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How to Find Actual Used-Car Prices

We’re going to help you find the right used-car price. It doesn’t matter what car you’re looking for; you can find more than one good deal by following a few basic resources to locate just the right used car. Values are pretty standard, and the main reason that prices will fluctuate is because an owner/dealer wants to move a particular car more quickly than others. As is always the rule, if the buyer is in a hurry, he will spend more, and if the seller is in a hurry, he will get less.

The Reputable Guides
The first resource for determining used-car value and reasonable used-car prices is to consult a “blue book.” There are several different used-car guides on the market, in paper and online, such as Kelly’s Blue Book (kbb.com) or the NADA used-car guide (nada.com). While you’re looking up values in one of these guides, look through the classifieds to check the used-car prices of models you like. There are several other used-car guides out there, some of which charge a fee for their use, claiming their prices to be more accurate than the others. This is not true; the Kelly Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealers Association will serve you well in determining average values. You should never have to pay more than the recommended used-car value listed in these books.

Another great resource to help you find the best used-car price is Consumerreports.org. Consumer Reports will give an untainted opinion of many used cars, helping you, the consumer, buy a good car with excellent used-car value. No matter how appealing the used-car price, if the car has a poor track record, you may find yourself pouring more money into it than you should.

Word of Mouth
Also, ask around to see what owners think of the model that you are interested in buying. Pull up beside someone who is driving the car you are looking for; casual conversation may help you make a better decision. Don’t take the opinion of the first person you talk to, but if you hear a problem echoed by others, you may do well to avoid that model.

Information is the greatest resource available to help you find the best used-car values. If you truly want to get the best deal, you have to get obsessed with obtaining as much information as possible about your target car before you buy. And this principle applies to buying or selling. The more you know about a particular car, with all of its bells and whistles, the better you will be qualified to buy or sell it.

Putting It All Together
Gather your information about the various models you would like to have, then sort through them, prioritizing them according to your preferences. Use every source possible to increase your knowledge. Read reports, specification data, listen to friends, owners, check what others are buying and selling that model for, and even consider renting one to see how you like it.

Don’t forget your common sense, or the common sense of a good friend. Sometimes the impulse bug bites, and the first car you looked at is sitting in your garage. That could prove harmful to your financial health if you later learn you are stuck with a terrible car, and you can’t afford to get rid of it. Take your time, do your homework and get the best used-car value possible. See you at the car lot.

Related Articles:

5 Signs of a Reputable Used-Car Dealer

Buying a Used Car with Confidence

Cheap Used Cars - Yes, They Do Exist!

Internet Shopping: Used Cars for Sale Online

Is it Time to Refinance Your Car?

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