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Used Car Book Value Calculator


The book value of a car is basically an estimate of what a car with certain characteristics should be worth. The value that any specific vehicle is actually worth is simply whatever someone is willing to pay for it, because at that moment in time, that vehicle was deemed to be worth that amount to the buyer. However, if the buyer pays an amount that is significantly higher than what other buyers from the same demographic area typically have paid for cars with similar characteristics, then the buyer has probably overpaid, which is a situation to try to avoid if you are the buyer (although this is probably a good thing if you are the seller).

While it may be interesting to know the book value when you are buying a new car, it is absolutely vital to have a good grasp on the value before you buy or sell a used car. If you are planning to buy a used car, then you should determine the book value of that car before you begin negotiations with the seller. That way you will be in a position to make a good counter offer. I would recommend giving a counter offer that is lower than the book value so that you will have some room to maneuever as the buyer will will probably try to get you to pay a higher amount. It is very important in this situation to not overpay for the vehicle. Staying around or under the estimated value of the car obviously will save your hard earned money but it is also very important if you are planning on financing the vehicle. Banks will typically only loan an amount up to a certain percentage of the vehicle's book value, so if you agree to buy a vehicle at a price higher than that amount, you will need to come up with a large enough down payment to at least cover the difference.

It is also important to have an accurate view of the book value if you are the seller. For sellers, I would recommend setting an asking price that is above the book value for the vehicle so that you have some room to give when the buyer tries to negotiate a lower price. when determining the vehicle's value for this purpose, be sure to account for any and all features of the car that increase its value and factor in your view of the condition of the vehicle.

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used car book value calculator

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used car book value calculator

used car book value calculator

used car book value calculator
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10 Responses to Used Car Book Value Calculator

  1. *juice*

    Looking to buy a used carnegotiation tactics?
    I’m eyeballing a few vehicles around $3500 price range. These would be dealerships prices.

    What is a reasonable price? What is my justification of negotiating a for a cheaper price? I’ve compared the prices to the Kelley Blue Book value and the prices are roughly $700 cheaper than the “suggested retail price.”

    Thanks for any help!

    • Fat ? Curvy.

      If you have the cash in hand or a loan approved already, you’ll get a good price, you can’t get a good price under a loan from them because they’ll make the money up by giving you a loan with a higher apr.

      With that said

      inspect the car, look for defects, take it for a test drive, get your car fax
      talk about the random things you talk about @ a dealership

      then make a serious offer

      something like 2600

      then he’ll sit you down,
      ask some generic questions:

      how are you paying for this?
      NEVER and i repeat NEVER say how you’re paying for it, say “let’s worry about the price on this first”
      they use a 4 square system paper that’ll try to make up for lost money by other ways (financing / trade in’s and so forth) so you want to focus on ONE thing, Price..
      then you’ll go back and forth
      start low, but serious…..”2600″
      then he’ll go talk to his sales manager, he’ll take some time then come back saying
      “great news”
      then he’ll give you a price of say 3300″
      you’ll say…”2700″
      he’ll go again take an even longer time
      now at this point or even this point he’ll ask to run your credit
      let him do so, even though you KNOW you’re not going to pay by that method…and well if you are, you better do your research about credit scores and your credit if you got bad credit and have to pay using their loans, carry a calculator, work your budget there and see what’s the best you can do…just be VERY careful at the finance office you’ll be amazed at the amount of charges they can pile on you there, hence why it’s better to get a pre-loan or have cash.

      okay now…he’ll counter offer with “3100″
      now things are going to become a mind game…
      if you have paper work, as in edmunds TMV market price, Kelly Blue Book, copies of the real value of this car……they DREAD these things because they know you’ve done your research and you’re going to pay what’s it’s worth and they can’t make a mint off you.

      now remember the guy is working on commission so we need to find a price that’s good for him and you… moving on
      if you KNOW for a fact the car value is 2900, and he offers 3000 or 3100, send him back to the manager…..he’ll take a long time…..IF he does this, you’re going to have to make a serious decision….just stand up, slowly get your things and turn to the door…he’ll rush back, if he doesn’t, you weren’t going to get the price you wanted for it, if he does….he’ll either counter offer or give you the price you want..

      NOW LASTLY, the buying process isn’t over…..READ EVERY SINGLE LINE OF THOSE PAPERS @ the finance office….and DO NOT PAY for something that you’re not warrented to pay for

      Now: if you don’t get the car for the price you want WALK AWAY, they’re over 300 million cars in the country, you’ll find another one..

      good luck

      Tips: do not be cocky, be calm and controlled, do not look excited…be friendly….also, carry a pen, calculator, your folder of research work AND paper to write on…

      run your credit……give you coffee, leave you for a bit all those stupid mind games……..

      EDITED: sorry i forgot one thing: remember your goal price you want to pay and always start lower than it…never start at it or higher than it……price goes up never down with negotiations…hence why you start low….but at a reasonable low.

  2. Jihanemo

    When purchasing a used car from a dealership, what should come with deal?
    What should I make sure comes with the agreement/contract? (I’m financing some) a good rate? How much? Servicing? What kind of warranty? Road-side assistance? What are some of the things I should look out for? How do they put this in writing? I’m getting a Ford Explorer.
    Getting the Explorer from the FORD DEALERSHIP.

