Determine How Much Your Car Has Depreciated

You car depreciated the second you drove it off the lot. Unfortunately, this fact cannot be avoided but it can negatively affect your equity and potential trade-in value. Cars depreciate at an exponential rate. This means each mile you drive your car, or each year you own your car, the value will decrease at a rapidly increasing rate. The actual value of your car only comes into play when you need to trade it in or use the equity you have in the car for another reason. When you need to know how much your car's value has actually decreased, there are a few common resources to check.

Kellye Blue Book Price

One place to look to check your car's current value is the Kellye Blue Book, or KBB. The KBB has a listing of common values for a number of different goods as they would be worth today. Each make and model of car is typically listed, and an estimated worth for the vehicle is listed based on a number of market factors. You can even enter information regarding how many miles you have driven and if you have had any accidents in order to factor the price of the car more accurately. Today, the KBB offers online quotes for your benefit. The quotes are entirely free. Before you attempt to trade or sell your used automobile, checking the KBB is a good idea so you have an idea of what the car will be worth.

National Auto Dealers Association Price

The National Auto Dealers Association, or NADA, also has estimated prices on a number of vehicles. The NADA index uses the going rate of cars at auctions to estimate the price. This can often be more accurate. The KBB uses an estimated formula, but the NADA actually knows how the particular model is being treated in a given market at a given time. It is more common for dealers to use the NADA value when you make a trade on your car. This value, unfortunately, also tends to be a little lower on average. With that in mind, you should check both the KBB and the NADA list price before trading in your vehicle. Averaging the two is usually a good place to start when you are considering what you car is worth.

Used Car Trade-In Quote

At the end of the day, the best way to know how  much your car has depreciated is to actually go and get a quote from a dealer. Your trade-in quote will take into account the list prices for the KBB and NADA. The dealer will also likely check your car out and potentially even take it for a drive. With all of these factors in mind, the dealer will have a pretty good idea of what they can sell the car for in the store or at auction. You should know: you will get a much lower price than this. It is typical for a dealer to want to make a healthy profit on the trade.


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