What is My Car Worth?

Used car value lot

Are you wondering how much your used car is worth? 

It’s not as easy to determine used car value as one would hope. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best price for your car but figuring out that price can be a challenge.

One good place to start your search is by using online used car price estimators. There are several good ones available. The prices they give you may be different but they will give you a range to work with.

 

Where to get used car value estimates

These are the top five online car value estimation tools.

 

Factors that affect used car value

  • Brand
  • Condition
  • Mileage
  • Color
  • Upgrades
  • Geography
  • Climate
  • Timing

 

These are some of the main factors that will affect used car values. All these factors will affect price, some more than others.

Brand – Some cars brands retain value better than others. Honda, Toyota, and Subaru all tend to maintain a higher used car value.

Condition – This one is pretty easy to figure out. A car with a sparkling exterior condition is going to have more value than one with dents or rust spots. A history of collision repair can lower value.

Mileage – This is another factor that won’t surprise you. A car with lower mileage will naturally have a higher value.

Color – Some colors are more popular and others less popular. You may be a fan of your bright yellow car but a lot of people won’t be. Automotive repainting may not be worth the cost on an older car.

Upgrades – Options like anti-lock brakes, leather seats, and backup cameras can all increase car value.

Geography – Different cars have higher and lower values depending on where you sell them. A convertible will have a higher value in Florida than in Minnesota.

Timing – Sometimes value can come down to timing. High gas prices could affect resale value, as could the current demand of the market or the time of year.

 

Before you put your car up for sale, take the time to make it as good as you can. Wash and wax the exterior and consider having a professional detail the interior. You can boost the perceived value of your car with just a little extra work.

Photo by Paul Sableman

Tips for Avoiding Winter Collisions

Winter car accident

When harsh winter weather arrives in northern Illinois, car accidents and vehicle collisions begin to rise.

Even though this will keep our auto body repair shop busy, we don’t really like all these accidents. Many collisions result only in dents to be repaired but any car accident puts people in danger and can cause serious injuries.

Accidents happen but often they can be avoided. We’ll share some tips for avoiding winter car accidents. 

Illinois is ranked #7 in the nation for winter car accidents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (Ohio is #1 with Pennsylvania close behind.) That’s not really a top ten we want to be in but we hope it reminds you that winter collisions are a real threat in our state.

In Illinois, the average cost of a winter collision repair is $2,600. Slow down to save lives – and money.

 

Avoiding winter collision tips

  • Slow down when weather conditions are wet, cold or snowy.
  • Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Avoid distractions: phone, playing with the radio, eating in the car.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades to improve visibility.
  • Replace your tires if their treads are worn.
  • Make sure your tire pressure is at the recommended level.
  • Don’t overreact if you start to skid.
  • Accelerate/decelerate slowly and try to avoid braking abruptly.
  • Don’t underestimate slipperiness of the roads.
  •  Beware ice on bridges, underpasses, low areas or shaded areas and intersections.
  • If you’ve been in a minor accident or your car stalls, pull over and stay in your vehicle.
  • Watch for deer in rural areas, especially in November and December.

Most common times for winter car accidents

The most common times for deadly winter car accidents were around 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Related: Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

Most common day of week for winter car accidents

Saturday, by far, is the most common day to get into a deadly accident. Friday is a close second.

Most common causes winter car accidents

The most common causes of car accidents in winter aren’t really any different than any other time of the year: distracted driving, excessive speeding, and tailgating.

Related: How to choose the right tires for driving conditions

All three of these common causes of accidents are preventable!

When the snow is falling, put away your phone, slow down for conditions and leave extra room between you and the car in front of you.

Bonus tip: Put away your phone, don’t speed and don’t tailgate all year long and you will be less at risk for accidents.

 

 

 

 

 

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Most Common Types of Car Accidents

Front end collision

There is over 5 million car crashes in the United States each year. Luckily, most car accidents are not fatal. Even so, any car accident has the potential to cause you financial distress and sometimes long-term pain.

The average American will be involved in three car accidents during their lifetime. Most car accidents are preventable. The more you can avoid the better, so by learning about the accidents you can help yourself avoid them.

Here are the most common types of car accidents:

  • Rear end collisions
  • Single vehicle crashes
  • T-Bone collisions (accidents at intersections)
  • Sideswipes where lanes merge
  • Low-speed accidents

Rear end collisions

Rear end collisions are by far the most common type of car accident. Most of the time these accidents do not lead to serious injury but that doesn’t mean they can’t be avoided. The majority of rear-end collisions could be avoided simply by not following the car in front of you so closely. This gives you more time to react and even a half of a second could be the difference between a collision and a close call.

Single vehicle crashes

Single vehicle crashes, meaning there is only one car involved in the accident are also very common. These types of car accidents include sliding on ice or rain, running off the road, swerving too quickly, breaking too hard, and hitting other objects. Single vehicle crashes often happen because a driver overcorrects for a small mistake, such as steering to the left too quickly when the car enters the shoulder slightly. Other common causes include speeding and driving too fast for conditions. Many can be prevented by slowing down, going the speed limit, not driving too fast during a storm and not overreacting to other hazards.

Related: Winter Driving Tips You Need to Know to Stay Safe

T-Bone accidents

T-bone collisions happen at intersections where lanes of traffic cross each other. They are most frequently caused by a driver running a red light or by making a left turn without yielding to oncoming traffic. These can be very dangerous accidents but are almost entirely preventable. You should use caution at intersections and not try to speed through them. Pay attention to other vehicles because even though you may be driving carefully, others may not be.

