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How to see what your car is worth – and how to sell it for the highest dollar?

How to see what your car is worth - and how to sell it for the highest dollar?

Illustrations by Michele Marconi

The used car market has become Bizarro World.

The combined effects of the pandemic, supply chain problems and inflation have turned the conventional wisdom on its head that all vehicles virtually depreciate from the moment they are driven off a dealer’s premises. This, in turn, has sent many buyers to the used car market, with the added demand decimating dealer inventories and causing stratospheric price increases for used cars.

The most recent figures indicate that the average price of a used car stands at $28,365, which is about 62% higher than it was in Dec 2019when the average price was around $17,500.

While these factors have made buying a cheap ride a huge challenge, they’ve also been a boon to those selling or trading in a pre-owned model. Fortunately or unfortunately – depending on whether one is a buyer or seller – reports suggest the proverbial ship is in the process of erecting itself. Used car prices dropped by 0.4% in April, after a decline of 3.8% in March, although they recovered slightly in April.

That means used vehicles will probably never be worth more than they are now, and savvy owners might want to consider cashing in or trading them in before values ​​take a dip.