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How To Fairly Value Your Used Car


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Defining Your Car’s Condition - Excellent & Good

Before you can determine your car's value, you have to define its condition. Be honest with yourself and follow these guidelines. They really give you an objective view of your car's condition.

To further help your decision, have a friend inspect your car as if he or she was going to buy it. Use my used car inspection checklist as a guideline.

No sense reinventing the wheel. I'm going to keep my rating simple and use stars. On this page we'll examine used cars in excellent and good condition. The next page looks at average, rough and damaged used cars.


This vehicle would be in exceptional shape in all aspects. The engine runs well and its maintenance records are complete. The tires match and have lots of tread on them with no uneven wear patterns. The inside and outside are free of damage. The car's paint has no flaws and is free of excessive chips and dings. The title is clear and the car can pass all required local and state inspections. According to kbb.com, only 5% of all used cars fall in this category. Is your used car really better than 95% of its peers?


This ranking applies to cars that show wear consistent with their age. There are no major mechanical or cosmetic problems. The paint still looks good, but possibly has some scratches or dings. Some minor touch up might be needed. The interior has minimal wear on the seats and carpet. The tires are in good shape and have some life left to them. A four-star car ideally has its maintenance records available, a clean title, and can pass inspection.
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