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Is a NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Value for my car any good?

- Tuesday, November 22, 2022
CarBuyerUSA - JD PowerCarBuyerUSA - JD PowerCarBuyerUSA - NADA

Is a NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Value for my car any good? Will somebody actually pay me that amount?

Here’s the quandary with guidebook values…there are several out there including: NADA, Edmunds, BlackBook and Galves -plus a host of websites that will project a value for your vehicle. Most of these sites even give you an instant cash offer for your vehicle? Now an “instant cash offer” does not always mean what it says…in fact, it’s more like a lawyer with a billboard advertisement that says “one call does it all”. What we mean here is that many of the automotive websites like AutoTrader, KBB (Kelley Blue Book), Edmunds, TrueCar and have a vehicle valuation offering that is designed to create leads for their subscriber base. These subscribers are mostly comprised of New Car Franchise Dealerships and some large independent used car dealers. So when

Is NADA the best vehicle valuation tool available? The answer is YES – but the caveat is “wait and see” because they were purchased by JD Power & Associates. Not everyone is familiar with JD Power but if you have ever seen their name its usually associated with a survey to bolster a business with a satisfaction rating. They sell BRAND Reinforcement and they manage data sources.

NADA data was always the most reliable because the source of their data was transactions from their members - franchise car dealerships. NADA was also most recognized by banks and insurance companies for loans and settlements & still is to this day.

There are three things that makes a guidebook value valid:

  1. Based on transactional data
  2. Void of editorial opinion / subscriber influence
  3. Someone will actually pay that value

You can ask any used car professional “what’s my car worth?” and the answer will always be the same…

“It’s only worth what someone will pay you for it today”! Guidebooks don’t write checks to buy vehicles, they never have and never will. Most of the online vehicle valuation sites have gravitated to lead generation models where they charge dealers to access to your price inquiry. They give the dealer all your personal information, vehicle information, address, damage description and other website/ demographic data for a fee. NADA has moved in this direction since JD Power has acquired the site from The National Automobile Dealers Association so we will see if the values hold true over time.

Until then remember…the best value you can get is a hassle-free Cash Offer!

Come to and get an offer in 20 seconds – no personal information required or email us at for guidance.

How do Liens impact the sale price of my vehicle?

- Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Leased Vehicles and Vehicles being sold with lien payoffs are worth less than a vehicle being sold with “title in hand”. It’s a hard fact and we will explain exactly why this is so.

CarbuyerUSA - Liens

Let’s take the easier one to explain, first. Vehicles that are financed must be paid off “in full” in order for the finance source (your bank) to release the title for your vehicle to the purchasing party. The payoff balance is always paid to the lending institution so that clear title can be obtained and the ownership interest can be conveyed to the purchaser (CarBuyerUSA/private seller). Selling a vehicle with a lien is more difficult and there are tangible costs associated with a lien payoff purchase.

Here is a list of the most common expenses:

  • Interest
  • Depreciation
  • Fees
  • Float
  • Tax
  • Penalties


Q: Is my vehicle worth more if I have the title?
A: Technically no it isn’t. A vehicle being sold “title in hand” will be worth the quoted price and liens / leases will be priced adjusted down slightly which is why we ask if the vehicle is leased or financed BEFORE we quote a price to purchase.

Q: Why is there expense for interest?
A: There is a cost of capital factored into any purchase. The larger the purchase, the more significant the impact. Typically, the expense will equate to $2.75 per day for each $10,000 increment. (Example: a $50,000 vehicle will bear an added payoff expense of $13.75 per day).

Q: Is the interest expense calculated off my payoff balance?
A: No. Because the lending institution will not provide the title to your vehicle to CarBuyerUSA until the payoff is made in full, the vehicle cannot be sold and the entire purchase price is considered frozen capital.

Q: How long does the average bank take to release the title to my vehicle once payoff is received?
A: Generally a bank will take up to 30 days. Some take 45 days which will vary based on what bank clearinghouse system they are affiliated with. A small savings and loan or credit union could take longer based upon COVID 19 policies & practices which we have no control over.

