Used car prices have skyrocketed almost 40 percent since March 2020. The spike was mostly due to the shortage of new cars. Higher vehicle value can be great for sellers, but buyers must inspect a used car’s condition carefully.

Do you know how to inspect a used car to make sure it’s worth buying? Likewise, do you know how to check the condition of your car before selling it?

The following guide will explain how to evaluate vehicle condition and value. Read on before buying or selling used vehicles to ensure the price is right.

Excellent Condition

Expect to pay or sell at higher prices if a used vehicle meets excellent standards because they’re rare. These used vehicles tend to look brand new, they’re in prime mechanical form and don’t need any repairs.

Used vehicles in excellent condition have never received any boy work or paint jobs. They must also be completely rust-free. The used vehicle has to have a clean title history and pass a safety and smog inspection.

The engine compartment of the used vehicle needs to be clean and without any fluid leaks. It shouldn’t have any signs of wear or visible issues. The vehicle has to come with verifiable and complete records of service.

Good Condition

Consumer-owned used vehicles in good condition are very common. It’s still a higher-priced used category, but much less than a brand new vehicle.  

Vehicles in good condition don’t have any major defects. The paint job, body, and interior should only have minor blemishes if any. There shouldn’t be any serious mechanical problems. The vehicle must have little to no rusting.

The vehicle’s tires should match and have minor tread wear. Most vehicles in good condition need minor reconditioning before selling. Lastly, they must have a clean title history.

Fair Condition

Vehicles in fair condition are usually priced much lower. They typically have some mechanical or cosmetic defects that need repairs. However, the vehicle is still in decent running condition and functions properly. 

Paint jobs, bodies, and interiors often need professional work performed. The tires might need replacing and rust damage might need repairing. Fair condition vehicles still require a clean title history. 

Poor Condition

A vehicle in poor condition has major mechanical issues, cosmetic defects, or doesn’t run. It might have problems that aren’t repairable like frame damage or a rusted body.

Some poor condition vehicles have branded titles such as “salvage” or “flood”. Unconfirmed also puts a car in the poor condition category. You might consider cash for junk cars if your vehicle fits this description.

Understanding Vehicle Condition

Now you know several vehicle condition categories and how to rank a used car. Remember this guide to ensure that you don’t overpay for a used vehicle. Also, set realistic prices for your own used car based on condition.

We hope you buy or sell your next used vehicle with confidence. Check out the rest of our guide for more automotive tips and helpful information.