What Is a Car Appraisal?


How Does a Car Appraisal WorkThere comes a time in your life when you need to get a new car. Whether the family has grown, your commuting needs have changed, or you just want to try something new, a great way to get a new car includes trading in your current one. That’s where car appraisals come in. So, what is a car appraisal?

A car appraisal is an official estimate of your vehicle’s fair market value. This standardized process is often performed by one of our trained appraisers. Typically, you’ll need an appraisal whenever you’re attempting to trade in or sell your vehicle to one of our dealerships.

Having your car, truck, or SUV appraised not only makes you a better-informed seller, but it also can improve your negotiating power! To help drivers better understand this process, we’ve created this informative guide.

Take a look before buying or selling your next vehicle through AcceleRide®! Have any questions? Give us a call.

How Does a Car Appraisal Work?

Selling or trading in your vehicle is often a smart way to secure a great deal on a new ride. Like all consumer products, your car has certain monetary value. Figuring out its exact worth often requires the experienced eye of a trained appraiser.

For the best outcome, you’ll want to notify the dealership early on of your trade-in. This gives us the opportunity to do our research before scheduling a time to thoroughly appraise your vehicle.

When evaluating your car, truck, or SUV, our appraisers take into consideration three major components. These include:


Is your vehicle only a few years old? Have you kept up with its routine maintenance? Is it free of chips and major dents? A newer car, truck, or SUV that can easily be spruced up and put onto the lot will often fetch a higher trade-in value than one sold for parts at the local auto auction.

Odometer Reading

It’s a fact that low-mileage vehicles provide better resale value. Now, that doesn’t mean a high-mileage vehicle can’t secure a fair quote, especially if it’s been properly maintained and has a clear accident history.

Local Marketplace

Trying to sell your pickup in a big city? Your appraisal might end up being higher if you sell it to a dealership located in a rural area. You should also consider basic supply and demand. If your local used car market is flooded with vehicles similar to yours, it might affect the appraiser’s official quote. However, if there are no vehicles similar to yours on the lot, your vehicle’s appraisal could be more.

Where Can I Get a Car Appraisal Online?

Online Car AppraisalDo you like doing your own legwork? If so, check out our handy Value Your Trade tool. Simply enter your vehicle’s information to receive an initial estimate. That way, you’ll have a ballpark idea of what our appraisers will present to you after their official assessment.

It’s also a good idea to consult third-party websites, like Kelley Blue Book® and Edmunds.com. Not only can they supply a rough estimate, but they can also show you how similar models were recently appraised in your local area.

It’s important to remember: While helpful, these online estimates do not guarantee a specific monetary value—that can only be achieved via an in-person appraisal performed by a professional appraiser.

Can I Raise the Value of My Car?

You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to raise the value of your vehicle before having it appraised. The answer is, yes! We’ve already told you which factors will determine the value of your car, but how can you make sure you get the best value?

One way is to make sure your car is clean. We know that life on the road can get messy. With pets, kids, or unruly roommates, your vehicle may be in need of deep cleaning. By taking it to the car wash and vacuuming the inside, you can make sure your car looks as new as possible. Even a quick wash can make a difference!

Another way you may be able to boost the value of your car is to fix small damages. For instance, if your car has  a few scratches and dents that are able to be fixed, take a few minutes to do so before bringing it in for your appraisal.

Should I Complete Maintenance Before an Appraisal?

Car MaintenanceAnother quick way to boost your car’s trade-in value is to stay up to date with its  maintenance. This plays into the condition of your car, which then factors into the appraisal value. If your car is due for routine maintenance, like an oil change or inspection, you can get that done before trading it in.

An inspection is a great idea because it can point out any issues or minor fixes your car might need. When you bring in a vehicle that’s in peak condition and doesn’t need any repairs, you might end up getting more for your vehicle.

How Does Trading in Help With Getting a New Car?

So, why would you even want to trade in your car in the first place? Well, you can lower the price of your next car. When your car is appraised by our team, you’ll receive the trade-in value. This can then be applied to the down payment on your next vehicle.

This can allow you to take out a smaller loan for your next ride, which can then lead to lower monthly payments in the future.

Learn More About Our Car Appraisal Process

With AcceleRide®, buying or selling a car is easier than ever before! So, if you’re ready to hit the streets in a new ride, utilize our online appraisal tool now and you’ll receive an offer within 30 minutes!