How to Find Out What Your Car Is Worth

By checking online and through local sources, you can easily ascertain the value of your car

By Jessica Whitmore, InvestorPlace Contributor

If you are looking to trade in or sell your car, you are probably asking yourself, “how much is my car worth?”

How to Find Out What Your Car Is WorthWhile a dealer will give you a value for your trade in, it is wise to know the worth of your car before walking through the dealership’s doors. If you are selling your car privately, it is also important to know the worth so you can set and negotiate a realistic sale price.

“How do I determine the value of my car?” you may ask. Well, it’s easier than you’d think.

Check online sites

Thanks to the Internet, researching your car’s worth is as simple as visiting websites and entering some data about your car. Two good online options are Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds. These sites use information including your car’s year, make and model, mileage, condition and your zip code to determine the value of your car.

Local sources

If your town has a local newspaper, check out the car listings in the classified section to see car prices. Look at both the dealer ads as well as private ads. You can check in with local dealerships about trade-in values. Typically you can add about $1,000 to the dealer’s trade-in value to determine what you could ask when selling your car privately.

Increase your car’s value

Before you research your car’s worth and set an asking price, put in a little time and effort to increase your car’s worth. Make sure your car is clean and free of clutter. Vacuum the interior and wash and wax the exterior. Don’t forget to clean the tires and wheels as well. If your car has a mechanical problem you can fix easily, make the repair. This could include making sure headlights and taillights are working properly.

When it is time to sell, a little bit of effort can go a long way to increase your car’s worth.

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