What’s Your Car Really Worth?

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Used car pricing websites like Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book are supposed to take the same factors into account when determining the value of your used car. So why don’t they arrive at the same number for identical cars?

Used car pricing websites like Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book are supposed to take the same factors into account when determining the value of your used car. So why don’t they arrive at the same number for identical cars?

When we compared prices for a 2004 Land Rover at five different websites (Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, Cars Direct, Consumer Reports, and NADA), we got different results from each. Dealer retail varied from a low of $15,700 to a high of $20,800, while trade-in values ranges from $12,700 to $16,600. Check out the 10 best and worst cars for resale value.

Clearly, no one site is going to provide the end all value for your car, so what’s a seller to do? Terry Jackson, an automotive columnist, recommends checking several different websites to get a good idea, but he specifically suggests eBay.

“There you’re seeing actual cars at actual prices.”

So if you’re planning on selling your car yourself, don’t rely on only one site as gospel. Inherent flaws and inconsistencies in the valuation process, which may not be evident, are almost always responsible for the different prices found between web sites. Visit more than one, but be sure to see what cars like yours are actually selling for.

Stacy Johnson

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