Sideswipes where lanes merge

Swiping other vehicles where traffic lanes merge is a common type of accident. These are commonly caused by a failure of the merging driver to check their blind spots. Always carefully check all sides when merging lanes and don’t speed other because it may prevent other drivers from seeing you in their blind spots.

Related: Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

Low-speed accidents

Low-speed accidents often happen in areas such as parking lots. They may not be a serious threat to drivers but can be a big danger to pedestrians. Check carefully for pedestrians, avoid driving to fast and look out for other drivers before reversing.

We hope this information can help keep you safe!

 

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer with Your Car

If you’ve ever come close to hitting a deer, then you probably still remember that stressful event to this day. The racing heart, the adrenaline, the feeling of not being sure you can avoid an accident. It’s a scary situation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1.5 million deer-related vehicle accidents in 2016. This cost drivers and insurance companies more than $1 billion in collision and dent repairs.

To help try and keep you safe, we’ve listed some tips to avoid hitting a deer with a car. Follow these tips and stay alert to help keep safe.

 

Tips on avoiding a car accident with a deer

  • Be alert during the dawn and dusk hour when deer are most active.
  • Most deer/car collisions occur during fall and early summer.
  • If you see one deer, watch for others. They often travel in packs.Caution deer crossing sign
  • Deer can take off suddenly. Don’t assume a standing deer won’t take off running.
  • Slow down! Even a few mph slower could give you more time to react.
  • Be alert when driving through an area where deer may be.
  • When you see a sign for a deer crossing warning, take it seriously.
  • Slow down around curves in areas where deer are known to occur.
  • Be aware that deer often use woodlots, fencerows, field edges or areas near water.
  • Scan the roadsides for the “eyeshine” of deer ( the reflection of headlights in the deer’s eyes).
  • Honk your horn and flash your lights if you see a deer in the road.
  • If deer are near the road, tap the brakes or use the emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
  • Stay calm. Use your breaks but don’t swerve wildly. Deer can cause accidents without you hitting them.
  • Don’t tailgate. Many severe deer accidents are caused when another vehicle becomes involved.

Related: Winter driving tips

When do most deer accidents occur?

  • Dawn: 5am to 8am
  • Dusk: 5pm to 10pm
  • Late fall: October, November, and December
  • Early summer: May and June

You need to keep alert when you are in an area where deer may be (in a rural area, near a forest, field or farm), especially

What to do if you hit a deer

  • Pull over and move your car to a safe area if possible.
  • Keep your car and yourself out of the roadway and a potential accident with another car.
  • Call the police. Let them know if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat to other drivers.
  • If the collision results in injury or property damage, you may need to fill out a police accident report.
  • Document the accident for your insurance. If possible, take photos of the road surroundings, damage to the vehicle, and any injuries.
  • Stay away from the deer. An injured and frightened deer could hurt you with their strong legs and hooves.
  • Inspect your vehicle before assuming it is still drivable.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Check for leaking fluids, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch and any other safety hazards. If your car might be unsafe in any way, call for a tow truck.
  • Contact your insurance agent.

Average cost of a deer-vehicle collision

The average cost of repairs for a car hitting a deer is between $3,500 and $5,000. According to State Farm Insurance, the national average insurance claim is $4,100.

Do you have to pay a deductible if you hit a deer?

That depends on your insurance policy. Rumors that you don’t have to pay a deductible because hitting a deer is “an act of God” are not true. Damage to your vehicle from hitting a deer is covered under the comprehensive coverage portion of your insurance, sometimes referred to as “other than collision”. Some companies offer a zero deductible option on comprehensive, but you will pay a higher price for that option. If you have only insured your vehicle for the minimum amount of coverage required to meet state law, then it is likely you will have to pay a deductible.

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

How to choose the right tires for driving conditions

Choosing the right set (or sets) of tires can help create a safer, more comfortable ride in a variety of weather and driving conditions.

Which tires best match my driving conditions?

It is important to analyze your driving conditions and then pick the tires that best suit them. Do you drive your vehicle in dry weather? Or in rain and snow? Do you drive your truck only on highways, or do you also go off-roading? These tips and other similar information about specific driving conditions can help you choose the right tires for your needs.

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Five Things That Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

There are many trustworthy mechanics out there, but we've heard a lot of horror stories.

Want to ensure you get the most value for your car when it comes time to sell? Don’t do these things

Some of us buy a car with the intention of keeping it until it’s run into the ground. But, inevitably, real life gets in the way and we’re forced to sell, whether it be trading in for a bigger vehicle for an expanding family or just upgrading for status’s sake. It’s in times like these that your car’s condition suddenly comes to the fore, and you may not be prepared for the harsh realities. What you end up getting for your vehicle depends largely on what you did with your car and how well you’ve kept it. If you’ve done any of the following, it might be best to start addressing them before putting your car up for sale.

Winter Driving Tips You Need to Know to Stay Safe

 

When you live in Illinois, winter time means dealing with cold and snow.

The best way to deal with wintry conditions is to stay at home unless you absolutely need to leave.

Everyone though has to drive on snow covered roads sometimes though. It just can’t be avoided. You might drive to work in the morning and leave in the afternoon to find three inches of snow on the streets. Or you may have to pick up your kids and bring them home.

Read More