What's it Worth? - 2012 FIAT 500 Long-Term Road Test

2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test

2012 Fiat 500: What's it Worth?

April 26, 2012

Fiat at Carmax.jpg Our 2012 Fiat 500 is nearing the end of its term in our fleet. When selling time arrives, we usually look at Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) and compare that to what we we're offered for a car at Carmax. However, since this car is still relatively new to the U.S. market, there is currently no used pricing data available. Our TMV analysts are working hard to crunch the numbers, but won't have their results ready until the end of next month. We've got the new-car itch, though, and we need to start clearing out some old toys before we can get new ones.

As with the Volt, we went into Carmax with no clue as to what the folks there would offer us for the car. I hazarded a guess of $17,500 based on what similar 500s were being listed for on AutoTrader. Turns out, I was way off the mark.

The pros at Carmax didn't blink an eye when I brought in the 500. I asked them if this was the first Fiat they've appraised and they said no. "People have brought us Fiats that they won in a raffle or on a game show," said the appraiser.

Maybe those winners needed the money or wanted something bigger. Perhaps they got tired of the J-Lo commercials. Anyway, 20 minutes later, I was staring at the computer screen with the Carmax offer: $14,000. For reference, we paid $19,200. This was a depreciation of about 27 percent.

For another comparison, I decided to call Trade-In Solutions, another appraisal business I recently heard about. The rep there didn’t have pricing information on the Fiat either, but told me earlier this week that if I called back with the Carmax price, Trade-In Solutions would let me know whether they could beat it or not.

"Take the Carmax offer," said the representative "It's a good price."

We have a week to mull it over. In the meantime, let us know what you think. Should we take the offer?

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 15,300 miles

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