Get Used Car Values With Edmunds' Car Value Appraisal Tool

We designed the Edmunds used car appraisal tool to provide the most accurate price for your current vehicle, so you'll be able to make the best decision when it's time to sell or trade. Simply enter the year, make and model of your vehicle, plus any options it has, to get your free appraisal.


Understand Your Car's Market Value

The Edmunds free car appraisal tool can help you make a smart decision on your trade-in or used car purchase. It gives you an accurate price for your used vehicle. Our appraisal tool lets you decide whether to trade in or sell your used vehicle when you're ready to buy.

Ultimately, no online car valuation calculator can be 100% accurate. It is important to note that these numbers are estimates that can be used to verify a used vehicle cost or help you determine what to pay for a used car.

Check out the Edmunds car appraisal calculator to find out what your used vehicle is worth.


A Quick Guide to the Edmunds Car Value Tool

The Edmunds calculator for used car values bases its pricing on data from a wide variety of sources, including dealer transactions, depreciation costs for unique automobiles, and consumer information. The appraised value is based on a number of factors, including year, make, model, trim, mileage, depreciation and features. All of these play a significant role in determining the value of your used vehicle.

The free valuation tool also has five used-vehicle condition levels: outstanding, clean, average, rough and damaged. Most people who use the tool will likely choose one of these three: clean, average or rough.

Once you've entered your details, you will be presented with three or four automobile values: trade-in, private party, dealer retail and certified used.

The trade-in price is what you can expect the dealer to give you if you trade in your used vehicle. This is always the lowest of the values. If you want to improve on that number, there are some alternatives to trading in that you should consider.

The private-party amount is what you can expect to get for the auto if you sell it on your own. This is always a higher amount than the trade-in value, but it takes more work because you'll be dealing with offers from buyers.

"Dealer retail" is aimed at used-car buyers. This figure is an average of what you might expect to pay if you bought the pre-owned car at a dealership. If the used vehicle is new enough, you will also see a "certified used" number, which reflects the higher price you'd see when shopping for a certified pre-owned vehicle.

Other Pricing Guides

In addition to the Edmunds tool, you will see other pricing guides on the web. Here's an overview.

Kelley Blue Book Price Guide

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is an automotive shopping site. As a company, it has been around since 1962. It is one of many tools used by car dealers to determine car values for their inventory. It also provides used-car sales appraisals and new-car buying information to consumers.

Kelley Blue Book Value vs. Edmunds

In general, you'll find that the KBB values are similar to those provided by Edmunds. We don't have access to how KBB calculates its prices, but at a high level, Kelley also is paying attention to vehicle age, trim, trends in the market, features and mileage.

The "Blue Book value," as it is sometimes called, will vary based on the shape your automobile is in. There are four levels: fair, good, very good and excellent. KBB says that of the cars it values, 3% are excellent, 18% are fair, 23% are very good and 54% are good.

If you want to compare those terms to Edmunds', Kelley Blue Book's "very good" would be our "outstanding," "good" would be our "clean," and "fair" is our "rough." KBB does not have an equivalent for the "damaged" description.

NADA Used Car Guide

The NADA Guide started in 1933. It provides used-vehicle valuation products and services to the auto, finance, fleet, government and insurance industries. The pricing guide is an industry tool used by many dealerships and is not available to the average person. Instead, the company created a consumer-facing website called NADAguides that provides pricing valuation to consumers for new and used cars, classic cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs and manufactured homes.

NADA Used Car Guide vs. Edmunds

The NADAguides site has a similar appraisal interface to Edmunds, but it uses its own proprietary method of determining a vehicle's value. If the numbers don't match up with those from Edmunds, this is likely why. NADA has three vehicle states — rough, average, clean — that seem to mirror those on Edmunds.

Getting the Most Out of the Edmunds Free Car Appraisal Tool

Earlier, we gave you a quick overview of the tool. Here's some more detail, which will help you see why adding specific options are worth the time you put into it.

The Importance of Style and Options

After you've put in the vehicle year and make, you'll select the style, also called the trim level. The style can refer to the type of engine, standard features, or the number of doors it has. Here's a refresher on trim levels.

