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How to Value a Used Car

Determining the true value of a used car for sale

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Determining the value of a Second hand Vehicle

Determining a vehicle’s worth is quite easy to do but it is not exactly an exact science. A used car’s price is determined by a whole range of factors including: make, model, mileage, service history, condition, accident reports and the demand for the particular vehicle in the current market. Buyers have several tools to help determine the value of a used car they plan to buy.
Start off by searching for vehicles similar to the one you are interested in buying on or check out some other car classified websites, to find a fair market value of the particular make & model. Browsing classified ads is not always very accurate, as you have no way of knowing how the advertised cars actually compare to each other. Some might be bargains whereas other could be complete lemons.
A better way to determine the current value of a second hand car is to make use of the various online ‘car valuation’ services. Some websites offer the first report free, so be sure to shop around! It should be noted that these websites in turn make use of the auto industry standard: ‘Trans-Union Auto Dealers’ Guide’, formerly known as the Mead & McGrouther Auto Dealers’ Guide, to determine the correct value of used cars. This guide is widely used by car dealers as well as insurance brokers, but is still only a guide and provides you with a good average price of a specific vehicle model. This guide also takes into consideration the mileage and the condition of the car.
A ‘valuation report’ will essentially provide you with the ‘trade’ as well as ‘retail’ price of the vehicle which you can use to determine a fair ‘market price’ for a vehicle. These are price ‘terms’ typically used in the auto industry when it comes to used vehicles, and following is a brief explanation as to what they mean:
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