How Much Should I Sell My Car For?

Table of Contents

People often wonder, “how much should I sell my car for?” Determining how much to sell your car for can be a challenge, but setting an appropriate price is crucial to attract potential buyers and ensure a fair deal for both parties.

Research the Market

Start by researching the current market value of similar vehicles. Online platforms, such as classified ads and car selling websites, can provide valuable insights into the average prices of comparable models.

  • Online Platforms: Utilize online platforms such as classified ads websites, car selling websites, and online marketplaces. Look for listings of cars similar to yours in terms of make, model, year, and condition. Pay attention to the asking prices of these vehicles and note any patterns or trends.
  • Multiple Sources: Explore multiple platforms and websites to gather a broader range of information. This will give you a more accurate understanding of the market value and help you avoid potential biases or outliers.
  • Set Realistic Comparisons: Look for vehicles that closely resemble yours. Pay attention to the year, make, model, trim level, engine type, and other relevant specifications. A similar car with significantly lower or higher mileage, better or worse condition, or additional features may have different price expectations.
  • Consider Local Factors: Prices can vary based on factors such as regional demand, availability of similar models, and even climate. If you’re selling your car in a rural area with limited options, prices may be different compared to a more populated urban area.
  • Time Frame: Prices can fluctuate over time due to market conditions, seasonality, or specific events. Be aware of any recent changes in the market that may impact the pricing dynamics.
  • Professional Appraisals: If you want a more accurate assessment, consider getting a professional appraisal. Car dealerships, independent appraisers, or online appraisal services can provide a detailed evaluation of your car’s value based on its specific condition, features, and market trends.
man evaluating car condition looking under hood of car

Evaluate Your Car's Condition

Be honest and objective when assessing your car’s condition. Consider factors such as mechanical performance, maintenance history, exterior and interior appearance, and the presence of any modifications or additional accessories. Remember that potential buyers will likely conduct their own inspections, so an accurate evaluation is essential.

  • Consider factors such as the engine performance, transmission, brakes, suspension, and overall functionality. Check if there are any leaks, unusual noises, or warning lights on the dashboard. If necessary, have a trusted mechanic inspect the car to identify any potential issues.
  • Exterior Appearance: Inspect the exterior of the car for any signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, rust, or paint chips. Check the condition of the tires, including the tread depth and any uneven wear. Ensure that all exterior features, such as lights, mirrors, and windshield wipers, are functioning properly.
  • Interior Condition: Evaluate the interior of the car, including the seats, upholstery, dashboard, and carpeting. Look for any signs of wear, stains, or damage. Check the functionality of features like air conditioning, heating, audio system, and any other interior accessories. Ensure that all buttons, switches, and controls are working as intended.
  • Vehicle History Reports: Consider obtaining a vehicle history report, which can provide information on accidents, title status, previous owners, and mileage verification. This report can give potential buyers confidence in the car’s history and transparency.
  • Cleanliness: Ensure that the car is thoroughly cleaned both inside and out before potential buyers view it. Remove any personal items and clutter, vacuum the interior, and wash the exterior to present the car in its best possible condition.
  • Check that all the features and accessories of the car are working correctly. This includes elements such as power windows, central locking, remote keyless entry, navigation system, entertainment system, and any other technological or convenience features specific to your car model.
up close photo of mileage in car speedometer

Mileage Matters

The mileage on your car plays a significant role in determining its value. Higher mileage generally translates to more wear and tear, potentially affecting the car’s longevity and performance. Compare the mileage of your vehicle with similar models to gauge its relative value. Lower mileage may warrant a higher asking price, while higher mileage may require a more competitive price.

  • Wear and Tear: The mileage of a car is a good indicator of the wear and tear it has undergone. Higher mileage generally implies that the car has been driven more, which can result in increased mechanical and cosmetic wear.

  • Longevity and Reliability: Lower mileage cars are often perceived as having a longer remaining lifespan. Buyers may prefer vehicles with lower mileage as they expect them to be less prone to major mechanical issues in the near future.

