How To Set The Right Price For Your Used Car

April 18th, 2016 by

For the seller of a used vehicle, the process of getting your car out there and into the sights of some interested buyers may seem deceptively easy. Maybe you do a little clean-up of the vehicle itself, put up some flyers, and even post a few ads online. Within anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, you should be getting some feedback from interested buyers (depending on the condition of your car) and may be looking to start negotiating a price – and this is where things can start to fall apart. As great as your used car may be, there’s a distinct price range for every vehicle; shoot too high and you might scare off potential buyers, but shoot too low and you might just lose out on the full value of your car. Luckily, there’s more than one easy way to figure out exactly what you should be charging for your vehicle, and they all involve an appraisal.

Having your car’s value appraised can be as in-depth and detailed a process as you’d like, and in many cases, this can help you determine just the right price for your used vehicle considering its history, its condition, and in which market you should try to sell it. While several options exist for securing a definite figure, some are notably easier and less invested than others – meaning you’ve got options when it comes to figuring out the value of your used car.

As with most things nowadays, many used car sellers are turning to the internet for quick car appraisals with reasonable authority. These include sites like Kelley Blue Book ( or Edmunds (, which compile ratings and reviews of thousands of vehicles and can determine your car’s value based on its specifics, its mileage, and its age, among other factors. While this isn’t the most personalized or professional route to go, it’s perfectly acceptable for the majority of sellers and can be an excellent resource for fair pricing for both buyers and sellers alike.

If instead, you’re looking for an appraisal with a little more professional authority to it, the next best option is to have your vehicle appraised by a licensed mechanic or dealer, preferably one with detailed knowledge about your particular brand. These experts have their fingers on the pulse of the market and on current pricing and, based on their expertise, can often help determine the best price for your vehicle. Plus, since they have virtually no stake in the end cost paid for the vehicle, you can be fairly secure that the price they give you is an accurate representation of your vehicle’s worth. Many will even provide a written summary of the appraisal for use later on down the road, which can be a huge help to a seller.

Finally, for those looking to settle on a price with almost no doubt whatsoever, there’s simply no better or more professional and trusted option than an official appraiser. These experts operate both independently and, often, in businesses like estate sales and auction houses – mainly in capacities where finding the right price is an imperative rather than a nice goal. These are the professionals that can definitively tell you your vehicle’s value and even give you an official written appraisal for more authenticity at the time of sale.

Not every method of appraisal is right for every driver, and for many the simplest option will suit just fine. Whatever the case may be, it’s always a good idea to have an idea of the value of your used car, and having that number supported in some official capacity only strengthens your case and secures a better sale for you down the road. So next time you go to sell a used car, consider an appraisal – you might just save yourself a whole lot of money.

Posted in sell my car