how to price a used car to sell –

If you were wondering how to price a used car to sell, you have come to the right place as this article will guide to through the entire process. You probably know that valuing a car is both objective and subjective. Why objective? Simple, because we have to take into consideration the make and model of the vehicle, manufacturing date, along with other similar details. Why subjective? Take its appearance for example; while the seller considers that the car looks great, the potential buyers might have a different opinion. The same situation is applicable to the condition of the car.

When talking about used cars, you need to understand that there are three distinct price levels: trade-in, private party and retail.

The trade-in value is the amount of money that a car dealership will give you if you decide to trade-in or give the used car in exchange for a down payment on another car or for cash. Usually, this trade-in value is about 20% less than what you will get from a private party.

Speaking of private parties, this is the value which a private individual can expect to obtain when selling the car to another individual.

The retail value is what a used car lot or a dealership assigns to the car. The used cars that are sold at “retail value” usually carry a warranty, are reconditioned or even both. The prices in this situation are usually 20% higher in comparison to private party values.

In the following paragraphs we will explain how to price a used car to sell to a private party. First and foremost, get the following information about the vehicle: year of manufacturing, make & model, trim level, options and mileage. If you want to get a free vehicle history report, visit where you will obtain all the necessary data.

Now, time has come to have a look at the car and figure out its current condition, which can be: excellent, good, fair or poor.

A car is in an “excellent” state if it is in perfect mechanical condition and its exterior appearance resembles to the one of a car that is being exhibited in a showroom. In other words, the vehicle has no body damage whatsoever, no dents, dings or other flaws. Inside the cabin, the upholstery and the carpets are in perfect condition. In addition, the tires are all the same and still have enough tread remaining.

Moving on, a car which is in a “good” shape it usually means that it has some minor electrical or mechanical problems. It exterior is pretty clean, but it does have some minor scratches and dings from the regular wear & tear. However, this doesn’t mean that it should show signs of rust. Regarding the upholstery and the carpets, they usually show minor wear, while the tires (all match) have a limited tread life.

A car that is in a “fair” condition has quite a few electrical and mechanical issues, but its engine works well and the vehicle can be driven without any major problems. Its exterior has scratches, dings and dents, which will have to be repaired by a professional. Signs of rust are noticeable and the tires might not match, while their tread life is very limited.

A vehicle which is in a “poor” condition comes with significant mechanical and electrical problems. The bodywork needs major repairs and there are significant signs of rust. The tires need urgent replacement. Cars that have a “branded title”, like: flood, salvage, etc., fall in this category.

Figuring out the price tag starts by doing a little bit of research regarding the local price levels. In addition, you will also have to check the Kelley Blue Book ( to get a better understanding of how much you should ask for the car.

Of course, the value of the car will be higher if you have made upgrades to the vehicle, like applying a custom paint, installing a new stereo system or other aftermarket accessories. Minor dents and scratches will lower the value of your car, which means that you should put a price tag on your car according to the overall condition of the vehicle, taking into consideration all the good and bad things about it.


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