written check

How Much is My Car Worth?

Vehicle value can help sell your car for the best trade-in value, buy a car at a fair price, or minimize car depreciation in your current car.

Car owners have many tools available to them. There are several car value guides to use, and these sites often include other useful tools like checking for recalls, car maintenance tips, and even vehicle reviews. 

If you are selling a car, you want to get the best price for the vehicle you're selling. 

If you are buying a car, you want to know what you can afford, and make sure you're getting a fair price for the vehicle you want to buy. 

If you are applying for a title loan, then you want an estimate for the loan amount you can get for a percentage of your car's value. 

Make use of these tools so you can get the most out of your car. Understanding car depreciation and the value of your vehicle can help you sell, buy, or use your car for a title loan. 

What is Car Depreciation?

Car depreciation is one of the main determiners of your car's worth. It is a calculation that figures out a vehicle's market value based on factors that impact a car's overall worth. 

The concept was first invented in the era of trains. People wanted a way to figure out how much a train got "used up" so that they could more accurately calculate the amount of wear and tear a train had gone through over its lifetime. This then became how we determine the new value of used vehicles in general. 

What Causes Car Depreciation?

The minute you buy a vehicle it begins to lose its value . Your car can lose more than 10% of its original value just by driving it off the lot you bought it from. It can then drop another 20% in the first 12 months of use, and then another 10% each following year.

Many variables contribute to a car's value depreciation including maintenance, mileage, history, condition, and features. 

Maintenance 

To maintain market value as much as possible, stay up to date on car maintenance. Your car needs regular check ups to make sure everything is running smoothly and working properly. 

Regular car maintenance includes items like, changing the oil, checking the battery status, checking the tire pressure, replacing brake pads, replacing air filters, checking hoses and belts, changing the spark plugs, and replacing wiper blades. 

Mileage

Put simply, the more mileage a vehicle has, the less value it has. In fact, mileage can sometimes have more impact on a car's worth than the age of the car. A car that's only a year old but has almost 100,000 miles on it already could have less market value than an older car with only 20,000 miles on it. 

History

The history of the car, it's owners, maintenance and service, and accident history are all very important to determining car worth. 

If the car has been in any accidents that will appear on the car's history. If the car has had 10 different owners that will also be on the history report. If the car has received regular maintenance or any kinds of fixes, all of that information will be on the report. 

What is and isn't on the history report will influence the monetary value. For instance, if a car hasn't been regularly maintained, it won't maintain as much market value. 

Condition

Overall car condition can include many items like the condition of the interior, the seats, or the paint job. 

These are surface items that influence a car's buyability. For instance, a car that works well but the seats are all ripped up won't have as much value as a car that works well, and the seats are in good condition. 

Features 

The features that the car does or doesn’t have also have a determining say in the market value. 

If your car is missing features that are considered standard for any car, its value will go down. If your car has features that are considered bonuses that any car owner would love to have, its value will go up. Additional features that are considered more like personal preferences than standard or luxury features can actually make a car's value go down as well. 

Basic or standard car features include things like powered windows or working AC. Luxury or bonus features could be things like a sunroof or a digital display. Additional features are things that someone might personally enjoy like oversized tires or adding a lift. 

How to Minimize Car Depreciation

You can’t completely stop the value of your car from depreciating, but you can minimize car depreciation or slow the process down. By using your car less, doing more maintenance, and buying vehicles that hold their value better, you can maintain your car's market value longer. 

Decrease Car Use 

By using your car less it will take on less wear and tear. It will also accumulate less mileage, which is the real aging component for cars. 

Experts recommend you don’t drive your car more than 10,000 miles a year. It is after this mileage point that your vehicle starts to be considered more heavily used.

Use alternative forms of transportation when you can like taking public transit, riding a bike, or joining a carpool. 

Increase Car Maintenance

Make sure you are in the very least keeping up with basic, routine maintenance. To increase value even more, increase that basic level of maintenance to go above and beyond in your vehicle's care. 

Many mechanics recommend what they call the 30-60-90 rule for how often you should take your car in for maintenance. This means you should take your car in for maintenance at every 30,000 mileage milestone, so at 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, 90,000 miles and so on. 

But you can go beyond this basic care by doing things like, keeping your car in a garage instead of out in the weather, washing your car on a regular basis, not eating inside the car, or shampooing or cleaning the upholstery regularly can all help maintain your car's overall condition and value. 

How Much is My Car Worth? 

Your car's worth mostly depends on car depreciation. In a nutshell, car depreciation is how a car's value decreases. Several factors impact how much a car's value depreciates and thus how much it is worth on the market. 

Your car's worth also depends on how you sell or where you buy. Buying and selling with a dealership

Trade-In Value vs Private Sale 

Selling yourself will usually get you a higher price for your car because there's the added cost of you doing the work as the seller. Selling your car to a dealership or junkyard will get you less for your car because that work is instead being taken on by the dealership, not you. 

The pros to private sales is that you could make more money, but the con here is that you have to do a lot more work yourself to get your car sold. The pro of selling to a dealership is that there is a lot less work and time involved on your part. But you might lose out on some money from the sale. 

Car Worth and Title Loans 

Maybe you aren't buying or selling a car, maybe instead you're trying to get an estimate for a title loan

Usually, title loan amounts are based on a percentage of your car's current market value. Just as an example, if your car is worth $1,000 and the title loan provider offers loan amounts that are 40% of your car's worth, then you could possibly get a $400 title loan. 

Rates, fees, interest, and the loan provider you choose will all determine the factors that go into your loan approval process and how much you can get for a title loan. Talk to your title loan provider to learn more about what kind of loan amounts they offer. 

Car Value Guides

Car value guides are a great tool to help figure out how much your car is worth. They are the most accurate place to find up to date vehicle value because they have so much data to back up their calculations. They even have data from actual vehicle transactions. 

Some of the most reputable car value guides are Kelley Blue Book, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Guide, and Edmunds. These references take into account everything that affects your car's value like seasonal trends, local markets, geographical region, condition, and mileage.

In Conclusion,

Get the most out of your car by taking out a Check City Title Loan. Search your vehicle in the Kelley Blue Book or Nada Guide and contact your local Check City to see what loan amounts might be available to you.