Q: What about the price, will the vehicle depreciate?
A: Yes with absolute certainty the price will change dramatically if the title delivery is delayed an inordinate amount of time. Depending on the class of vehicle, we have seen price drops of $1700 in a single week. CarBuyerUSA can only guarantee a price for 72 hours from the date of contract.

Tesla Values Skyrocket

- Friday, May 13, 2022

Pre-owned Tesla values are skyrocketing and have reached record levels as fuel prices surge and commuters look for long term relief. Much like COVID19, many Americans believe that a new normal is here with gasoline prices and that we may never see gasoline under $3.00 a gallon in the USA.

Based on vehicle purchases, Pre-owned Tesla prices have surged 10% in Q2 and that trend is expected to increase modestly, flattening with new model releases. Never before have we seen consumers so willing to spend $60K or better to avoid the burden of unreasonable fuel prices. Tesla’s began as a boutique vehicle purchase by consumers chasing unique and environmentally conscious transportation when introduced to the market a decade ago. But now the Tesla Automobile has been proven nearly bulletproof in quality and older models are fetching nearly $50,000 with over 100,000 miles on them.

The bottom line on Tesla – it’s here to stay and everybody wants one now that gas is getting to be unaffordable for Middle Americans. The demand for a Tesla whether new or used is sky high and supply isn’t so finding a deal on one is not a reality.

We will buy all we can for sure – they always sell right where they sit!

For more information or a fast value on your pre-owned Tesla Vehicle please visit or email us.

Lease Buyouts - Sell My leased Vehicle

- Thursday, January 13, 2022
CarBuyerUSA - Lease Buyouts - Sell My leased Vehicle

The party is almost over folks. If you are leasing a vehicle right now the media is still telling you that your vehicle is worth thousands of dollars more than the residual value. Yes, it may be worth more but not as much as it was earlier this year. Hundreds of dollars perhaps, not thousands anymore but the point is moot because all but 3 of the Leasing sources in the USA have made it next to impossible to sell your leased vehicle to a 3rd party. How? Because they have the right to “steer” you back to the original leasing dealer or the location of their choice for processing. There will also be fees most likely and the dealer will want to sell you a replacement vehicle. It is in the Vehicle Lease Agreement that you executed in order to take possession of the vehicle. New Lease agreements will most likely to make it more difficult to capture any upside speculatively.

As of January 15, 2022, unless your vehicle lessor is listed below, you can’t sell your vehicle to a 3rd party you have to work through the leasing dealer and title the vehicle in your name.

Here’s the list:




You may be able to purchase the vehicle directly and subsequently resell it to the third party but you will be responsible for taxes & fees. For additional information regarding lease buyouts please email us at:

Will smoking in my car hurt the value?

- Wednesday, January 05, 2022

This topic is a fun one to write about because it’s so easy to explain. If you are like me, you grew up around parents and grand-parents that smoked cigarettes. Not only did they do this, but literally in the car with kids next to them wearing no seat belts. Car Seat? What was a car seat? Enough “Boomer Talk” already… yeah, smoke odor bothers me. I got enough 2nd hand smoke in my life to know I don’t want to be around it ever again. If I rented a car on vacation and it was smoked in, I would immediately return it for something else – of lesser class if necessary. I am “like” 86% of the US Population – we all agree that smoke odor sucks. That said, 14% of the US Population smokes avidly. We have learned that not all smokers will smoke in their vehicle and would like to point out the obvious….this is testimony that smoking inside a car is no bueno!!! I mean smokers won’t even do it. Why? Because you can’t get it (that smell) out and the burn holes keep happening and adding up which ruins the vehicle.

How much does it hurt? Typically most cars will take a $1500 hit for smoke odor as long as there are no burns. Burned headliners, door panels and carpets have to be replaced and interior parts cost big money because they all have to be ordered from the vehicle manufacturer. On an exotic car it could be as much as 10-12% of the value. Let’s face it, the number of butts for the seat of a $100K Vehicle are few to begin with and these buyers have the ability to discriminate -and they will! Against your car with smoke odor! They just won’t buy your car and will look elsewhere for one like it.

While smoking is bad for your health and we would suggest quitting as soon as possible, we can guarantee that the audience for your used vehicle will shrink by 86% if you smoke in it.

