Properly evaluating your car is vital when it comes time to sell your car. As such, there are a few different ways how one can do this properly. You can either go online and look for car evaluation sites that are known for high traffic and dependability.
You can also take your car to a dealership and ask for an appraisal or you can also opt to go through the trade-in route. However, the best way how one can determine a car’s value is to do it yourself. To do this properly, you need to scout the internet for similar cars with similar equipment and mileage and try to make a pattern.
If you want someone else to evaluate your car, you need to be aware of the fact that a dealer is likely going to evaluate your car considering their potential profit margin. This means that you are likely going to get a lower evaluation at a dealership.
Either way, the more data you gather, the easier it gets to properly evaluate your car. You can also ask your friends to help you out to investigate because someone you trust and someone who is not willing to buy the car from you is likely going to evaluate your car more correctly.
Online car value evaluation sites – A reference point
There are countless online car evaluation sites and choosing the right one is not exactly an easy task. However, you can use this to your advantage by simply using all of them when it comes to evaluating your car.
Edmunds, Consumer reports, Whatcar, Autovisual, Autotrader, Confused are all popular sites that offer free car evaluation tools. These often require you to fill out specific data about the car such as the registration plate, the mileage, and many other aspects which should help determine the value as correctly as possible.
Sites such as these should only serve as a point of reference if you want to evaluate your car properly. This means that sites as these are never 100% simply because they can’t take into account all the specifics of your car such as specific scratches, slight decolorations, or damaged trim and so.
Sometimes even the owner is not aware that their car has been repainted which means that you can never trust these sites to give you the best evaluation.
Dealerships, car traders, and professional evaluators – More in-depth evaluation
Many dealerships out there offer specific services which include free of charge or relatively cheap car evaluation services. This means that a dealership should approach your car from a neutral standpoint to properly evaluate the car, but this is rarely the case.
Even though hardly anyone else out there is capable of evaluating your car as well as a dealer, it’s crucial to realize that they often evaluate cars with a specific profit margin in mind. This means that they are likely to evaluate your car less than what it is worth, especially if they are interested in buying the car from you.
However, companies such as CarMax offer more in-depth evaluation, but you are well aware that they are readily available to pay you whatever the value they offer you. Even so, these evaluations are not something to look for if you want to sell your car yourself.
Evaluating the car yourself – The correct way
If you want the highest level of confidence that no one is trying to undervalue your car, the best thing you can do is to evaluate it yourself. This means that you will have to gather lots of information from various sources if you want to do this correctly.
You first need to make sure you are well aware of what your car offers. This means that you should learn what part of your car is standard and what comes as additional equipment. By doing so, you will be able to distill the “base” value of your car without any options which should make the process a lot easier.
Furthermore, you should locate all the damages on your car and try to find how much do they cost to fix. Finally, you need to compare your data with countless amounts of cars currently on sale. Also, try to look for sold prices that should narrow down the correct value of your car even more.
Look for specific factors such as similar milage, similar model year, similar interior and exterior color, same powertrains, similar equipment list, and similar condition. These factors should help you evaluate your car the right way.
What information do I need to evaluate my car through an online car evaluation site?
In order to evaluate your car through an online car evaluation site, you need to hand out data such as your registration plate, your car’s mileage, your name, your email address, your telephone numbers, your postcode, and all the specific data associated with your car.
If your vehicle is financed or leased, you also need to give out lender statements. All in all, you will need to prepare your identification documents and the documents associated with your car and the ownership itself.
What do I need to do before I take my car for an evaluation?
You should primarily give your car a deep clean both inside and out. Also, be sure to remove all of your belongings from the interior and the trunk space. It’s highly advisable to leave your car with the windows opened to get rid of all potential smells.
Check your car fluid levels and lights to make sure that everything is functioning as intended. Gather all your documents listed in the previous article and be sure to take all of your spare keys with you.
How can I improve my car’s value?
First and foremost, be sure to iron out all the small imperfections such as chipped paint or any other mechanical, electrical, or cosmetic issues. Keep all of your service records from all your previous service sessions.
Clean the car up as best as possible, especially the interior. Furthermore, if you own an older car, you should also polish up the headlights and taillights. Also, be sure to gather all the information you got with the car when you bought it.