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How to Value a Used Car

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Step Four: Placing a Value on the Vehicle
How to Value a Used Car
Michael C. Harley for About.com

The hard work is over! We now have all of the information we need to place a value on the used vehicle.

Let us use a three-year-old Infiniti as an example:

2004 Infiniti G35 Sedan (39,000 miles)

  • Kelley Blue Book Value ---- $21,140

  • AutoTrader Value #1 ---- $23,000
  • AutoTrader Value #2 ---- $21,900
  • AutoTrader Value #3 ---- $22,900

The AutoTrader values will carry more weight, as those represent actual asking prices. The Kelley Blue Book price serves as a "checks and balances" reference point.

Quite simply, if you average those four numbers together, you arrive at $22,235. Since most people will expect a discount when they buy a used car, let us round the number up to an even $22,500.

Our value, and asking price, for the 2004 Infiniti G35 Sedan is $22,500.

Exceptions

As was said during the introduction, valuing a used car is both objective and subjective. While we have determined a Fair Market Value price for the vehicle, other factors may increase or decrease the value. Items such as upgraded stereos, custom paint, or aftermarket accessories certainly add value, while some minor unrepaired accident damage in an otherwise perfect car will reduce the value. The values of these items are often subjective, and the vehicle’s value should be adjusted accordingly.

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