#find car value
How to Find the Value of a Car by VIN Number
The auto industry assigns a unique 17-digit code to each vehicle produced by any manufacturer. This code is called a vehicle identification number, or VIN. Each code consists of a set of numbers and letters that not only identifies your specific vehicle, but helps interested third-parties such as vehicle appraisers store information about your car’s history, including accidents, title issues and its value. To find a car’s value using the VIN, you can visit a do-it-yourself website or a dealer, or estimate it yourself, based on the car’s unique history.
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The National Automobile Dealers Association, or NADA, offers vehicle appraisal information through two links on its website: one for customers and one for lenders and dealers. When you visit the site. you can click on the Visit Consumer Site field to find out the estimated value of any late-model car by entering generic information such as the year and mileage of the vehicle, but you can’t get a specific value because there is no field to for entering a VIN. Lenders and dealers, however, have the ability to enter a VIN and can find a specific car’s value. They pay a fee for this service; most lenders and dealers do subscribe to the NADA. When shopping for a car, ask your salesperson to look up the value of your car or any car you wish to purchase. Preferably, have the salesperson do this in front of you.
- Be wary of any dealer who asks you to pay for your NADA report. They should offer this information to you for free.
- When reading your NADA report, verify that the VIN is listed on the report and it matches the vehicle in question.
Car Gurus offers a free market-value vehicle estimate for your car and allows consumers who register for an account to enter their own VINs. The data is straightforward and simple, with basic information about the market value of a car as well as its trade-in value. The market value is a rough estimate of what you can expect somebody to pay a dealer to purchase the car, and the trade-in value is what you can get if you either sell a car to a dealer or apply the value to another car purchase. The Car Gurus site also displays images of and information on similar cars for sale at dealers near you. To use a VIN on Car Gurus to find a car’s value, click here. Select Car Values from the menu, and on the next page, fill in the Lookup by VIN field to find out the value of a specific car.
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