Major features, such as the car's transmission, engine type and all-wheel drive, can have a big impact on the value of the car. The same goes for options such as leather seats, navigation, a sunroof or automatic climate control. If you can remember your car's options off the top of your head, great. If not, here are some suggestions on where to get the information you need.

The vehicle's original window sticker is the best place to find what options are on your vehicle. Unfortunately, few people actually hang onto the sticker. Without it, your best bet is to sit in your car and make a note of its options. If you're using a smartphone, tablet or laptop (assuming you're within Wi-Fi range), you can complete the options check from the driver's seat. Otherwise, print out the options page from the Edmunds website and check off the items as you sit in your car, and then enter the information online. It is crucial to get the style and options right. Without them, you may be under- or overvaluing your car.

Coming Clean on Condition Levels

As mentioned earlier, Edmunds' free online tool for used car values has five condition levels: outstanding, clean, average, rough and damaged. Most people who use the tool will likely choose one of just three: clean, average or rough.

You might be tempted to choose "outstanding" to get more money for your used auto. After all, you've pampered your car the entire time you've owned it, right? But the truth is that few cars qualify for this rating.

"Outstanding" is reserved for older, low-mileage vehicles in cases where well-preserved examples are hard to find, says Richard Arca, senior manager of pricing for Edmunds.

Edmunds True Market Value (TMV®) used car prices are all set at "clean" condition, Arca says. The price of a car in a less-than-clean state is adjusted downward from there, and it reflects what it would cost to get the vehicle up to a clean state.

If your vehicle was in an accident, it could still be considered "clean" if it was repaired with factory parts and according to the manufacturer's specifications, Arca says.

"In reality, cars that have been in accidents tend to lose market value, but there is really no way to gauge how much," Arca says. He adds that some of the factors that affect the value are the severity of the damage, the quality of the repair, and the demand for that particular model.

Be honest and objective about the state of your used vehicle. Try to see things from a potential buyer's perspective.

It's Easy to Be Real

Getting a realistic value for your car is key to what you do next, whether that's selling the car, trading it in, or even keeping it for a while longer. By using the Edmunds car appraisal tool in any of its forms, you'll have a clear-eyed assessment of your car's real worth, not a number based on guesswork and high hopes.


Frequently Asked Questions

The value of your car will vary based on its year, make, model, features, its rate of depreciation, and condition level. Where you choose to sell it will also affect its price. Trade-in prices are typically lower since the dealer needs to make a profit. You can maximize the car's value by selling it yourself, but it requires more time and effort. Learn more
Use Edmunds' appraisal tool to enter your vehicle's make, model, trim level and options. Input the correct odometer reading and be honest about the condition level. Next, use the trade-in figure as a baseline for what to expect from a dealership estimate. Learn more
You'll need to be familiar with your vehicle's year, make, model, trim level, options and mileage in order to get an accurate estimate of its value. Once you have that information, enter it into the Edmunds appraisal tool. Learn more
Yes, but you'll want to verify that the value of your trade-in is enough to pay off the loan. Otherwise, the balance will roll into the next auto loan and you'll owe more than the car is worth. Learn more
The Kelley Blue Book price is a trademarked car valuation from KBB. Many people use this term, along with "black book" or "Edmunds TMV." They're all terms used to describe the estimated market value of the vehicle in question. This price is used to determine what to pay for a new or used car. Learn more
The NADA value is another term for a trademarked car valuation from J.D. Power. There is a version that dealerships use internally to determine trade-in value. The consumer-oriented version is called NADAguides. Learn more
This will vary greatly based on the year, make, model, body style, condition level, mileage, and where the vehicle is being sold. This is why it is important to use a car price guide like this one on Edmunds. If you're buying from a previous owner, you'll want to look at the private-party value and make an offer based on that. If you're buying from a dealership, you'll want to focus on the retail value and make an offer that is between the trade-in value and the retail value. Learn more
Lexus has the highest resale value among luxury brands, and Toyota has the highest resale value among non-luxury makes, according to Edmunds analysts. Learn more

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