How much is my car worth?

From the Wall Street Journal Online:

That three-year-old car sitting in the driveway may not seem so exciting anymore, but to some car dealers it could be gold.

Informed shoppers with well-maintained cars to trade in have an unusual opportunity to take advantage of what industry analysts say is a record peak in used-car prices. Resale and trade-in values for late-model vehicles in good condition have been rising all year as demand has outstripped supply, particularly for fuel-efficient models.

Among the forces driving up used-car values is a shortage of many popular Japanese models due to production slowdowns following the March earthquake. And the sales collapse during the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis means fewer two- and three-year-old cars are available.

The National Automobile Dealers Association last week raised values again on many small- and medium-size cars in its latest Used Car Guide, which is widely used by dealers when deciding what to offer for cars taken as trade-ins.

A one-year-old Honda Civic that NADA’s Used Car Guide valued at $14,275 in May is now estimated to be worth $15,950. “The same car,” says Jonathan Banks, NADA’s executive auto analyst.

Read the full article.

  

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