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The Benefits of Online Car Valuations
Selling your car can be one of the more stressful experiences you will ever have. Given what's at stake, it's important to arm yourself with as much information as possible before attempting to sell. Knowing the worth of your car and the state of the market will give you the leverage to make adjustments and bargain with confidence.
Without a professional valuation, you may end up selling your car too cheaply or listing it for a price that scares away potential buyers. Obtaining a valuation first will allow you to make more informed decisions and adapt to the market.
In the past, sellers and buyers had to rely on printed guides to get approximate value of their car. However, many of these guides were outdated by the time they went to print. Moreover, due to the limited resources, most guides could only provide value based on make and model.
Online valuations have the advantage of being done in real-time. In addition, premium valuations can give a more accurate estimate of a car that has been heavily upgraded as opposed to a stock model. For instance, for a nominal fee, a premium valuation will take into consideration the following:
• Colour - One of the most overlooked but important criterion for any buyer is the colour of the vehicle. Premium valuations will check not only for your make and model, but what buyers are paying for what colour car.
• Mileage - The year of the car only tells so much. Mileage provides a more accurate representation of the car's age and usage.
• Interior Upgrades - The most common upgrade added to a car is the stereo system. However, these days things like back seat televisions and GPS navigation devices are also common modifications that may enhance the car's overall value.
• Exterior Modifications - Tinted windows,
upgraded exhaust or rims can also improve your car's worth.
• Work and Collision History - Maintenance and proof of service can reflect well on your stewardship of the vehicle. However, even prior collisions and exterior damage can be an important thing to factor in when having your car evaluated. As collision damage can drop the value, obtaining a free valuation that fails to take this into account may result in you overpricing the car. Moreover, it can also give you an idea of whether repairs are necessary, or if the cost outweighs the increase in value.
For most, however, a free valuation will be adequate. If you have not made any modifications to your car, it is likely that the premium estimate will be nearly identical to the free one.
Your car valuation will also differ depending on how you intend to sell. For example, a private buyer will offer you the most return on a sale, and a valuation will list the full price of the vehicle. Conversely, when selling to a dealership, the dealer will purchase the car for less given he must still turn it around for a profit. Nevertheless, given the dealer's wealth of resources, it is generally easier to make this type of sale.
If the car is being sold as part of a trade-in, the dealer has even more incentive to buy and will typically offer a better price. Given these 3 scenarios will likely result in vastly different sale prices, a good valuation company will take into account to whom you are selling the car before offering an estimate.
Once you know the value of your car, you will be able to list the car or offer it to a dealer at a reasonable price. While this merely sets the stage for the bargaining process, it has the benefit of luring the most prospective buyers while still maintaining a price that will net you a nice return.