Your emails: Tips on valuing a car in the used market
I'm Brian Cooley from CNet On Cars, taking one of your emails about high-tech cars and modern driving, and this one comes in from James E, who says, would you say that buying a more expensive variant of a car Like a Ford Focus RS versus a Focus ST, makes sense of the grounds of the RS would hold its value better or even appreciate?
And he also asks, is there an accurate way to gauge how a car will far in the used car market down the road.
Okay, well interesting few questions there you've got James.
Now the Focus RS that you give as an example, it starts specifically, that's a car that Ford didn't sell in the US until just the last year or so So it was either a self imported federalized grey market, what have you.
Extremely rare, unicornian in that way.
Those kind of cars have a maintain value readily because they performance that are hard to get and they are known among those who know them.
Now who brings the RS to the US?
So, you could say that sort of knocks some of the market out the market now there's a commodity market for them.
But those cars are never gonna be commodity.
They're very pricey for a focus, you've gotta know about them to appreciate them.
And if you do, they trade in a small circle of buffs who really know and value the car.
So, you're always in good shape with something that rarefied, and that performance Verify.
In general, when it comes to accessing future value there are a lot of good tools.
A lot of them are available to you online similar to the ones that the pros use down at the car dealership to value cars either when they come in for trading or When they're writing a lease, to try and get some idea what the future residual is gonna be, and they do a cap reduction that's often tied back to that.
That's over on the pro car dealer side.
Here are four things for you to think about, as the average person selling a car down the road.
Number one, Is condition and mileage.
This trumps everything.
A car that's in good shape, has been well maintained, has records of that maintenance, and ideally has been driven at, or below, the standard mileage of 15 thousand per year, hopefully quite a bit below, is a cream puff.
That's a car someone, whose got any brains in their head, is gonna pay more for.
Even if it's a fairly common car.
Another point to keep in mind is, is the model rare?
Like the Focus RS you talk about.
And even if it's not that rare, does it have equipment or a configuration or even a color that was very rare.
You find the right person who wants that, BOOM, you gonna get top dollar or maybe even above market There's a **** for every seat, as they say.
Now the other point is, sell it to a targeted market.
If you take your car and trade it in at the dealership, that is not a high value move.
That's a convenience move.
If you wanna get top dollar for your car, you sell it out private party, Craigslist or Ebay, what have you.
If you've got a car that warrants it, you go even further and you sell it into a group of efficient autos who know that car.
Either you go to a forum and a marketplace for that mark and model, or you go to a place like Bring a Trailer where it's all A lot of people who just know interesting cars and aren't looking at mass commodity vehicles.
You've got to sell it smart to get the right money out of it.
The fourth point I'll share with you is pixie dusk.
This one is almost impossible to predict.
The best example lately is early model 911.
[INAUDIBLE] Gone through the roof.
You couldn't have predicted that before they did it.
Aston Martin DB Fives and Sixes had a similar spike that kind of came out of nowhere.
There are some million dollars, million and a half dollar Ferraris on the road.
Vintage cars that were kind of just tired old race cars 30 years ago, that you couldn't get a lot of money for.
Certain cars spike but they do tend to start being quality performance cars to begin with or maybe buying luxury cars