How to Get the Best Deals on Used Car Pricing


The used car market is massive, and dealers make money when they sell a vehicle to someone else. As such, they must mark up the vehicles on their lot to cover the cost of reconditioning them and getting them to market. This is normal and expected, and it’s easy to tell if a dealer is overpriced by referring to online pricing tools like KBB or Edmunds. But a number of other factors impact the price of a specific car, including its original retail value, the number of miles on the odometer and any aftermarket modifications. Sources:

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Some accessories add to the car’s value while others lower it. For example, a dealer will probably pay more for a car that has a sunroof than one without, and cars in more common colors like blue or metallic gray sell faster than those in more adventurous hues. Likewise, aftermarket extras like oversized wheels, a fake hood scoop or coal-black window tint typically don’t add much.

Before you negotiate, look up the model you’re interested in in several different pricing guides, such as those published by the National Auto Research Black Book, Kelley Blue Book and VMR. This will give you a range of values for the particular car you’re considering, and help you negotiate effectively. Also, always ask if the numbers you’re being quoted are “out-the-door” prices that include all taxes and fees, or just the sale price of the car. And never be afraid to ask a salesperson to repeat the numbers, or even write them down, to ensure you understand what’s being discussed.