As a car owner, there will be a time when you wonder how much your car is worth. A car valuation is a good idea, whether you’re planning to sell it, trade it in, or want to know its value for insurance purposes. This article will explain why you should get a car valuation and how it can benefit you.
What Is A Car Valuation?
A car valuation is an estimate of a vehicle’s worth. A professional automotive appraiser or dealership can do this, or you can get an online car valuation. Many factors are considered when creating a value, such as the make and model, age, condition, mileage, and location.
There are two types of car valuations:
- Retail value: The amount a dealership would charge for the vehicle if it were for sale today.
- Private party value: The amount you could expect to get if you sold the car yourself.
These values can differ greatly, so it’s important to know what type of valuation you’re getting.
How To Get A Car Valuation
The easiest way to get a car valuation is to use an online tool. You can find many of these by searching “car valuation” or “vehicle valuation.” You’ll get an estimated value by entering your car’s make, model, year, mileage, and condition.
You can also take your car to a dealership and ask for a trade-in valuation. They will appraise your car to determine how much they’re willing to give you if you trade it in to purchase a new one.
You can hire a professional automotive appraiser if you want a more accurate figure. This is a good idea if you’re planning to sell your car yourself and want to know what a fair price would be.
Why Get A Car Valuation?
You’re Selling Your Car.
A retail value valuation will give you an idea of how much you can expect to get from a dealership if you trade-in your car. A private party value will tell you how much you can expect to get if you sell it yourself. You’ll likely get more money with the latter, but it will also take more time and effort to sell.
You’re Buying A Car.
Nobody wants to spend more for a vehicle than it’s worth. While looking at what is available and comparing it isn’t always useful, it’s not always useful because it varies. Its engine, trim level, body style, gearbox, mileage, and age influence its value. The easiest way to ensure you’re not paying too much for a used automobile is to have it valued.
You’re getting insurance.
Your car insurance company will need to know your vehicle’s value to provide coverage. They may use a different method to estimate the value than what you would get from a dealership or online, but it’s still important to know your car’s worth, so you’re not overpaying for insurance.
You’re making car payments.
If you’re financing a vehicle, the lender will want to know its value if they need to repossess and sell it. This is called the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), which is the loan amount divided by the car’s value. For example, if you’re financing $15,000 for a car worth $20,000, your LTV is 75%. If the car’s value drops to $10,000, your LTV jumps to 150%. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the lender will try to repossess the vehicle, it does increase the risk.
You had a car accident.
If you’re in an accident and your car is totalled, your insurance company will need to know its value to determine how much they’ll give you. This is why it’s important to have gap insurance, which covers the difference between what you owe on loan and the actual cash value of the vehicle.
Your car has been stolen.
If your car is stolen and not recovered, your insurance company will pay you the actual cash value of the vehicle. This is why it’s important to have comprehensive coverage, which covers damages caused by events other than collisions, such as theft, weather, and vandalism.
You’re making modifications.
If you’re planning on modifying your car, you’ll need to get it valued first. This is because the vehicle’s value will increase or decrease depending on the type of modification. For example, adding a sunroof may increase the value, while adding a big spoiler may decrease it.
Where to Get a Car Valuation
There are several locations you can get a car valuation.
The most common place is online. You can use websites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to estimate your car’s value. All you need is your car’s make, model, year, mileage, and condition.
You can also take your car to a dealership and ask for a trade-in value. This would be the dealer’s price if you traded in your car. It’s important to note that dealerships will typically low-ball you, so you may not get as much money as you would if you sold it yourself.
You can also hire a professional appraiser. This is a good option if you plan on modifying your car or need an accurate value for insurance purposes. Appraisers typically charge by the hour, so getting an estimate is important before hiring one.
A free car check will also give you an idea of your car’s value. This will show you the car’s history, such as any accidents it’s been in or if it’s been stolen. It will also show you the car’s current market value.
When buying or selling a car, it’s important to know its value. This can be tricky because many factors influence a car’s worth. The easiest way to get an accurate estimate is to have it valued by a professional. This will ensure you’re not paying too much or selling for too little.
Whichever valuation method you choose, make sure you get an estimate from multiple sources. This will give you a good idea of your car’s value and help you negotiate the best price possible.