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How to Value a Used Car

Determining the true value of a used car for sale

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Condition

The condition of a vehicle could have a huge influence on its price and have to be defined objectively to come to a fair price for the vehicle. Take a good look at the vehicle and decide which category it falls into: Mint (excellent), good, fair or poor condition. Remember to factor in possible maintenance or repair work and negotiate the price in accordance with necessary repairs.
Mint (Excellent)
A vehicle that looks new and is in overall exceptional shape. The engine is in excellent mechanical condition and has no fluid leaks, good tyres have been fitted with lots of even tread. The inside is clean, fresh and free of any damage. The bodywork has no flaws and is free of rust, chips, dents or discolouration. All documentation including service history are complete. (Only about 5% of used vehicles would fall in this category)
Good
Cars in ‘Good’ condition would show wear consistent with their age and is free of major mechanical or cosmetic problems. Minor touch ups could be required to the bodywork, the interior has minimal wear on the upholstery and is generally clean. A car in this this condition should pass a ‘roadworthiness test’ easily and ideally has its maintenance records available. (Most privately owned vehicles fall into this category.)
Fair
A ‘fair’ vehicle is still in a reasonable running condition, but could require a small investment to fix some mechanical or cosmetic issues. The paintwork could be slightly faded and there would be some scratches or dents or some repairable rust damage. Tyres may need to be replaced and the interior dash and seats may have a worn, faded look to them. Full service history might not exist, but the car could have been reasonably looked after.
Poor
This is a vehicle that has seen some hard times and is in poor running condition. It could have several mechanical defects or might have several defects repaired recently. Poor vehicles might have had significant accident or flood/rust damage that cannot be readily fixed. Its bodywork and interior may be in dire need of reconditioning. Tires most likely need replacement. The vehicle might also have very high or unsubstantiated mileage, and maintenance records lacking.
After everything has been taken into careful consideration, negotiate a price that you as well as the seller feel is appropriate.
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