Anchor Intro: If you're driving a gas-guzzler, you've probably considered selling it and buying something a bit more economical. But knowing what to ask for a car has never been easy, and now it's even tougher as prices fluctuate along with gas prices. Bankrate.com takes a ride through the confusing world of used-car values.
Voice over 1: When you're buying or selling a used car, you obviously want to know what it's worth. That's never been easy:
SOT: "Differences in mileage, equipment that's on the car, even the part of the country the car is in can change the value of the car dramatically."
Voice over 2: But used-car pricing Web sites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are supposed to take those factors into account. So why don'ít they arrive at similar values for identical cars?
Voice over 3: We compared prices for a 2004 Land Rover at five different Web sites: Edmunds, Kelley, Cars Direct, Consumer Reports and NADA. And we got different prices at each. Dealer Retail varied from a low of $15,700 to a high of nearly $21,000. And trade-in values ranged from $12,000 to $16,000 -- spreads so big, you could drive a truck through them.
SOT: "You can't take them as the gospel. Because all of them come at you with -- I hesitate to say flaws, but certainly biases or drawbacks that may not be readily apparent."
Voice over 4: So what's a seller to do?
SOT: "I would look at several different Web sites. One way you can check is to see what cars are being listed on eBay for. There you're seeing actual cars at actual prices."
Standup: Determining used-car values is both art and science. So, before you sell, check online pricing sites, online selling sites and check out the local competition. Then you're ready to set your price. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.