How to Use This Site
Use VMR to determine the wholesale and retail value of the vehicle you want to buy or sell. Be sure to add or deduct for options or packages listed with each car or on the van and truck option table.
Adjust for mileage - A built in mileage calculator is provide with each price. Select the vehicle's mileage for the proper value adjustment. Selecting the kilometers will automatically adjust the overall price if it is low or high for the year.
See also: How to Buy a Used Car
EQUIPMENT LEVELS FOR CARS
Unless indicated otherwise, the price for each model of each vehicle includes: automatic transmission, air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, and stereo. You must adjust the price if this equipment is not present on the vehicle or if other options are on the vehicle. The dollar amounts to be added or deducted are listed with each vehicle, and automatically adjust the overall price if checked when the "Calculate" button is clicked.
If equipment is not standard on a model and affects its value it will be listed in a table of factory-installed equipment that follows the model. Use these tables to add to the price if the vehicle has the option and deduct if it does not.
"Loaded" vehicles - Vehicles equipped with lots of minor optional equipment ("gadgets and toys") may be worth slightly more than the values listed in this guide. However, more often than not expensive options that may be nice to have but are not all that essential quickly depreciate and have little effect on a vehicle's overall value.
Dealer or owner-installed options - If you determine that an option was installed by the dealer or the owner, it should be carefully inspected and usually valued at less than a similar manufacturer-installed option.
UNDERSTAND THE TERMS USED IN CAR BUYING AND SELLING
Base Equipment Levels - VMR has based all prices for all vehicles on the same level of equipment: Automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, and am/fm stereo are included in all pricing unless specifically indicated otherwise.
Wholesale - This is the single most important number in any transaction as it establishes a base number from which you can determine the dealer markup on the vehicle. This is the price a seller should expect to receive from a dealer in a sale or trade. This price reflects actual wholesale activity at dealer only auctions and estimates what a dealer would have to pay for the vehicle in the wholesale sales channel. It assumes that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition, clean and well maintained. Any reconditioning or repair costs should be deducted. If there is no price, data was not available at time of publishing.
Retail - The maximum a buyer should expect to pay a dealer. It also assumes that the car needs no mechanical attention and is clean, showing only normal wear. Any reconditioning or repair costs should be deducted. Keep in mind dealers usually ask for more than they will take and that dealer guides tend to be on the high side of the market.
Condition - All prices in this guide assume that the vehicle is "clean" and in good mechanical condition. For vehicles not up to this standard, reconditioning or repair costs should be deducted. Vehicles in superior condition usually command a premium, typically around 5%, but sometimes more.
Availability - Refers to supply and demand. If particularly "hot" and in great demand with a limited supply, you can expect to pay a premium for the vehicle. This variable is also affected by seasonal and geographic factors. Local classifieds can give you a feel for availability of a model.
Private sale - A sale between two individuals. No dealer is involved. If buying from a private party, you should pay less than retail.
Certified - The car companies’ marketing machines are on full blast when it comes to certified used vehicles. Although these are supposed to be subjected to a thorough inspection, some dealers have been known to take shortcuts, so be careful. If the car has been subject to the inspection, it’s a real plus. The extended warranty alone can be worth the extra cost. Expect to pay $500 to $1500 more than VMR pricing.
"Demo" Vehicles - Vehicles that have strictly been used as demonstration models. Dealers sometimes try to sell used vehicles as demos and try to charge new car prices. There is no concrete rule, but anything with over 1000 kilometers should be considered a used vehicle and priced accordingly.
"Salvage" Vehicles - Vehicles that have a salvage title due to extensive body and frame work, should be valued substantially less than prices in this guide. VMR does not recommend purchasing these vehicles.