How to Find the Value of My Van

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Figuring out the value of your van is the first step in selling it or even insuring it. Armed with accurate information, everyone involved can negotiate a fair deal. You may also be able to increase the value of your van with just a little effort. Good sources of information include classified ads in local newspapers, the Kelley Blue Book and your insurance company.

Things You'll Need

  • Kelley Blue Book

Gather Information

  • Find out the make, model and year of the van. If you don't already know this, you can find this information on your insurance documents and registration. If necessary, call your insurance company for help. Someone there can look it up using your VIN, or vehicle identification number.

  • Decide whether you intend to sell locally or online. If it's locally, go to the Kelley Blue Book website. If online, use the Kelley Blue Book at your library. The website will give you information specifically on local pricing, which can vary significantly from place to place.

  • Enter your ZIP code if you're using the website. Even if selling online, it is useful to look through the website to get a sense of how much any extras, not covered in the book, may be worth.

Website

  • Pick the van/minivan section in the used cars section. The Kelley Blue Book website offers a choice of browsing by category or make/model.

  • Decide which of the book's three categories best fit your goals. The first section details trade-in value if you want to use the van against the price of a new vehicle. The second is the value if you are selling privately (private party). The third is dealership pricing, or how much you could expect to pay if you were buying from a dealership. Open the tabs that you need.

  • Pick the trim style that fits your van from a list of options. If you don't know, try calling your insurance company for advice; someone there may be able to help you based on your VIN.

  • Check the appropriate boxes in the list of options and extras for any after-market additions you have included. If asked, indicate whether your van is manual or automatic transmission, and its mileage.

  • Indicate your van's condition for trade-in value or private party value. The page gives specific examples of excellent, good, fair and poor condition. Dealership value does not ask for this information; by the time the van hits the lot, it has been repaired to at least fair condition.

Value

  • Learn the value of your van, according to Kelley Blue Book. If you are using the Kelley Blue Book in the library, fewer details are listed--but the basic premise is the same. The book is split up by make, model and year, as well as by condition.

  • Compare the two prices--book vs. website--if necessary, and arrive at an asking price.

  • Be ready to negotiate and sell your van. With the trade-in value, you have a reasonable idea of what to negotiate at the dealership. With older vans, the difference in price between fair and excellent condition may be less than $100. The differences in condition for private party sales may, however, be significant---several hundred dollars.

Tips & Warnings

  • Time spent cleaning your van, repairing minor defects and even adding small luxuries can pay dividends when selling a van.
  • Always use the most recent Kelley Blue Book because prices for your model of car or van will go down every year.
  • Check newspaper classified ads to ensure that the price you have determined is in the same range as other cars for sale in your area.
  • Although the Kelley Blue Book is considered the standard for vehicle pricing in the United States, dealerships may have their own pricing structure and sense of what is fair. There is no guarantee that a price listed in Kelley Blue Book will be accepted by a dealership.

References

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