You have decided to sell your car and are wondering “How much is my car worth?” There are several tools available to help to gauge the estimated value of the vehicle. Many factors contribute to your car’s resale value, including mileage and condition. To ensure you get the best price for your used car, it’s essential to maintain your vehicle and protect it from the elements. Here at CarCovers.com we understand what your car means to you, so it’s important to us that your car lives its best life! Here are some simple ways to assess your car’s worth and tips to help prolong its lifespan by investing in a car cover.
What Factors Impact the Value of My Car?
Getting your vehicle’s valuation right boosts your bargaining power, whether you’re selling to a dealer or a private buyer. Car price estimators, such as Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and the NADA guide, offer an estimated value based on:
- Year, Make, and Model
Your car immediately depreciates after leaving the showroom and loses up to 20% of its worth after a year. Generally, it loses up to 60% of its original market value after five years. However, this can vary between makes and models.
Some rare or vintage car models appreciate while other popular mass-produced vehicles suffer faster depreciation. A value estimator is the best way to obtain an accurate value for your car based on make and model.
Colors such as white, silver, and black are more popular than other shades and generally command a higher price. Custom paint jobs, while giving your car a unique appearance, often depreciate your car’s value.
- Features or Modifications
Optional features such as leather upholstery, heated seats, or a sunroof that typically do not come with your car’s standard model can increase the value.
Personalizing cars with fancy or trendy modifications can hurt the value in many scenarios. It can be difficult for potential buyers to assess whether these customizations are safe. Lowered or raised vehicles and electric/sound modifications are some of the custom features to avoid if you want to get a reasonable price for your pre-owned car quickly.
- Mileage and Condition
Mileage and condition are the main determinants of a vehicle's current price. Wear and tear increases with mileage. As such, a 200,000-mile car attracts a lower offer than a similar model with 30,000 miles. However, the condition factor outweighs mileage when valuing cars in most cases. A newer car with low mileage may have more than its reasonable share of wear and tear, depending on its servicing and use.
Instant Price Estimators
An instant car price estimator uses the make, model, color, features, mileage, and condition to provide quotes for four values:
- Trade-in: This is the figure a dealer offers you toward buying a new car in exchange for the one you're selling.
- Dealer retail: The average amount that shoppers would pay a dealer to buy your used car.
- Private party: The price you'd fetch if you directly sold the car to a private party. This value is usually higher than the trade-in price.
- Certified used: Shoppers looking for a certified pre-owned car would be willing to pay this amount.
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How to Prolong the Life of Your Car
If you want to maintain your car to minimize depreciation or simply wish to prolong your vehicle’s life, here are a few tips to keep it in top condition.
- Give Your Car a Paint Job
There are different types of car paint you can use to give your car a facelift. While there's no denying that your vehicle's functional aspects weigh heavily on its current value, its looks and overall aesthetics are vital too. Some of the coating options available to you include metallic, matte, solid, and iridescent paints. A new paint job can dramatically transform the appearance of your car and increase its resale value. It increases the attractiveness of the vehicle in potential buyers' eyes.
- Protect Your Car with a Cover
Whether you store your car in a garage or on the street, you can preserve the exterior of your car with a car cover. A high-quality car cover can protect your car from the elements, as well as dust, debris, tree sap, and animals. Look for all-weather car covers made from waterproof synthetics such as polypropylene with a breathable weave to allow moisture to evaporate. The cover should be custom fit to your car’s dimensions to prevent the wind from blowing the cover off.
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- Go for a Tune-up
Taking your car for a tune-up is like going to your doctor for a check-up. It enables your mechanic to catch small mechanical issues before they become bigger, more expensive problems. Older cars typically need a tune-up every 10,000 miles, while newer models can go from 25,000 to 75,000 miles before they need to go to the mechanic.
- Check Your Tires
Tire tread depth and the inflation level can impact your car’s fuel efficiency, forcing the motor to work harder. Poorly inflated tires can also increase wear and tear on your car’s suspension. Check the tire information plate to find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, and ensure the tread depth is at least 4/32” by using the Penny Test.
- Change Filters and Fluids
Blocked and dirty air filters affect your car’s performance, decrease fuel efficiency, and can be a potential hazard while driving. Change your filters once per year if you live in suburban or metro areas. If you live in a rural location or dusty area, you may need to change the filters more frequently.
Coolant, oil, and brake fluid levels should be checked during monthly preventative maintenance. Your car’s user manual has instructions on how to perform fluid checks and offers recommendations on when to check and replace your fluids.
The Bottom Line
Appraising your car before selling it increases your chances of attracting a fair price. You can determine the vehicle’s fair valuation based on factors like condition, mileage, age, price comparisons, and appraisal websites. This information gives you a vital bargaining advantage over dealerships and private buyers.
If you want to keep your car in good condition and increase its lifespan, CarCovers.com sells the best range of premium car covers available. Use our simple calculator to find the perfect fit for the make and model of your vehicle. Call us at (800) 385-3603 or explore our blog to find out more about how using a car cover can increase your vehicles’ resale value.