How Much Is My Vehicle Worth?
"Why can't I get this adjuster to budge off $5,500 when all of the cars
like mine are advertised around $6,000 or so?" The answer is that the
advertisements are strictly an asking price. What was the actual sales
price? Get a few of the papers from a couple of weeks ago and call the
people who advertised to see what they sold their cars for. That is your
You will find a lot of asking prices on the Internet. It may also be more
difficult online to know very much about the vehicle, as compared to
calling former owners who have advertised in the local newspaper. Take a
look in popular weeklies with names such as "Auto Trader" that appear on a
regional basis. Get some information from people who have advertised a car
similar to yours. When you make ask advertisers and car dealers prices for
what they had sold, ask about the tires, the mileage, the mechanical
condition, whether it had stock or custom stereo equipment, etc.
Document your case for additional money with the adjuster. Clip out
the advertisements and follow up with a phone number and selling price. You
may find that your adjuster has not done that type of homework. Instead, he
has probably relied on a Kelley Blue Book price and/or a computer printout
by a regional organization that serves insurance companies in bidding down
car owners just like you. Do not be intimidated by the computer printout.
It has no more basis in governing this transaction than what is written on
this Web page. Instead, do your own homework and convince the adjuster
that your price is right.
You can call dealers around your region and check out prices. In addition,
keep track of people on the Internet who are advertising cars similar to
yours. After a bit of follow-up, you may well be able to support a higher
price than the adjuster is willing to offer for your car. Just remember
that when the adjuster states he cannot go any higher, all he is saying is
that he needs more information. Keep an arrow in your quiver to fire
another salvo after he gets within range of a satisfactory price. Give him
just a little more documentation. P&P him: Patience and Persistence here
will pay off.