Determining how much your car is worth depends on many factors.
If you're looking to trade your current car for a new car this year, one of the things you might be asking yourself is, "How much is my car worth?" As you may imagine, what your car is worth depends on several factors, including who you are asking.
Ask three different people, "What is my car worth?" and you will likely get three different answers. Although companies such as Kelley Blue Book publish price guides to help you determine how much your car is worth, the prices in those guides are generally a range of values for vehicles of a certain make and model. How much your car is actually worth might differ from the stated values for several reasons.
What your car is actually worth depends on factors such as the year, make and model, the optional features on your car, the condition of the vehicle including mileage, and where you are trying to sell your car. How much your vehicle is worth might vary depending on what part of the country you live in, the time of year you are trying to sell it, and even current economic and political conditions.
If you are trying to trade your car in for a new vehicle at a new car dealership, it may be worth less than if you tried to sell the vehicle yourself to a private party. The reason for this is that a dealership will expect to earn a markup on the sale of your vehicle. The car may also be worth less to a dealer because they might need to clean, repair, and advertise the vehicle.
Having a car that is in good condition, with low miles and desirable options will also increase what your car is worth. Certain types of vehicles are worth more at certain times of year and in certain parts of the country as well. Convertibles and sports cars are generally worth more in the summertime or in warmer regions, for instance. Four wheel drive vehicles, conversely, are cars that may be worth more in winter or in parts of the country that get a lot of snowfall.
An additional factor that helps determine how much your car is worth is the state of the nation. Gas guzzling trucks and SUVs, for instance are generally worth less when gas prices are high or when environmental concerns are at a peak. On the other hand, economy cars and hybrids will be worth more in similar circumstances.
Finally, other factors may also come into the equation when you are trying to figure out what your car is worth. Values for cars that have been discontinued, for example, will usually drop as buyers may fear a lack of service and support options in the future. So the next time you ask, "What is my car worth?" know that the answer may be different depending on who you ask.