There are a variety of reasons why a vehicle owner might need to have a car appraised. You may need to establish an accurate value for a vehicle you wish to sell, or perhaps you need to know the value of a car for insurance purposes. Other owners may require an assessment of value as part of an inherited estate, or as part of a divorce settlement. Why you need to have your car assessed can be an important factor in determining what type of appraisal you need and how much that appraisal will cost.
In general, a vehicle appraisal will cost somewhere between $275 and $550, although the cost can be higher for custom and modified automobiles. In such cases, higher prices reflect the time and attention to detail required to properly research and document a custom-built vehicle. Antique and vintage automobile appraisals require extensive knowledge and involve careful documentation and evaluation. The value of a classic or antique car is important for insurance and estate purposes, and is crucial in the sale process – most collectors will tell you that the higher price associated with a skilled and experienced classic auto appraiser is well worth it in the long run.
The value of your car and the reason you choose to have it appraised are key factors in determining the cost of an auto appraisal, but you will also need to consider travel. If you bring the car to the agent, your appraisal will usually cost less than if the agent must travel to the car to complete the inspection. Dealerships will often claim that they are cheaper than a professional appraiser simply because you can bring your car to them, but it’s important to remember that a dealership appraisal is usually offered as part of a trade-in for a new sale, and such an appraisal may not reflect the fair market value of your car.
It’s not surprising to find that the more research needed to appraise a car, the more likely the appraisal will be more costly. Likewise the more documentation you need to include in the appraisal, the higher the fee will be. Classic cars, luxury vehicles, and custom automobiles will usually cost more to appraise, while a simple market value range on a late model vehicle may not require the same in-depth research and paperwork.
If you are objectively honest about your car and have some knowledge of vehicles, you could opt for an online estimate. Such an appraisal is a ballpark value range based on your description and will not provide documentation or certification. Furthermore, if you are selling or trading a vehicle, the other party may well require a more in-depth inspection before purchase.
While it may be tempting to choose a cheaper appraisal or opt for the online option, you may end up needing the services of a professional in order to get the appraisal you need. A professional appraiser will provide documentation that can be used in a variety of situations and is usually accepted as a valid establishment of value. A certified auto appraisal can be used in insurance claims, divorce settlements, classic auto sales, bank loans, estate valuations, and many other situations, while cheap or online appraisals may not be recognized or accepted, and may end up costing you more money in the end.
An improperly appraised vehicle can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in potential value. Appraisals that overvalue your vehicle can cause you to be accused of fraud when you make an insurance claim, and undervalued vehicles can prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve. Inaccurate appraisals in estate and divorce settlements can leave you with less than you should receive or leave relatives with tax payments they aren’t prepared to make.
If you are in need of a car appraisal, contact Auto Appraisal Group! We can help you determine what kind of appraisal you need and save you money, both at the time of the appraisal and in the future!