Setting the right asking price is key to making a good deal on your used car. Set the price too high and shoppers will just scroll on by. Set the price too low and you miss potential profits. Setting a competitive price means calculating your vehicle value using the right information – like how much comparable vehicle have actually sold for nearby (not just what they’re listed for) and any events that have occurred in the vehicle’s past.
Many factors impact how much your car’s worth:
Accident history and auto values
Every vehicle has a unique history, which could include things like odometer readings, previous damage records and more – which can impact how much it’s worth.
Give them a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report to provide third-party validation of the vehicle’s history, even accident history, and help provide peace of mind that any damage has been repaired properly and the vehicle is in the same condition you say it is.
Did you know 37% of the vehicles searched by CARFAX Canada have an active lien? A car lien is an interest in the car that the owner grants to another party (such as a bank, financial institution, or other party), usually as security or collateral for a debt, and it remains attached to the vehicle until that debt is paid – even if that vehicle changes hands.
As a buyer, you could end up responsible for any money owing on the vehicle you purchase, so it’s important to make sure a vehicle is lien-free before you buy.
How maintenance impacts used car value
Keeping up to date with regular service like oil changes, tire rotations, alignment and brake inspections increases the value of your used car by providing the new buyer with assurance that the vehicle has been properly cared for. You can charge a little bit more for a vehicle with records of regular service history than without, because, if the buyer questions your asking price, you can provide them your service records as added peace of mind that the vehicle is in good shape.
Odometer reading and current condition
Any used car buyer will want to be confident in the condition of the vehicle they’re considering buying. Be upfront about anything that’s occurred in the vehicle’s history and what has been done to repair it – and provide them with a car history report to back up this information. Be proud of your vehicle’s ‘clean’ history, or be upfront about damage that’s occurred in the past.
What is your odometer reading? The average Canadian drives 20,000 km per year, with 55 per cent of that in the city, and 45 per cent on the highway. If your odometer reading is lower than average – celebrate that! You can likely charge a little bit more for your vehicle. If it’s higher than average, this may be something you can explain. If you racked up the kilometers making highway trips commuting to work, share this info with the buyer, as this type of travel causes less wear-and-tear than driving in stop-and-go city traffic.
Has anyone smoked in the vehicle? Was it used to transport pets? These things can also impact its value so be sure to consider them when setting your asking price.
Setting an accurate asking price right from the start is one key to a fast, smooth used car transaction. Consideration of the many factors influencing your vehicle’s value is an important part of knowing how much to ask for when you sell your used car.