AutomobileLife Style

How to Estimate the Cost of a Used Car for Sale


The decision to purchase another vehicle to add to your line-up is an important one. The actual purchase is not an action that you will take lightly, so you want to make sure you conduct thorough research. Many individuals opt to buy a used car, and if you fall into that category, you can work to estimate the cost and set up a budget for yourself.


Place of Purchase

You may have seen a flashy used car for sale at the dealership, or maybe someone on your block is selling a car. The entity, or individual, from which you purchase the car can have a significant impact on the cost. Generally, purchasing a vehicle at the dealership is going to cost more money than going through an individual seller. However, at the dealership, you usually have a greater sense that the car is going to function up to its potential.


The Age of the Car

How old the car is has a significant effect on its cost. For example, a brand new vehicle on the lot is significantly more expensive than one that has been out on the road for even just a year or two. People buy used cars of all different ages, so you need not feel as though you are confined only to cars that are decades old. You can often find cars that are just a few years old for an affordable price, but they will be, in most cases, more expensive than the older models.



Antique Car Shopping

Purchasing an antique car is a much different experience from going to the dealership or around the corner to purchase a used vehicle. Educating yourself on this particular field is necessary before you go out to make a buy. The rule mentioned just above usually does not apply when you are purchasing an antique vehicle. The older the car is, the more money you will likely spend on it. Of course, as with any vehicle, the exact price that you pay is going to have a lot to do with the condition. Most antiquers want to ensure they purchase vehicles in top-notch shape.


The Car’s Condition

Sometimes, an older car can be in better condition than one that is just a few years old. The condition heavily depends upon how well the car is taken care of, but also how frequently the current owner uses the car. If a vehicle has simply transported the owner to the train station for the past several years, then it likely does not have a lot of miles on it. On the other hand, the owner might not know how it handles intense driving conditions or other types of terrain.


Comparable Sales and Negotiating Skills

Of course, the seller needs to make money on the sale of the car, and that holds true even if you are the best negotiator in the world. Still though, how comfortable you are with negotiating, and how much of a deal you are willing to ask for, will have a significant effect on the price you pay for the vehicle. In order to have an idea of what is reasonable during negotiations, you should find out what other makes and models of the car are selling for in the area. Of course, you must understand that those cars might not be in the same condition as the one you have your eye on.


When you can estimate the cost of the car that you want to purchase, you have a better chance of creating a budget and staying within that limit when you buy.