Is it really a Good Deal or Overpriced? Don't just blindly trust certain websites.
Who has seen websites like Cargurus.com, Kbb.com, Edmunds.com, Carfax and now Autotrader.com telling you that the price listed is a Great Deal, Good Deal or even Overpriced? Really.....these sites personally went to all see and drive all of these vehicles? They had them mechanically and physically inspected? They know the true vehicle history for accidents, owners, location and maintenance? You already know the answer to those questions. No they didn't
When shopping for a used vehicle there
are lots of things to consider that make a huge impact on the
Value/Price. Many websites now days try to tell you if you are
getting a good/fair/bad deal. It is important to use these as guides
but you really have to know they do come with some major flaws. Almost everyday I have customers tell me how they went to look at a vehicle at another dealership that was rated as "Great Deal" only to go there and find out that is was no deal at all. Some have seen vehicle with severe hail damage, some were not mechanically sound, some smelled like smoke and others were clearly in an accident or repainted/repaired poorly. What looked good on paper was not a true representation of that actual vehicle.
No two used cars are worth the same
amount of money. How can these sites tell you if the vehicle is a
good deal or not when they only know less than 50% of the details.
The condition of the vehicle is one of the most significant impacts on its value. It is even more important than miles and options. Would your rather buy a vehicle with 50,000 miles that is in below average condition, smells like smoke and is in need of mechanical repairs or a vehicle that has 85,000 miles and is in near perfect condition both physically and mechanically. If they both have the same price, these website will tell you the one with the lower miles is the better deal. These sites don't and can't take the condition into account at all. Most of
them also don't know any data from the History Report and therefore
can't use that information in their equation. Here are a few
examples of things that really affect the value. These values come
from Real Shoppers that were surveyed and given the chance to put a
value on each item.
One Owner – a one owner vehicle has
$750 higher value on a vehicle that is 5 or more years old. It has a
value of over $1,000 more compared to a vehicle with 3 owners or if a
vehicle is over 8 years old.
Accidents: An Accident Free vehicle
verses one that shows an accident with little to no damage $500.
Moderate Damage $1,000. Severe Damage or Airbags Deployed - $2,000(or more)
Smoke Foul Odor – This one really has
a huge range. Most people(non-smokers) put a value of over $1,500
for one that is smoke free vs smoke odor. Many customers commented
that they would not buy a vehicle with a foul smoke smell at any
price. This can impact a vehicle thousands of dollars.
Tires: A vehicle with new tires has a
$500 higher value than one needing tires. In some vehicles it could
be as high as $1,000. This is one where you have to see and account
for how much life is left and adjust your pricing accordingly.
Repairs/Maintenance: A vehicle that has
been inspected, serviced and repaired on average has a $500 higher
value than one that is in need of repairs. Always have a car
inspected before you purchase it. It could easily add up to thousands
of dollars if you buy a vehicle that is deficient on maintenance and
repairs. Brake Job - $275-$500 – Alignment $70 – Timing Belt -
$700-$900 – Suspension Work - $300-$600 – Oil Leaks - $500.
Major engine and transmission work could easily get into the
thousands of dollars for repairs. Spending $50-$75 for a
pre-purchase inspection would be worth it.
Body Condition – A vehicle with
Several minor door dings is worth about $200 less. Scratches needing
paintwork to fix - $500. Often you will see poor previous repairs on
bumpers. This changes values buy over $500 if substandard work is
done. Cracked Windshield - $200
Interior Condition: Rips/Tears/Stains
in Leather easily have $200- $500 impact on value. Also check for
worn steering wheels, stains/tears in carpet or seat belts.
Canadian Vehicles: The US and mostly
norther states are getting flooded with vehicles that spent their
life in Canada. These vehicle should not be very high on your list
of vehicles to consider. These vehicles can have a huge impact on
the value for a number of reasons( Read: Why you should avoid buying
a Canadian Vehicle). Canadian vehicles are worth $1,000 less and in
many cases $2,000.
As you can see you
can have two seemingly identical vehicles sitting next to each other, both with same year, make, model, options, color, and miles. Based
on the above scenarios you could easily have a $3,000 difference in
values. On paper both would have the same value but in reality one
truly is a Good Deal and the other is one you should probably not
consider. These websites don't subtract one dime for a vehicle that
smells like smoke, has spent its life in Canada or is in Below
Average Condition and needing repairs. Those seem like pretty
important things to me.....I bet they do to you as well.