Dear Car Talk:
First, let me start off by saying that I am 72 going on 62. I have a 2014 Honda CR-V with over 34,000 miles on it. I am thinking that I want a new Odyssey because I have had them in the past and because of new safety features, like blind spot warning and all the other stuff you guys always recommend.
My question would be, what is my CR-V worth in a trade in? Whatever help you can give me would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Well, there are several ways to figure out the value of your car, Dorothy.
My brother figured out the value of his cars by leaving them unlocked with the keys in the ignition. When no one stole them in a week, he had a pretty good idea of the value. What you should do is start by going to a website like kbb.com. Click on “Get Trade In Value” and fill in your information. That’ll give you a guess as to what it’s worth.
While you’re there, have a look at the “trade in value” vs. the “private sale value.” You’ll notice that you’ll get about 15 to 20% more for your car by selling it yourself. You might want to consider that.
A better way to value your car for private sale is to see what similar cars are selling for in the real world. How do you do that? Try a couple of websites. First, try Craigslist. That’s where you’ll find people selling their own cars. Look for 2013-2015 CR-Vs with mileage similar to yours. My guess is you’ll find that they’re selling for $13,000-$15,000.
Next, check out used CR-Vs at cars.com. You’ll find mostly ads from dealers there, so the prices will be higher than in a private sale. But again, it’ll help you figure out what similar cars are selling for, and what your competition is. For instance, if you see a similar CR-V selling for $17,000 from a dealer, you know that if you list yours for $15,500, it’ll look like a good deal to buyers.
Once you’ve done your research, you can also ask the dealer what he’ll give you for a trade in and compare that to what you’d get in a private sale. If the difference is 2,000 to 3,000 bucks, you might decide it’s worth the trouble to sell it yourself. Or commission a grandkid to do it for you.
Now, about the Odyssey. You’re absolutely right that we recommend forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert for everybody. Especially 72-year-olds going on 62 like you, Dorothy. But you don’t have to get an Odyssey in order to get all that stuff. You can buy a new CR-V with that safety equipment if you like your current car.
If you love the Odyssey, and you want to tote around six grandkids, some 4-by-8 sheets of plywood and a couple of refrigerators, by all means, get the van. But it’s a big vehicle, and if you don’t need something that large, you can get the safety equipment you need on almost any vehicle now. So don’t feel limited.