  • Resale Value: Generally, cars with lower mileage tend to retain their value better, while those with higher mileage experience more significant depreciation. Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for vehicles with lower mileage as they offer a longer period of use before reaching higher mileage thresholds that may impact resale value.

  • Market Demand: Some buyers specifically seek out low mileage vehicles, especially for models known for their durability and reliability. Conversely, certain market segments may be more accepting of higher mileage vehicles if they prioritize affordability over low mileage.

  • Cost of Ownership: Higher mileage cars may have reduced fuel efficiency due to increased engine wear. Additionally, as a car accumulates more mileage, it may require more frequent maintenance, repairs, and component replacements, increasing the overall cost of ownership.

Lineup of Cars at Dealership parking lot

Consider Market Demand

If the model you are selling is in high demand, you may have more leverage to set a higher price. Conversely, if the market is flooded with similar vehicles, you may need to be more competitive with your pricing to attract potential buyers.

Check out Carmigo’s Used Car Market Watch on Youtube to keep up with the latest market trends.

  • Supply and Demand Dynamics: If the demand for a particular make, model, or vehicle segment is high, it generally means there are more potential buyers competing for available cars. On the other hand, if the supply of similar vehicles outweighs the number of interested buyers, it may lead to a more competitive market where sellers may need to adjust their prices to attract potential buyers.
  • Popular Models and Features: Research and identify which car models are currently popular and sought after by buyers. Additionally, specific features or options that are in demand, such as advanced safety features, fuel efficiency, or technology enhancements, can positively impact the perceived value of your car.
  • Seasonal Factors: Market demand can fluctuate based on seasonal factors. For example, convertibles may be more popular during the summer months, while four-wheel-drive vehicles may have higher demand in regions with harsh winters. 
  • Regional Differences: Certain vehicles may be more popular or in higher demand in specific areas due to factors such as climate, cultural preferences, or specific regional needs. 
  • Timing and Market Trends: Factors such as new car releases, changes in fuel prices, emerging technologies, or shifts in consumer preferences can impact the demand for specific types of vehicles. 
  • Competition Analysis: Analyze the number of similar cars available for sale in your area and their asking prices. If there is an abundance of similar cars on the market, it may indicate higher competition and the need to set a more competitive price to attract potential buyers.


older age car that has been depreciated in value

Account for Age and Depreciation

Cars generally depreciate over time, with newer models losing value at a faster rate. Online tools, such as depreciation calculators, can provide estimates of your car’s current value based on its original purchase price and age.

  • Cars typically experience the highest depreciation in the first few years of ownership. Consider depreciation when setting the price for your car as potential buyers will take this into account.
  • As a vehicle gets older, it generally loses value due to factors such as wear and tear, technological advancements in newer models, and changing market preferences. 
  • Look at historical data and depreciation trends for similar makes and models to understand how the value of your car has likely changed over time. Online resources, industry publications, and valuation guides can provide information on depreciation rates for different car models based on their age.
  • Certain age milestones: some buyers may be hesitant to purchase a car approaching certain mileage thresholds, such as 100,000 miles or 150,000 miles, which can affect the pricing strategy.
  • In some cases, certain older cars may gain value or hold their value well due to factors such as rarity, collectability, or historical significance. Classic cars, limited edition models, or vehicles with unique features or historical importance may have a different pricing dynamic compared to more common, everyday vehicles.


Documented Maintenance and Service History

Keeping a record of your car’s maintenance and service history can enhance its value in the eyes of potential buyers. A well-documented history demonstrates that the car has been well-maintained, reducing concerns about future repairs. Highlight any major repairs or recent maintenance that can positively influence the asking price.

