How Much is Your Trade-In Really Worth?
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated March 30, 2012)
Have you ever wondered how much your current car is worth? There is a really easy way to figure out the answer to this question. In fact, by taking the time to learn the answer to this question you will have a very powerful negotiating tool when it comes time to purchase a new car. So if you have ever wanted to know the answer to the question of how much is your trade-in really worth, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.
- Check the books. The first step in figuring out what your trade in is really worth is to take a look at the books. There are two books that just about everyone goes by, and those are the Kelly Blue Book and the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Gold Book. These two books will give you the current estimated value of the specific make and model of car that you own. These two prices may be just a tad different, so go with the average of the two.
- Check local dealers. Take a look at comparable cars that are being sold by local car dealers. While this may not be 100% accurate, you will be able to see what your car could be sold for. To get a decent idea of what you can expect, look at three or four similar cars in three or four different dealerships. Once again, get the average of these different prices and you should have an accurate picture of what you could get for your car,
- Use online tools. A fairly accurate method for determining what the value of your trade-in is worth is to use some online tools. You can find several online by simply typing in a few words into your favorite search engine. Once again, be sure that you use more than one to find the price, as you will want the average of the prices.
- Add in bonuses. You can't forget to add in the cost of any after market additions that you may have. A good rule of thumb to go with is go with half of the listed value of the item. For example, if you added a new radio to your car that originally cost $100 to purchase, only add $50 to the value of your car. Repeat this for each and every one of the items that you may have added to your car.
- Add it all together. Take all of the averages that you gathered together earlier, and then add them together. Once again get an average from all of these, and then add in the amount that you determined for your bonuses. When added all together, this should give you a good estimate of what your vehicle is currently worth.