How is a Used Car Appraised?

If you want to sell a used car in Sacramento, CA, then there are a few ways to go about it. Among them are selling privately or contacting a dealership. Working with a dealership, like Cash for Cards in Sacramento, comes with the advantage of having a professional car dealer appraise the condition of your car and offering a competitive quote based on national market statistics for the make and model of the car. Going privately makes the process much more haphazard. This means that the majority of sellers choose to opt for the services of a professional car dealer. 

If you were to sell with Cars for Cash in Sacramento, for example, a professional car dealer can be dispatched to appraise your car and offer a quote at no extra price. The expertise involved in a professional appraisal is what makes for the typically higher than trade-in prices. There are two branches of this expertise – the ability to appraise the car itself (involving condition, age, and performance) and the high degree of market knowledge and reach that allows that car to be sold on at the maximum value. All meaning a maximum payout to the seller. 

Make no mistake, the work of a professional car dealer from a reputable dealership is no easy job. In fact, it requires years of experience, a keen eye, and an intimate knowledge of the used car market. 

What is a Car Appraisal?

Car appraisals are sometimes known as valuations, and their main function is to provide sellers with an informed figure for how much a car is worth within the market in which it is to be sold. Appraisals can be organized by those looking to buy and sell cars. When provided by a dealership, an appraisal usually results in a price which the car can be immediately sold for. 

What Affects a Car Appraisal?

Intention of Buyer

Despite what you might expect, appraisals can often be affected by factors that have nothing to do with the actual car itself. Instead, what the buyer intends to do with the car can affect how much “value” it has to that particular buyer. A dealer who is going to sell your car on their lot will typically pay more than one who is going to quickly unload it at the next auto auction. Going with a reputable dealership, the greater market access means that cars can often be sold for higher than the trade-in price. 

Mileage and Maintenance

Of course, one of the first thing an appraiser will want to certify is the mileage on the car and the level of maintenance that might be required to restore it to whatever the appraiser deems a sellable state. Naturally, mileage is a good indicator of this, but an appraiser will also check more complicated matters such as service records, as well as inspect the car’s inner workings. 


One of the major factors influencing a car’s worth is yet another that actually doesn’t depend upon the car itself. The location in which a car is being sold is particularly important as a car will not sell equally well in all places. This is where that intimate market knowledge comes in. 

Working with a dealership, any chance of loss here is significantly reduced because of the nationwide market access dealerships often boast. This means that the highest price nationally can be the one offered. 

There is a lot that goes into the working day of a car appraiser, a fact made even more remarkable when you consider that car appraisal is a service often offered at no extra price.

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