deal for my car but if I knew the five things above beforehand the deal would have been probably better.