Online Car Valuation Tools 101: Comparing Used Car Prices

According to Google, 95% of the purchasing journey for a car today starts online1. With so many aspects of life now transitioning into a digital experience, clicking a few buttons and a new car being delivered to your driveway in 2-4 weeks, is pretty much reality.

When it comes to selling a car, that seamless digital experience isn’t as mainstream as buying a new one. While you can trade-in or sell your car to a dealer, beyond that, there isn’t really a defined marketplace (or digital one) where everyone goes to sell their cars. If not through a dealership, consumers are largely confined to Craigslist, Kijiji, or the used car posting section on sites like AutoTrader.

While a seamless digital transaction process for buying or selling a car is still evolving, calculating the resale value of one online has greatly progressed over the past few years--and much to the benefit of consumers. As more sales data becomes available and with new technologies improving the digital experience for consumers, selling a used car in the future will probably come down to a few clicks. 

In this article, we’ll look at the most popular online calculators and what the future looks like beyond just getting a value for your car. 

 

Online Car Calculators and Used Car Valuation

Convenience is probably the most important aspect pertaining to the popularity of online used car calculators. You only need to open a browser and visit a site like Canadian Black Book where entering  your make and model will get you a list of values. 

Most calculators will then give you a price range as well as additional data to help you estimate what your car is potentially worth on the marketplace. 

 

Comparing Popular Online Car Calculators and a 2018 Rav4

For comparison sake, we decided to see what the results would be if we took the same car and ran it through some of the most used online car calculators. We chose a 2018 Rav4 because it's one of the perennial best-selling cars in Canada. We tried to keep other variables such as odometer reading (100,000km) and condition (good) consistent. 


Canadian Black Book

Canadian Black Book uses data compiled from auctions, brand equity, wholesale and private sales data, and comparative pricing to determine value. 

Resulting value:

Autozen 

Of course, we had to plug ourselves on our own blog. We employ machine learning and data analysis to provide an accurate valuation of your car based on the market and our buyer's network. Our marketplace also employs an auction component amongst buyers--so, there's always a chance that you'll get a price that's higher than fair market. 

Also, unlike other online car calculators, we'll also sell your used car for you!

rav4

Resulting value:

rav4-estimate

 

AutoTrader

AutoTrader is Canada’s largest classifieds dedicated to cars, trucks, and vehicles.

 

Resulting value:

Kelley Blue Book

As one of North America’s trusted guides for used car price values, KBB was certainly comprehensive in terms of the details it asked to determine value:

 

Resulting value:CarFax

CarFax focuses on a car’s background to determine a value. CarFax uses vehicle history data from sources such as motor vehicle departments for example. 

 

Resulting value:

 

 

 

What Online Car Calculators Don’t Offer

While all the aforementioned calculators provide you with estimates and detailed information to help inform you through the selling process. Not many offer to buy your car. Therefore, in most cases, it’s still up to you to get out there and sell your car.

 

Online Car Calculators and Used Car Valuation—The Future

In a McKinsey study on the growing influence of digital technologies and the used car buying process, consumers wanted2:

 

1. Complete online end-to-end purchasing capabilities (59%)

2. Extensive vehicle data and photos, along with effective search tools (64%)

3. Unique delivery options (28%)

 

We’re assuming that the consumer preferences for selling a used car are no different.

The future of selling a car online will all take place from behind a user’s computer or laptop with the entire sale process from posting an ad to conferring with prospective buyers and even the delivery of the car taking place with just a few clicks. 

That future is now very much a reality. 

With Autozen, the experience of selling your car takes place entirely online--and, we even come to where you are to appraise as well as pick up your car to deliver to its new owner! 


We’re also pushing some of the boundaries when it comes to the dynamics behind used car resale value. The Autozen Buyers Network is a platform comprised of qualified buyers who compete to purchase your car. Competing offers helps sellers, like you, get more competitive offers. We also make it seamless by eliminating the time and effort needed to advertise, meet and haggle with potential buyers, and safety concerns associated with private used car sales.