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How To Tell What Your Car Is Worth

You may not know that every car has at least two prices - not one! These prices can be further adjusted by things like the condition of the car, how many miles it has and even what part of the country you are in. There are a lot of variables so you should do some research before you buy or sell a car. There are several web sites you can use to value your car.

The NADA site lists two prices: trade in and retail. When you sell a car to a car lot they will pay you the trade in value. If you go back the next day to buy your car back they will charge you the retail value.
When I looked up a 2003 Dodge Dakota club cab with a V8 engine in my local area this is what I found.
Trade in: $10,975
Retail: $13,275

The Kelley Blue Book (KBB.COM) lists a third price for private sellers.
Trade in: 9,975
Private: $11,970
Retail: 14,050

Notice that the price for private sellers is between the trade in and the retail prices. That makes sense since a buyer will expect to pay a lower price to a private owner than he would have to pay a dealer and a private seller will expect a higher price from a private buyer than he could get from the dealer.

The key is to be realistic. If you are selling and you ask the retail price, you will probably have trouble finding a buyer. If you are buying expect to pay more than the trade in value.

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