Whether you are trading or selling a used vehicle, it is imperative that you get a good estimate for it or you could lose a lot of money because you are not well informed about used car prices. Arriving at the value of your car should not be a guessing game. You should get a good knowledge of used car prices before you attempt to sell your or buy any vehicle for that matter.

 Even if you just want to get a general idea of the worth of your vehicle, an estimate is a very good starting point.   This task is not going to cost you any money if you know where to look. Reputable and reliable services are available to provide free car estimates.

 The easiest way to get started is to perform a Google search on the internet. Places to look are: Kelley Blue Book, Cars Direct and NADA.  These websites are easy to navigate so as to get the information pertinent to your vehicle.

 You only have to answer a few questions about the vehicle like:

  • Make, model, year
  • Color
  • Number of miles-odometer reading
  • Condition of the car –generally and cosmetically mainly
  • Running condition
  • Options in car, sunroof, ABS brakes, air bag, automatic transmission etc.

You will be asked for your zip code and will have to enter very specific information about the car. These are just a few requirements to get a good used car estimate.

 Please note that each website evaluates the car by different criteria so it would be best for you to perform the same search at each website and then make comparisons to get a better idea of your car's value.  The website gives their estimate of the cars condition.  They usually rate them as as “fair”, “good”, or “excellent”.

You will also note that each website will give you estimates based on the suggested retail price, private party price and trade-in price.

  • Suggested retail price: this is generally the dealer price and the highest value listed. It is the amount of money you would have to spend if you bought it from the dealer.
  • Private party price: it is the expected amount the private party expects to get from you in the transaction.
  • Trade–in price: it is an estimate of the amount of money you will receive if you trade your car to the dealer for another vehicle there.

 As an alternative, you can easily take your car to a mechanic or a car dealer and get a valuation for your vehicle.  But the internet makes it so much easier to shop and compare so you get a good used car estimate for your car.