Most Americans are unaware of the true value of a vehicle even when they buy it new. They go to the car lot and the negotiating begins. There is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), but dealerships usually have some wiggle room when it comes to adding options, such as warranties. Oftentimes, they are able to reduce the purchase price of the vehicle just to make the sale. On the other hand, private citizens trying to sell their used vehicles do not usually have this type of leeway. There are several things that may affect the purchase price you receive when trying to sell your used car.
The first thing that will reduce the amount of cash you receive when you sell your car will be any liens that have been filed against it. For instance, a used car purchasing business may pay off the lien as long as it does not exceed the amount they are willing to pay for the car. Unfortunately, this payment by the business will reduce what you are actually paid.
You may be asking yourself, “What if I trade in for something new instead of selling my vehicle?” The easy answer: Go ahead and trade in if you want less return on your sale. According to Consumer Reports, sellers are not likely to receive much more than a vehicle’s wholesale value during a trade-in deal. But if you are looking to replace your used car with a newer model, trading in can be easier at the dealership than doing it privately beforehand.
Checking the estimated worth of your car is easy to do on the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) website, but that price does not account for various factors. For example, extensive damage to the engine or body can bring down the offer made by a purchaser. You may also consider leaving aftermarket accessories intact as the removal of these items can lower the price of your vehicle.
In a Hurry?
Many vehicle-buying businesses are willing to pick up your car within 24 to 48 hours and they rarely charge for this service even when towing the vehicle is necessary. Some will offer expedited processing and pickup for more urgent sellers, but beware of this as it usually leads to a reduced payment on the sale of the car.
People sell their used cars for all sorts of reasons. They could be relocating, want to buy a new vehicle, or the may simply need the cash. It is always a good idea to check your vehicle’s approximate value at the KBB website. However, it is important to remember that KBB offers guidelines and your vehicle may be worth less, or sometimes more, than is estimated by the site.