How Much Is My Car Worth?
Watch Out For Red Herrings!
How much your car is worth can be a tricky question to answer. It depends heavily on whether you are buying, selling or part exchanging and factors such as supply versus demand. Car value is not always the same as what it is worth to a particular person in a particular circumstance. Use Price Any Car to help with your car buying experience.
When looking to buy a car within your budget it is worth somewhere between your maximum budget and the minimum the seller can possible sell it for. This area is where haggling or negotiating takes place, starting from the price it is advertised for, or the maximum the seller thinks they can get away with asking that will still attract some interest from potential buyers.
On the other hand when you are selling you want to achieve the maximum amount of money possible without pricing the car so far above other similar cars that it attracts no attention from potential buyers.
The more interested buyers out there in the market for a car like the one you are selling, the less you will need negotiate away from your for sale price. Also in some cases, such as convertibles in summer, you can even put up the price!
After demand this is probably the biggest factor. For popular/newer cars there is no shortage of examples for sale across the country, in whatever trim or engine variant you are planning to buy. In this case you can negotiate hard with the seller because the chances are that you can always head to another nearby dealer to find a similar car at a similar price.
Older or rarer cars are likely to be in shorter supply which can reverse this situation. If the seller knows they have the only example of a certain car you are interested in within 100 miles, they know you cannot just go somewhere else and will therefore negotiate only a short distance from the for sale price or not at all.
This is where things can get complicated for a car buyer because all of the above factors may be playing out over two different cars. The rule of thumb is that the more you negotiate in your favour on the car you are buying, the harder it will be to negotiate in your favour on the car you are selling. This is why turning up with cash in hand, having sold your car elsewhere, can put you in a stronger bargaining position.
Alternatively you might find a dealer offering you what seems like a very good part exchange price, while being unwilling to negotiate away from a for sale price on the car you are looking to buy.
- Sell you car elsewhere first if possible, allowing you to turn up with cash in hand
- Research how many similar cars are available in the market and where in the country these are for sale
- Take along plenty of competing examples if you can. Cars of a similar age, spec and mileage, but with a lower sticker price will help you negotiate