How much is my Car worth??

By nathanflake | Posted in Uncategorized on Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 at 10:18 pm

We here at Cornerstone Auto Sales, in Tucson AZ, get that question on an almost daily basis. We all know that the worth of a thing,  is what someone is willing to pay for it.  But to better answer the question of trade in value, I think there are  6 main areas to concentrate on.


The odometer doesn’t tell lies. The mileage on the vehicle has a tremendous impact on its value. Low mile vehicles are ALWAYS in demand. Low mile vehicles are supposed to be less risky an investment then high mileage vehicles.   However, a vehicle that has a lot of miles on the odometer, but has detailed records of maintenance, can demand a higher value then a vehicle without records. In fact, many people will look past a certain amount of miles, if regular maintenance records can be produced.


If there were two vehicles that were the same year and mileage, but one had more options then the other one, the higher option vehicle would have more value. But please remember this: AFTERMARKET ADDITIONS DON’T COUNT!!  Adding 22″ rims, and an aftermarket stereo doesn’t add value. In fact that stuff hinders the value. Aftermarket additions have a bad habit of not fitting, not functioning as advertised, and looking cheap. Keeping it factory is always the best option.


Smell matters. An interior that has a foul odor doesn’t hold its value in the marketplace. 3 odors in particular are most prevalent in the vehicles we appraise.  Cigarette smoke smell, pets,  and old food and soda smells. Also, those 3 thing have a bad habit of staining the carpets and seats. Cars and trucks and SUV’s with odors and stains just don’t add value. The have the effect of making the potential new owner question how well the vehicle was maintained, because a dirty interior could indicate lax maintenance.


Dents, scratches, and bumps all lower the value of a vehicle. Faded paint is another problem we face in the Tucson area.


Tires are one of the first things a potential purchaser of a vehicle looks at. Old, weather checked, and worn out tires diminish value! A smart man once told me to always have “knee deep” rubber on a vehicle when it comes time to sell. The cost of the tires will almost make it back to you in the price you can command for the vehicle.


Like everything in this life, it comes down to supply and demand. When demand is high, you get more for your trade-in. When demand is high, and supply is low, you get even more for your trade-in.


Please keep these factors in mind when it comes time to trade in your old vehicle for a newer one.