How to Sell Your Car
4 minutes

Used car values for trade-in and private party selling

The first thing that must be determined when selling a car is what the car is worth. Find out how to determine the value of the car for a fast sale using a blue book.

Bluebook is a term that car dealerships use to determine the value of a vehicle. When a used vehicle is traded in for a new car the salesperson or manager gets out the blue book to determine what the car is worth. When the dealer puts the trade-in on the lot, the price the dealer sells it for is also determined by the bluebook. The blue book also shows the private party value, which is the most important value when selling a car from person to person. The tech writers from the cheapest essay writing service, King Essays, share the following guidelines to follow. So dive in to learn more about selling your car.

How to find the value of selling your car?

There are a few companies that determine car values that can be accessed on the Internet. Before determining the value of a vehicle there’s certain vehicle information that must be known before proceeding.

  • Year of the Vehicle
  • Make of the Vehicle (Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc.)
  • Vehicle Model (Taurus, Impala, Camry, etc.)
  • Vehicle Trim (XL, SE, CE, etc.)
  • Current Mileage
  • Engine Size
  • Transmission Type (automatic or manual)

This is some of the basic information that’s needed. If there is any other optional equipment on the vehicle, this also needs to be inputted because it will add to the value of the vehicle. The next step is to understand what the different values represent.

Used car trade-in values

If a quick sale is needed, many car dealers will buy a used car from a private party. The dealer will use the trade-in value from the blue book. This is also the value that a dealer will use for a used car when it is traded in for a new car. Most dealers will start at this value when deciding on how much money is given to the customer. Once the book value is determined, the dealer will usually start deducting money from the trade-in value for any repairs that need to be made.

Used car private party value

If a used car is sold from one person to another person, the private party value is what’s used to determine how much the vehicle is worth. For a fast sale, it’s a good idea to list the selling price at a value less than the private party value. Show the potential buyer the actual value as it’s listed in the blue book and let them know the selling price is less than what’s recommended. If leasing or buying a new car, selling the old car close to private party value could result in a larger down payment versus a trade-in.

Used car suggest retail value

This is the value that a new or used car dealer will use for the selling price of the vehicle to a retail customer. Even though this is the highest value that’s listed in a blue book, purchasing a used vehicle from a dealer can have some advantages versus buying from a private party.

There are a multitude of advertising methods to sell a car. There are print ads like a local newspaper or auto magazines.

There’s the old-fashioned way of putting a for-sale sign in the rear and side windows. Then there’s the Internet. Selling a car online is one of the cheapest, fastest, and best ways of reaching a lot of potential buyers compared to any other advertising method.

Why is selling a used car online a better option?

With the coming of age of the Internet, new car dealers were horrified that large dealership groups would list and sell new vehicles on the Internet. It turned out that most consumers what to touch, feel, and test-drive a new car before they made a purchase. Buyers may visit a dealer’s website for various information but ultimately will visit the dealership showroom.

Used cars are a different story. When people are in the market for a used car, they would rather see what the vehicle looks like, see what kind of condition the vehicle is in, get a price, and find out the vehicle particulars before they physically look at the vehicle. The Internet allows the potential buyer to do all that and more. Some other reasons selling a car online is a better option are:

  • The quality and amount of pictures that can be listed on the Internet are better than print ads.
  • More potential buyers use the Internet to search for used cars than any other media.
  • The Internet allows for much quicker listings. Print ads can take days as Internet listings can be done in minutes.
  • More information can be listed online than in print ads.
  • Internet listings are generally less expensive than print ads.

Before selling a car online

Before listing a car, whether it’s online or not, there are a few things that should be done before the listing.

  • Determine the value of the car. Use a value slightly less than the private party value.
  • Thoroughly clean the vehicle. Consider getting it professionally detailed.
  • Take plenty of pictures of the exterior, interior, engine, wheels, and tires.
  • Make a list of vehicle particulars like mileage, engine size, transmission type, and other amenities that a potential buyer would be interested in.
  • Make sure that the vehicle title and registration are in proper order.`
  • Gather the maintenance records. A well-maintained vehicle is a good selling point.

Once the decision is made to list a car online, it’s time to decide which Internet site to use. Find out the best Internet websites for selling a car.


Determine the value of a car using a bluebook to help with trading in or selling it privately.

Gather information such as year, make, model, trim, mileage, engine size, and transmission type for car valuation.

Understand the trade-in values and private party values when selling the car.

Clean the car thoroughly before listing and take plenty of images of the exterior, interior, engine, and other features.

Check vehicle title and registration, as well as gather maintenance records for a better sales point.

Select an appropriate internet website to list the car online.


Get a free car check

Enter the registration number to check car details instantly

Get a free car check