    • Mr. Help

      We have invented the internet …. Thous we have good sources to help us research … to look for a good trade-in value and/or for a good price on the new ford explorer, look at these websites for research… ( – – – ) when you understand what the average numbers are , tell the dealer your opinion … the trick is to know what your talking about ( invoice – blue books – incentives – rebates – special offers, such as financing or leasing ) AND… your suppose to low ball them to let them know you mean business… All salesman are lazy and will answer any question you will ask them – keep in mind that it doesn’t hurt to ask!

      If buying a used car = check carfax … do not buy any carfax report – every dealership has an account already – take advantage of that…

      If financing , check out….. ….. This website has free calculators to understand what any monthly payment will be at any rate , term and size of loan …. It’s good to compare apples to apples …

      Plus , every consumer has the right to check with other lenders before that dealership sends your loan to their banks … Be careful shop around because some dealerships make money in financing…

      If you put a lot of money down – no need for gap insurance = pays the loan off to the exact penny if insurance doesn’t at a total loss of car ( stolen – crash total )

      About the warranty

      If used , ask the dealer to tell you what the recon was = reconditioning costs and reparis to make ready for resale ) the carfax will help you understand when the factory warranty is up … Make sure you know what the coverages are and for how long it is for …. Do not get a certified warranty – If a dealer is offering a certified car ask them to decertify it and get about $1,000 to $1800 knocked off..( depending on model ) which is usually enough to buy atleast a 2 year vs. 24k additional miles service agreement …way more coverage in service agreements ( electrical things …)
      Then ask or know what are the deductibles per repair … Every used car service agreements have those … They are similar to insurance policies … If your repair is less then deductible you pay out of pocket … Usuaklly the average deductible per repair is $100 ….

      Example … If engine and transmission go bad … you pay $200 … then you get them fixed …

      make sure you know who is offering the warranty … If buying a ford make sure you can go to the nearest ford dealership for repairs = recommended ….. Don’t get 3rd party = usually through lenders… they suck and take longer to make claims … Make sure you fully understand what parts are used … example … If engine goes bad … do they buy you a whole new one … Or rebuild it with cheap parts…

      i want to say all service agreements come with towing – trip interuption etc… benefits come as a standard plus for you check that as well

      Good luck
      Feel free to ask away!

  3. partygirl75

    where can i find the loan value of a used car?
    Basically what a finance company uses to determine the amount of money they will lend towards the purchase of a used car. I’m not looking for a trade-in, retail or private seller value – things i can obtain from Kelly Blue Book or Nada. I’m looking for a calculator that will give me the loan value of a used car based on the year, make, model and mileage.

    • stueck9356

      there is one on MSN, i have to find it thought will edit this post and report w/ a link..

      it starts off w/ KBB but when you hit the next buttion you can pick everything with the car and itll tell you, its accurate IMO.

  4. ahuiza_08

    What is the cheapest way to register a car?
    my friend is giving me his 1968 F250. It just needs a paintjob and the motor is running strong. I want to register it in California but want to avoid an expensive fee. I’ve heard how much he’s selling the truck to me will change the registration fees. Is that true?

    • vicki g

      I can’t tell if it’s a gift or is he selling it to you?
      If this is a gift, you will be exempt from the USE tax and a 1968 is old enough it doesn’t need to be smogged.
      You will fill out form REG 256 Statement of Facts. ( ) Check the gift box.
      But you will still need to put in the value of the car-found at Kelly Blue Book or NADA price guide ( )

      The value, is what the next years registration fee will be based on. A 1968 car will have (normally) little value…and you can fudge a little in your favor without too much recourse.

      You can go to the CA calculator to find out the fees if you have the VIN# or plate number. ( )

      If he is selling it to you, you will be asked to write down the purchase price on the back of the title. The fees are based on that.

      USE tax rate depends on what county and city you live in. But approx. you’ll pay 8%-9% of the purchase price.

  5. aslgirl143

    What are the pitfalls of buying a truck without a down payment?
    I mean, the money that you COULD be using for a down payment could be used as your monthly payment, ’cause that’s normally the amount of money you would set aside for savings anyways. For example, you could save $300 a month and at the end of the year have some so-so amount for your vehicle’s down payment while paying $150 dollars a month for the loan, OR you could go to the dealership today and buy the truck of your dreams and drive off the lot with it alot sooner than a year’s time and pay the $300/mo that you were GONNA intentionally save up for the down-payment. I’m just curious, is it so bad to not have a down payment? I can’t save money to save my life, but I am responsible when it comes to monthly payments of one sort or another.

    • nevergonnaletyoudown

      Just run the numbers. Say you buy a $20k truck with no money down, and the loan is 7% for 5 years. Monthly payment would be $396/month. Over the life of the loan you would pay 23,761 (i.e. $3761 in interest).

      Say instead you put $3000 down, and take out a loan on the remaining balance of $17,000. Same loan (7%, 5 years). Interest paid over the life of the loan drops to $3197 (a savings of $764).

      Put $5000 down and the interest paid drops to $2821 (almost $1000 saved over 5 years).

      You can run the numbers yourself, just google for an “amortization calculator”.

      Also, as previously mentioned, with no money down you are pretty much guaranteed to be “upside down” on the loan. That is, you owe more on your loan than the truck is worth, due to the truck’s depreciation. As soon as you drive a new car off the lot its value drops significantly, even before you’ve put any miles on it, because it is now considered “used”.

      The biggest risk in this scenario is if you get into a bad wreck and the car is totalled — your insurance company will only cover the blue book value of the car, so if it only blue books at $15k, and you owe $17k on the loan, that means you would have to pay another $2k out of pocket to pay off the loan, with nothing to show for it! (Or you could buy something called “gap insurance”, but again, this can all be avoided by putting money down).

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