How do I calculate my car's selling price?

There comes a time in every car's life when you have to say goodbye. It's not always easy, and whether you spend two or twenty years with your vehicle, putting a price on it can be a tough call to make.

When figuring out a car's resale value, you have to be objective as much as possible. Emotions have to be put in check, and attachments must go out the window. So, what are the most logical ways to calculate your car's selling price?

car seller talking with buyer

Before you do anything else, you have to make sure you know what your car is worth in the open market. Nowadays, most second-hand cars are sold online, and you can easily find people selling vehicles of the same make and model as yours.

Take advantage of this by checking out multiple online marketplaces to find and compare prices. AutoDeal's Used Cars feature has hundreds of models for you to browse through. Checking prices from different sellers will give you a rough idea of your car's resale value.

At this stage, you should also figure out if you want to sell the car yourself or if you want to go through an agent or dealership. Each option has its pros and cons, so be aware of that. Doing it on your own can save you some money, but you may have to be more patient. Conversely, hiring an agent or selling through a used car dealer may be more convenient, but you may not get the best deal in the end.

One of the fundamental laws in economics, supply and demand is a concept that lends itself well in the used car market. While sedans may have ruled our roads a couple of decades ago, the local car industry appears to be shifting more towards crossovers, pickups, and SUVs in recent years.

We have to accept that buyers may be more willing to pay well for cars that are currently in demand. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, light commercial vehicles are always desired due to their usefulness in business and corporate settings. 

It should also be noted that European cars, sports cars, and luxury cars are among the fastest-depreciating vehicles you can buy. These cars can lose more than half of their value over time. That said, high-end car owners don't typically sell their vehicles as often as average folks do.

Now that you have some idea of your car's resale value, you're ready for the next step. Not all vehicles sell at the same price, even if they're the same make and model. You have to consider the car's physical state. Is it close to brand-new condition? Or has it been through an accident or two? These are tough questions that you will have to answer.

One of the best things you can do is approach a mechanic and have them evaluate your vehicle. Find out how your car is doing under the hood. Many cars will have minor issues, and you have to decide if they're worth getting fixed. Sometimes, a significant problem will pop up. If this happens, you could consider selling the car as is, but ultimately, only you can tell if that works for your situation.

As you may be aware, well-maintained cars command better prices than beat-up vehicles. It's your responsibility to gauge where your car falls on that spectrum. Today's buyers are savvier, and they'll quickly be able to tell if what you're selling is truly worth the asking price.

car seller handing over keys to buyer

It’s a bad idea to try to sell your car without knowing what it’s worth. So, do the proper research, compare your car with similar models, and consult a mechanic. If you’re confident and well-informed, you have a better chance of selling your car at a great price. 

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