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10 Steps for Selling Your Car

5 Set the Asking Price for Your Car

If you've spent money improving your car's condition, your car's value has probably changed as well. Check your Blue Book® Value the week you're ready to sell, as this will help you price your car appropriately.

Buyers often look up the Blue Book Value of cars they're interested in to get an idea of what they should pay. As a pricing guide trusted by both consumers and the auto industry for more than 85 years, Kelley Blue Book takes much of the speculation out of determining a car's value. Our experts factor in everything from current economic conditions to industry developments to the location of the car.

However, the car's Blue Book Value and your asking price may be two different numbers. First, you want to build in a cushion for negotiating. Second, your asking price may be lower or higher than your value based on variables for your particular car.

To figure out how to price your car relative to its Blue Book Value, look at the range of asking prices for cars like yours in our Classifieds section. This should give you the best sense of what other people are asking for their cars. Look for cars in your area with not just the same make/model/style, but similar mileage and options. If there's a range of asking prices, start in the middle and add or deduct from that point, keeping in mind the following:

Price your car higher if:
  • Your car is still under warranty or has an extended warranty (bumper-to-bumper or powertrain), provided the warranty is transferable
  • You've kept up with regular maintenance, especially if you've just completed a major scheduled maintenance, such as a 60,000-mile service
  • You've purchased a new set of tires or installed new brakes
Price your car lower if:
  • You want to sell it quickly
  • It needs a major scheduled service, new tires or brakes
  • It has been in an accident

Tip:

Regardless of your car's condition, it's usually a wise idea to leave some room in your price for negotiation. Remember that asking prices are a starting point for prospective buyers. Most people don't get their asking price.

Next Step 6: Create an Online Ad That Sells
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Seller's Resources

Get the Blue Book Value
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