A Valuable Lesson in Understanding Used Car Value
When it comes time to shop for a used car, it seems like it should be pretty straightforward, right? You simply find a car that’s just a few years old, look at the price, determine if it’s in your budget and purchase it if so, right? And on that same train of thought, simply selling your used car must be just as simple right? Determine a price, post an ad and sell it to the highest bidder, couldn’t be any more complicated than that, right?
Well, not exactly. Savvy shoppers know that there is more that goes into buying and selling used cars than simply guessing what you think a car is worth. In fact, one of the most key components to either buying or selling a used car is understand used car values – that is, how and why used cars at priced at certain levels. Read on to learn more about used car values and how you can use certain tools and tricks to help you get the most value out of your car, no matter if you’re purchasing or putting it on the market.
Value Isn’t Just About Age
It probably goes without saying, but one factor that can play a huge role in determining a used car value is its age – although there are definitely caveats to that. For example, a 2010 used model vehicle with extremely low mileage will most likely be valued at higher price point than a 2014 used model vehicle with very high mileage, which makes perfect sense when you consider what all of those extra miles have done as far as wear and tear on the car.
Wear and Tear Can Diminish Value
Don’t forget that wear and tear on the used vehicle doesn’t just mean mechanical wear and tear – both the exterior and interior damage will cost you when it comes time to sell your car. Of course, if you’re in the market to buy a used car, you can use that wear and tear to your advantage to work with the seller to get the price down, so you’ll want to look over any potential used car with a very critical eye. On the other hand, if you are the seller, you’ll want to do everything possible to get your car in the best possible condition you can. Good things to focus on include repairing any damage to the upholstery, fixing any dings and paint chips and addressing any other problems that are reasonable to correct. Also, do not underestimate the value people see in a clean car. No one wants to buy a car littered with fast food wrappers and old soda cans, so make sure you get all of your trash out of the car. In fact, if you really want to make your car presentable, either give it a thorough clean yourself (and we are talking vacuum the rugs and wipe down the surfaces clean) or bring it to a professional establishment to get your car detailed. It might be a bit of an investment upfront, but it’s one that you’ll recoup when your potential buyers see the shiny, fresh and like new interior of your used car.
Features Add Value
Just as age and cleanliness matter when you’re either shopping or buying a new car, so do amenities. While some shoppers will surely relish buying a used car that only has a tape deck and has manual crank windows, the majority of used car shoppers are going to look for what we now consider standard amenities such as air conditioning and power locks – and used cars that retain the most value are those that have above-market features, such as moonroofs, power-liftgates, and other modern features. According to Investopedia, “a premium factory sound system and leather seats will also add value.” Of course, if you are selling a used car, there is little you can do if your car doesn’t have these features, which is why it will be even more important that you present a car that is in as close to like-new condition as possible.
Keep It Classy (and Standard)
One last and very important thing for sellers to know about their used car – no one wants your personality shining through on their used car. Sure, that sounds harsh, but if you really want to make money off of your used car, remove the bumper stickers and flashy window tint and realize that you if are going to make after-market modifications such as rear spoilers, oversized wheels or a “unique” paint job, you will probably be lowering your used car value. People like to buy what they feel is familiar and safe, and aftermarket modifications can leave buyers nervous about the quality of the work. And while it can be fun to display your personality through neon orange exterior paint, Investopedia warns that while your used car’s exterior paint may not “ have a huge impact on pricing…more common colors – blue, metallic grays and silver — sell faster than more adventurous colors like brown, orange or purple.” So if you’re looking to sell quickly, consider a paint job.
Value Your Car For the Future
Now, for shoppers who are looking to buy a used car, you’ll want to be careful that you are tempering your excitement with owning a fully-loaded used car with the reality that used cars that are in very condition with low mileage, minimal wear and tear and top of the line amenities can still be valued very near top dollar. Sure, we all know that the minute someone drives a brand-new car off the lot, the value depreciates significantly, but that doesn’t mean that you still won’t pay a pretty penny for your potential used car. So before you go used car shopping, be sure to sit down and work out a reasonable budget along with a list of “must-haves” in your new car. That will keep you from spending more than you want on a car that offers more than you need. Remember: one day you will be selling this car as a used car, so don’t skimp if you don’t absolutely need to, but don’t splurge and defeat the purpose of buying used. There is a happy medium when it comes to used car buying and the trick is to figure out how much value you need to get out of the car before it’s your turn to sell it.
Visit DePaula Chevy for Used Cars Valued Right
The best way to get yourself either out of or into a used car valued at the right price is to visit a trusted dealership like DePaula Chevy. We have the tools and the knowledge to place an appropriate value on any car you’re trying to sell and we can help you buy a used car that’s been appraised and valued by experienced professionals. Come visit us at 785 Central Avenue in Albany and let us show you how we value not only our cars but also our customers.