Used car retail value

Understanding Used Car Retail Value

Understanding what determines used car retail value can come a long way while negotiating your next purchase. Before that price sticker is slapped on the windshield, there is some thought and research put into it (sometimes…).  Pair that knowledge with a detailed condition report from Motovise and you’ll be on your way to making an informed decision. We will try and point out just a few simple things that can affect used car retail values without making you crazy.

What can affect used car retail value

Auction Prices and Trends

Millions of vehicles are sold at auction every year. Selling prices at auctions often determine used car retail value for most makes and models. In a way, auction prices affect the majority of used cars listed for sale. When calculating trade in value, dealers will look at many sources including selling data from auctions to determine how fast and for how much they can get rid of a unit. Huge entities in the used car world that buy/sell thousands of vehicles a month at auction often determine those values. So in reality it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Carmax or any other huge volume dealer affects values depending on their inventory and transactions at auctions.    

Supply and Demand

You might be wondering why that old Jeep Wrangler is worth so much money (you’re not alone). When there is high demand for a specific vehicle, people are willing to pay a premium for it. Especially a well maintained one which can be even more difficult to find. This leads to an increase in used car retail value for fast selling vehicles. But beware, this is a prime opportunity for sleazy salesmanship. We encounter misrepresented high demand vehicles daily while used car dealers are trying to sell a ticking time bomb as “mint condition”. Same goes for slow selling vehicles. Chances are if a vehicle has been listed for 180 days and has had multiple price drops there is something not right with it.  

Title and History Reports

As inaccurate as title and history reports can be in reflecting the actual condition of a vehicle,  they do play a role in used car retail values. A vehicle title history can give you some insight on who owned it and where. For example, a 1 owner, well maintained vehicle will be affected less than a fleet owned one. Same goes with accidents and damages reported. A vehicle with a disabling accident or structural damage reported will be a lot harder to sell and thus its retail value drops. Even more so if a vehicle has a branded title the value and resale-ability of the vehicle drops significantly.  Of course that’s not to say that a “clean” history report means no accidents or damage.

Competitor Pricing

When selling a used car it is important to do your market research in order to understand where your vehicle stands as far as its value goes. Dealers will adjust pricing to compete with their competitors and drive more traffic to their location. Unfortunately, this can lead to a few other scam like practices. Many dealers will advertise the vehicle at an unrealistic price but that can change very quickly. For example, the internet price is valid only if you finance through them. Sometimes, once you start talking numbers they will start adding all kinds of “inspection and reconditioning fees” to your final price.

How Motovise Can Help Determine Used Car Retail Value

Hopefully this information was helpful in understanding what can affect used car retail value. Knowing these things can be a tremendous help while negotiating your next used car purchase or even your trade in. Unfortunately, it is up to you the consumer to educate yourself. Make sure you are not paying too much or selling for too little. Ultimately, nothing reflects a vehicle’s value more than the actual condition it is in. You can crunch all the numbers to the perfect deal but a pre purchase inspection may tell a different story. With our detailed reports and consultations, we can provide you with all the insight and advice necessary to make an informed decision. Our reports provide market value ranges and depending on how much work is necessary we can determine a more accurate valuation. We can help you navigate through the process of buying a used car.

Take the guesswork out of your next used car purchase in NYC, New Jersey and Philadelphia with Motovise!

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