Determining car value: what's your vehicle worth?

Determining car value depends several factors. The year and model of the car are baseline determinants,...

Determining car value depends several factors. The year and model of the car are baseline determinants, but other factors, such as the condition of the car, the number of miles on it and even your location, may also affect the amount of money you can get for your car.

Industry quotes

The Kelley Blue Book is the gold standard for determining car values. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is another good source. Both of these organizations maintain websites that provide free car appraisal data. Their information is based on the condition of the car and how many miles are on it. Location is also factored in, since prices vary from region to region.

Other sites that track the price of cars include and These are great sources since, they list the sales price of used automobiles. However, prices from any of these resources should only be used as guidelines.

A dealer vs. a private buyer

Another factor that determines the price of your car is who you sell it to. You can get more money by selling it to an individual rather than a car dealership. However, if you prefer to sell to a dealer, make sure that you choose a dealership that sells other used cars of the same make and model.


The condition of used cars is generally ranked as excellent, good, fair or poor. A vehicle that has not been maintained will have major dents, windshield cracks or faded, chipped paint, and would not be worth as much as a vehicle that is in better shape.

In addition, ripped and faded seats, dashboards or carpets, as well as a nonworking stereo or air conditioner will also decrease the car's value. Major issues, such as worn brakes, a stripped clutch or engine noises also reflect a lack of maintenance, and can significantly lower the amount of money that your car is worth.

On the other hand, upgrades, such as a new sound system, leather interior or a sunroof, can improve the car's value. Consider taking your car to an Atlanta-area car repair shop if it needs repairs that could help increase the vehicle's value.

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