What Is Market Value for Your Car and How Is It Determined?

What is market value for your automobile, and what are the factors that go into determining it? Learn what goes into an estimate.

Are you ready for a new car? If so, it may be time to sell or trade-in your current vehicle. However, there’s an awful lot of talk out there people getting ripped off.

Therefore, before you make any deals or sign anything over, you need to make sure you know how much your car is worth and what you should expect to get for it. But how do you determine what your car is worth?

what is market value for your car
Image credit: pixabay

What is Market Value and How Is It Determined?

Understanding what your car is worth to buyers and/or dealers who offer you a trade-in means learning what your car’s market value is. Market value is a general term referring to the legitimate value of your car based on several factors.

Below are the main considerations reasonably used to determine what your car is worth as accurately as possible. However, how cars are valued can vary from resource to resource, so it’s good to have a well-rounded concept.

Make and Model

What is market value for your car?

Your first step towards answering this question depends on the make and model. Certain cars are inherently more valuable than others. Additionally, some cars hold value while others don’t.

Who made your car and what model it is will greatly affect how much it’s worth.


Next, most cars are not like wines, they don’t become better or more valuable with age. While some vehicles will hold value well with age, expect a typical 10-year-old car to only be worth 10% of its original value.

However, there are exceptions to the rule, especially when you’re looking at vintage or antique vehicles.


What is market value for your car?

To dig deeper into this question, you need to check the mileage. Your car may be in fantastic shape with no mechanical issues. However, if it’s got a few hundred thousand miles on it, that stuff won’t count for much.

Roughly every 30,000 miles on a car represents a large milestone of depreciation.


Another important market that determines the value of your car is what condition it’s in. People often relate the maintenance and reliability of a car to its appearance. It may not always be accurate, but often is.

If you’ve got tons of hail damage, a cracked windshield, and torn upholstery, it won’t bode well for the value of your car. This is also true on the mechanical side of things.


What is the market value of your car based on features?

Extra features such as Bluetooth, XM radio, navigation, leather seats, high-quality speakers, moonroof/sunroof, and more will help add value to your car. However, don’t expect to get an equal ROI for what you paid for those things.

Car History

Finally, your car’s history report can make or break your deal. For example, if your car has a salvaged title, most dealers won’t even buy it from you. If they do, it will be for pennies on the dollar.

The number of past owners, accidents, and any other major issues with the car will go into determining its current value.

More On Cars

What is the market value for your car?

Well, only you and your car can answer that. When it’s time to move on to a new vehicle, you may have to bite the bullet and accept that you won’t get as much as you want for your old car.

It may be best to try to sell it privately to get the most money for it. However, trading it in (if it’s an option) may be more convenient. You’ll have to choose what’s right for you.

For more information and advice on cars and the automobile industry, check out the rest of our articles!

Mark create well researched and thoughtful automotive stories, news and reviews.