The Ins and Outs of Used Car Pricing

A car search for a good deal is a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, but a little research ahead of time can cut down the number of vehicles you have to sort through. The best way to do that is by knowing the ins and outs of used car pricing. Find out:

The first thing to understand is that the price of a used vehicle isn’t set in stone. Both private-party sellers and dealerships know that the asking or dealer retail price is negotiable, which is why they include a little padding in their numbers to cover themselves.

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You can get an idea of what a vehicle should be worth by checking out valuation websites, such as Kelley Blue Book(r) and Edmunds. These sites provide the average market value (also called True Market Value or TMV) for a specific vehicle.

If you’re working with a dealer, they may add on extras to their price to offset the cost of the vehicle and the reconditioning costs associated with it. This is why it’s important to make a list of the features you must have in a used car and to be flexible on the ones that you can sacrifice for a better deal.

When negotiating with a private seller, don’t let them intimidate you by implying that they have a time limit on the sale. Be polite and friendly, but firm in your negotiations. It’s also a good idea to take any vehicle you’re considering to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection before you finalize the deal.

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