If you’re looking to sell your car, it’s good to get an appraisal so you have a clear idea of what it’s worth on the market. Getting your car appraised isn’t difficult, but obtaining an accurate estimate may be a challenge, especially if your car is rare. There are four methods to consider.
Get a Value from Carfax
If you’re selling a late model car, truck, or SUV, you can get an accurate valuation by using the Carfax History-Based Value. Enter your Vehicle Information Number (VIN) or license plate and state. The History-Based Value considers details such as vehicle condition, service records, title concerns, open recalls, past damage, and the number of previous owners.
Carfax’s Sell My Car tool can also connect you with dealers that provide a cash offer.
Get Your Car Appraised at a Dealership
It can sometimes help to take your car to a handful of dealers to see what they’d be willing to pay for your car. It’s a process that usually takes up to 30 minutes to complete. Dealers are often looking for good used inventory, and may be interested in your car.
Just as you would input certain information online, the dealer will consider those factors too. In addition, the dealer will consider the demand for your vehicle in the used car market, the vehicle’s Carfax Vehicle History Report, and the cost to recondition your vehicle. The vehicle type is another factor – if you’re attempting to appraise a convertible in Florida, it might be worth more than what it would be worth in Maine.
Because different dealers have different needs and inventory, it can pay to talk to two or three to see what their offers may be. It may take some time, but it could pay off in the end.
Get Your Car Appraised Professionally
The first two examples give you options for evaluating your vehicle. However, neither method may count as an official appraisal. Furthermore, in some situations, you may be required to get a written appraisal for legal reasons.
If you’re selling a car that is part of an estate, a divorce settlement, or to uphold an insurance claim, then an accurate written appraisal may be required. In those cases, you may need a licensed appraiser, particularly an individual experienced in valuing cars.
The appraiser must provide you with a written report that supplies a detailed description of the vehicle as well as the procedure used to determine your car’s value. Expect to pay a flat fee or an hourly charge for this service.
Contact an Auction House
Christie’s and Sotheby’s are two of the more well-known auctioneers, but there are local appraisal companies that may also be licensed, bonded, and insured. These higher-end services are really only necessary if the vehicle is particularly rare and valuable.