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What's Your Car Worth?

Selling your car can be just as tricky as picking out a new one. You want to get the most for your money, but you can't pick a number out of a hat. Determining a fair price for your used car takes a few steps:

Gather the basic information

You're going to need the make, model and year of your car as well as the type of transmission it has, the total miles you've put on it, its general condition and its accident history, which hopefully is nonexistent.

Use an online resource or calculator

Check out what Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds have to say. Both of these organizations have websites where you can enter your car's information and find out the average value of your vehicle. These prices aren't definite however, because they won't take into account all of the specifics regarding your particular vehicle or the current sales rate for your model, LifeHacker warns.

Review local car sales

Look at your local market and find out what other people and car dealerships are listing the same car for. Also, research the prices for cars that are the same model but different years as well as the cost of cars that are the same type and size from other manufacturers. No matter what information you find online, you're most likely going to sell your car for a price similar to other values in the area.

Factor mileage into the price

Cars with many miles on them - more than 150,000 miles - will be worth less than the same model with fewer than 50,000 miles on it, according to LifeHacker. The more miles on the car, the fewer years it probably has left.

Add bonus features

You can raise the price of your car for any extras in your vehicle. For example, if you're selling a car with a valuable sound system you installed, you could increase the price. Any features in your car that don't come standard are likely to inflate the price at least a little.

Even if you're not interested in selling your car, it's a good idea to know how much it's worth. Knowing your vehicle's current value can be useful if you get into an accident and the auto insurance company is claiming it's totaled or has to pay out your claim. It's also helpful if you want to use your car as collateral for a personal loan.

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