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How To Get A Used Car Appraisal


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Used car appraisal is necessary when consumers want to trade-in their vehicle or sell it privately. The appraisal gives the consumer the appropriate condition to be able to rank the car and get the range of pricing for the vehicle. Here are some points on how to get a used car appraised.

Get the Car Ready

Top-dollar appraised values are only given to vehicles in excellent condition. Before taking the car in for a professional used car appraisal, make sure it shines inside and out. There are 4 rankings for used cars, and only the first 3 should be considered. Even then, appraised values vary significantly among them. Consumers wanting top appraisal amounts may have a lot, or a little, reconditioning work to do.

  • Excellent – Vehicle has shiny exterior paint with no dings, scratches, dents or rust. Interior is in like-new condition. Engine is immaculate, with no missing parts, no leaks and in excellent mechanical working order. Tires should be matched and in like-new condition. Vehicle must pass smog inspection and has clear title history.

  • Good – Clean title history, vehicle is free of major mechanical problems and very few visible exterior or interior blemishes. Tires must be matched, with minimal wear. Minor reconditioning may be required.

  • Fair – Some mechanical and/or cosmetic damage, repairable rust, tires may need replacing. Vehicle requires significant reconditioning, but is still safe to drive.

  • Poor – Vehicle has major mechanical, exterior and interior damage and/or damage to the frame, and may not be easily repaired. May have salvage or flood title on history report.

Professional Vehicle Inspection

Before checking the car’s bluebook value, have the used car inspected by a professional. They need to test drive the car and thoroughly inspect the exterior and interior mechanicals to make sure there are no leaks. Get an inspection checklist and have this on hand before getting a used car appraisal. Some inspection services also provide used car appraisals, especially if they buy used cars.

Online Used Car Appraisal

Armed with the information about the car, go online to independent websites offering used car appraisals, estimate trade values, and used car evaluations. Enter the information requested, which typically contains the make, model, year, mileage, options and vehicle condition (excellent, good, fair, poor). The resulting estimated value is just that: an estimate. Only a dealer or entity buying used cars will provide the actual used car appraisal, using the average of 3 appraisal types.

Check Other Used Cars For Sale

Consumers can get a good idea what their used vehicle is worth by checking out other comparable used cars listed for sale at independent websites. Used car prices have a wide range, depending on overall condition, mileage, and age, as well as marketplace demand.

Used Car Appraisals For Classic Cars

Appraisals for classic cars generally cost more. Fees of $350 and up are common. Do used car appraisals online or drive the classic car to the company’s physical location. Best strategy: Obtain a mechanical-technical inspection as part of the appraisal. Not every classic car appraisal service offers this.

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