Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Are all used vehicles of the same year, make, and model the same?

Say you're searching on a site like Autotrader or KBB's Classifieds, and you see two used vehicles that seem identical, but are drastically different in price. What's the cause for this? Why do vehicles of the same year, make, and model, have such a range of values?

The answer lies mostly in the individual vehicle's history. The way a vehicle is driven, maintained, and repaired make a big impact on its resale price. Keep these factors in mind when comparing prices, so you have a real "apples to apples" comparison.
  • Mileage - This is a simple, but reliable indicator of the way in which this vehicle was used. Higher miles on a late-model vehicle can indicate that it was on the highway a lot, without much stop and go or idling stress on the engine, transmission, and suspension. 
    • On an older vehicle, lower miles could be evidence of a well-respected vehicle that didn't see much of the road, and was maintained well.
  • Service Records - If documentation about where, when, and how repairs were made, how frequently oil changes were performed, or whether preventative maintenance was performed on a good schedule can be provided, the value of a vehicle can be improved a great deal.
  • Number of Owners - "One owner" vehicles can be worth more, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a vehicle that has had two or more owners hasn't been treated well and could carry more value, either.
  • Operating Conditions - Are there signs that the vehicle idled a lot, or was driven hard? One of Steve's examples is ambulances. They don't clock a lot of miles, but they spend all day idling, which can be tough on an engine. Do your homework and ask about the previous use of a former commercial vehicle.
    • Another factor in this category is where the vehicle spent most of its time. Vehicles that are from snowy areas that use salt on the roads can possibly have rust issues that would lower their value, versus vehicles from a warmer climate.
  • Individual Dealer Practices - Some dealers list their lowest price on classified sites, while others leave room to negotiate.
We work hard to provide you with as much information as we can, in order to make your shopping experience with us as pleasant as possible. Stop by to see Breck or Steve, and they can share this kind of information, along with much more, with you as you shop.

For more information on the Daniell Motors family, and to find your own vehicle, visit DaniellMotors.com.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? We'd love to hear them. Tell us what's on your mind in the comments!

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