EQUIPMENT LEVELS FOR CARS
Standard and optional equipment pricing is one of the most important
parts of buying or selling a used car. Many consumers pay extra for
"options" that are actually part of a vehicle's standard equipment.
Vehicle Market Research International (VMR) does extensive
research on equipment levels, so the consumer knows
exactly what he or she should be paying for.
indicated otherwise, the price for each model of each vehicle
includes: automatic transmission, air conditioning, power brakes,
power steering, and am-fm 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.
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.
equipment is not listed in the Add or Deduct sections of each model,
it is either standard or does not appreciably affect its value. Do not
add or deduct for equipment that is not listed with the model.
"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.
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
UNDERSTAND THE TERMS USED IN CAR BUYING AND SELLING
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
The price a seller
should expect to receive from a dealer in a sale or trade. 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.
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.
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
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.
A sale between
two individuals. No dealer is involved. If buying from a private
party, you should pay less than retail.
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.
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.
out what it's worth
Use the VMR guide 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
VMR has built in three mileage charts, depending on the wholesale
value of the vehicle. Be sure to add or deduct for mileage.
Selecting the miles on the vehicle will adjust the overall price if it is low or
high for the year.