Factors Affecting Your Car’s Value When Selling Online

Most people think their car is in better shape than most – but chances are that’s not what an appraiser is going to think. 

If you look at used car pricing guides, they usually list four levels: Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor. Realistically, 80% of all vehicles fall under the “fair” condition. It’s very rare for a used car to qualify for an “Excellent” rating – only those stored in a garage and never driven will pass the test.

If your vehicle has a small dent or two, dings or scratches on the paint, it will likely be labeled as being in poor condition, especially if it’s a late model used car. Most assets appreciate in value over time, but cars are the only one that drops in value the moment you take it off the lot. Most people believe that fueling your vehicle is the biggest expense to owning a car, but the truth is, it is depreciation. The rate of depreciation varies between makes and models but a car typically loses at least 30% of its value in the first three years of ownership and then drops to 50% of depreciation after the car hits its 3 year mark.

Many factors can affect resale value and if you stay informed, you will be able to achieve the maximum dollar amount for your car before buying a new car or selling a used car.

4 Factors That Affect The Resale Value of Your Car:

Selling to a dealer or trading in your vehicle where you plan to buy your next one is one of the most common ways car owners are selling their vehicles. If you don’t care that you may receive thousands less for your vehicle, then this is the route for you.

1. Mechanical Condition

Keep your car in great running shape by getting it serviced regularly. If you’ve kept a record of regular and routine maintenance/repairs, prospective buyers can see that it has been properly cared for, which could increase the value of your used car.

2. Brand

Running behind brands is not a new concept in our country. And, the used car market is no exception. If your car is tagged with a reputable brand, superior and trustworthy, then you’ll eventually garner a higher value.

3. Mileage

Mileage is the car world’s version of real estate. You can have a cosmetically perfect 1990 Honda Accord – but with 500,000 miles, few buyers will be interested. Fewer miles usually translates directly into a higher resale value, so keep that in mind when you’re planning that once-in-a-lifetime road trip. Maybe that’s time for a rental car–and a damage waiver.

4. Interior Condition

a clean, well-kept car wins over buyers from first glance–or smell. If you’re a smoker, a dog or cat owner, or if you eat and drink in the car, you’ll want to have the car cleaned and detailed before you sell it, to address any of those old factory issues. An inexpensive set of new rubber floor mats can look much better than stained, torn, and worn factory mats. And for Starbucks’ sake, empty all the napkins, cups, and other trash from the glove boxes and consoles.

There are a number of ways to gauge the average market value of your car. Typically, the easiest and quickest way is to use an online vehicle valuation calculator like SnapAutos.


SnapAutos makes it easy to sell your car online

You’re in the right place. At SnapAutos, we’re focused exclusively on buying your car. That means a simple, straightforward process and the most value in return for your vehicle. The first step is determining what your car is worth, which you can accomplish in as little as 30 seconds with our online valuation tool. Unlike selling your car directly to a dealership, you don’t have to worry about a push to also make a purchase. Or a car valuation that’s only valid when it’s part of a trade-in offer. Our car pricing is always the amount you receive when the sale is complete.


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