How Do You Estimate the Value of a Salvage Car?


Quick Answer

To estimate the value of a salvage car, first determine its retail price, then reduce that by 50 percent for a ballpark figure. Another way to estimate the value is to add the retail cost of the vehicle to the insurance company's estimated value and to divide that by two, which gives the current market value.

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Full Answer

To determine the retail cost of a vehicle, first obtain all the details of the car, including the year, make and model. Then, use a tool like Kelley Blue Book to get its cost. While reducing the retail price by 50 percent gives a general estimate, keep in mind that insurance companies will generally reduce it by much more, sometimes 70 to 80 percent, especially if there is damage.

Calculating the current market value of a vehicle gives the mean price, or average rate, of the vehicle. A third way to estimate the value of a salvage vehicle is to use the depreciation percent provided by the insurance company. To do this, multiply the current market value of the vehicle by the depreciation percentage. Keep in mind, vehicles are valued in different ways by different insurance companies. A standard formula does not exist in terms of calculating the value of salvaged cars.

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