  • Demonstrates Care and Reliability: A comprehensive maintenance and service history provides evidence that regular maintenance, inspections, and necessary repairs have been performed, which implies that the vehicle is more likely to be reliable and in good working condition. Potential buyers often prefer cars with a documented service history as it gives them confidence in the car’s overall reliability.
  • Validates Mileage: Regular maintenance records with recorded mileage at each service interval can provide a transparent and consistent record of the car’s usage. This helps alleviate concerns about potential odometer tampering or discrepancies, which can enhance buyer trust.
  • Reduces Buyer Uncertainty: Having a documented service history helps address concerns by providing a transparent record of the car’s maintenance and repair activities. It gives potential buyers insight into the car’s past and allows them to make more informed decisions.
  • Increases Resale Value: Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a car with a comprehensive record of regular maintenance and repairs. It provides peace of mind to buyers, knowing that the car has been well-maintained and is less likely to have underlying issues.
  • Facilitates Future Maintenance: A service history is a guide for future maintenance and helps ensure that the vehicle receives the necessary care and servicing. Buyers appreciate having access to records that can help them continue the proper maintenance of the car and extend its lifespan.


interior of car with leather upholstery and additional upgrades

Factor in Additional Features and Upgrades

Features such as a premium sound system, leather seats, navigation systems, or safety enhancements can justify a higher asking price. However, keep in mind that personal preferences may vary, and not all upgrades will significantly increase the value.

  • Enhanced Desirability: These can include advanced safety features, upgraded audio systems, navigation systems, leather upholstery, sunroofs, alloy wheels, or other luxury and convenience features. Buyers may be willing to pay a higher price for a car that offers these added features, as they enhance the driving experience and provide added value.
  • Differentiation from Standard Models: If your car has unique features or upgrades that differentiate it from standard models, it can increase its desirability and value. For example an upgraded exhaust system, suspension modifications, or engine tuning can attract buyers who are specifically seeking a modified or high-performance vehicle.
  • Practical Upgrades: Roof racks, towing packages, cargo organizers, or additional storage compartments can increase the functionality of the vehicle. Buyers who have specific needs or hobbies that require these practical features may be willing to pay more for a car that already has them installed.
  • Technology Upgrades: Upgrades such as touchscreen infotainment systems, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone integration, backup cameras, or advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) can enhance the value of your car. 


three adults negotiating happily at an office

Be Realistic and Flexible

While it’s natural to want to get the most money possible for your car, it’s crucial to be realistic about its value. Setting an inflated price may discourage potential buyers and prolong the selling process. Consider setting a competitive price that reflects the market value, condition, and other relevant factors. Additionally, be open to negotiation and willing to adjust your price if necessary.

  • Overpricing your car may deter potential buyers, while underpricing it may leave money on the table. Be objective and open to adjusting your asking price based on market feedback and buyer interest.
  • Negotiation: Buyers often expect some room for negotiation when purchasing a used car. Being flexible during this process can help facilitate a mutually beneficial agreement. Consider your lowest acceptable price and be open to reasonable offers from potential buyers. Flexibility in negotiations can help maintain buyer interest and increase the likelihood of closing a deal.
  • Timing: If you’re in a hurry to sell, being flexible with the timing and potentially adjusting the price can attract more buyers and expedite the sale. However, if you have the luxury of time, you can afford to be more patient and hold out for a higher offer. 
  • Presentation and Marketing: Be open to feedback and suggestions from potential buyers or trusted sources on ways to improve the presentation or marketing strategy. This can include making minor repairs, addressing cosmetic issues, or enhancing the vehicle’s overall appeal. 
  • Inspection and Test Drives: When potential buyers want to inspect or test drive your car, be accommodating and flexible with scheduling. Address any questions or concerns they may have and provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision. 


If you want to get multiple offers for your vehicle in one just day, Carmigo can help you with that. Carmigo eliminates the need to haggle with dealerships or strangers on the internet. Plus, you can set your asking price once you’ve determined a fair value for your vehicle. If Carmigo’s marketplace does not meet or beat that price, you have no obligation to sell and you pay nothing.