What is “Current Market Value” and how do you determine it?
Current Market Value is the actual wholesale value of the vehicle—the amount the top bidder at an auction would pay for it. After you select which Planet vehicle you would want to own, we ask you some questions about your vehicle. Then we inspect your vehicle’s mechanical and cosmetic condition, optional equipment, color, service history, resale potential, and other factors.
How do you ensure the Current Market Value is accurate?
Depending on the situation, we use a combination of the following:
Why does your Current Market Value differ from values I found on consumer websites?
With consumer pricing websites, at best you get a ballpark. At worst, they can give an air of authority to values that are not grounded in reality. Consumer sites use algorithms to depreciate the original price of the car when new. However, there can be a big difference between a “depreciation prediction” and Current Market Value.
What are some examples of these errors?
To see for yourself, add 200,000 miles to the mileage of your trade. This would diminish the actual value of the vehicle to almost zero. However, internet sites typically deduct only a thousand or two. Other errors occur on vehicles with terrible repair records, because the computer doesn’t deduct enough value for their poor reputation for reliability. Other errors occur when the condition is rated improperly—not surprisingly, most consumers tend to see their used vehicles in a much more flattering light than they will be seen by the ultimate purchaser.
Why is there such a big difference between trade in value and retail value?
Depending on the vehicle, this difference is usually $3,000 to $4,000. That sounds like a big margin. But after you deduct reconditioning expenses (they average almost $1,000 per car), advertising expenses (hey, you found us somehow, didn’t you?), facility expenses (you think your home mortgage is expensive, imagine eleven acres of prime commercial real estate), personnel expenses (we need money to buy all those polyester suits and pinky rings), and we don’t always get “retail value” (cars depreciate and if we don’t sell them quickly then we need to reduce the price.)
Is there an option if my trade isn’t worth much?
Get a $500 tax deduction when you donate your car to the Special Olympics! Click here to learn more.