For more about this topic or a value on a vehicle with smoke odor, please email us at:

CarBuyerUSA - Current Cigarette Use Graph


Nada Value for My Vehicle

- Tuesday, November 23, 2021
CarBuyerUSA - Nada Value for My Vehicle

If you pay attention to the “Media” now is prime time to sell your car or truck for cash and take advantage of the best used vehicle market of this century!

Let’s talk about how to go about getting a value for your vehicle. There are a few online sources that will give you a free vehicle valuation. Some will offer a range of what the vehicle is worth from low to high and others may offer you a guaranteed value but you have to go to their network of buyers/dealers to obtain it. Websites like Kelley Blue Book do a great job marketing and getting you to their site so they can monetize that visit (site traffic). They don’t have any “skin in the game” if you will, meaning the value they provide will be favorable and they are not accountable if it is wildly inaccurate. They just need to be the highest value out there and get your information which is filtered to dealers in the form of a lead or a subscription. Sometimes this is an exclusive arrangement for a particular geographic area or sometimes multiple dealers will be competing for that lead (your info) and the dealer will tell you almost anything to get you to visit his dealership over dealership B or C. This is just the headache you are searching for isn’t it? Less transparency and more shell game resulting in wasted nights, Saturdays and maybe a missed Soccer or Lacrosse game!

If you want an accurate value on your car or truck go to

NADA is the guidebook source used by most lending institutions and insurance carriers for retail, trade-in and wholesale valuations. The site is free to the public and backed by transactional data from the National Automobile Dealers Association and auto auctions located in the United States. Imagine this, a free vehicle valuation without having to sacrifice personal data? If you ever heard the saying “In God We Trust, all others bring data” it applies to this website. So how do you use it?

If you are selling a car privately you can expect in most cases it will fetch somewhere between NADA Trade-in and NADA Retail. There are a lot of factors that will limit the sale price but the most critical are:

  • iMiles
  • Equipment
  • Condition

Mileage is the metric for wear and life expectancy. Much higher than average mileage will hurt the value and very low mileage will inflate the value. Equipment is a huge factor because people like loaded used cars over a stripped new car. A stripped used car will be worth less than the average for sure. Condition will improve vehicle value significantly on an older vehicle but becomes less of a factor on newer model vehicles that don’t have much mileage or road wear.

A guidebook value is just the beginning of a used car sale however and ultimately a used car is only worth what someone else will pay for it. NADA is a great way to figure out how much your car is worth but if it’s a rare model in excellent condition with very few miles it will be worth significantly more.

For a free vehicle valuation and cash offer on your vehicle please enter your vehicle information above and get an onscreen offer. We do not require personal information to get an offer.

Sell your car to make money!

- Tuesday, September 28, 2021
CarBuyerUSA - Sell Your Car

Everybody in the media is telling you how much your car is worth right now. Forget about Bitcoin and Crypto Currency stocks, your car will make you thousands of dollars…sigh!

In the history of the automobile, the used vehicle market has never been hotter! All vehicles are worth way above the average book value right now. So if you have 3 or 4 spare cars you can sell, now would be a phenomenal time to sell them all and take a couple of years off from work!

Now that the fantasy is over, let’s talk reality. Yes your car is worth top dollar right now but it won’t be forever…selling it makes sense as long as you don’t need a replacement. New cars are nowhere to be found and production has been cut back to the tune of almost 50% through 2022 so finding a replacement will be difficult and there are 4-6 month lead times – if you are lucky.

If you have a vehicle that you DON’T need or want any longer you can sell the car very quickly for a great price. Not all vehicles will fetch above market, but everything will sell fast. Guidebooks don’t move at the same speed as the market however and they lag on both sides. They take a few weeks to catch up when things are moving upward and about the same duration when things start to slow down. The used vehicle trading arena is much like the stock market. There are fluctuations – even sometimes daily ones, but far less volatility.

What can you do to take advantage? Be smart. Online Car Buying Companies like CarBuyerUSA come to you and the experience is 100% digital with no obligation and zero hassle. If you want hassle because it makes you feel like you got the most you could get for the car, we probably aren’t for you.

Friction is something people seek to minimize these days, almost to a fault. That’s why we give people a price quote without any personal information. We do this because we know the market and we know what a car is worth usually within a few hundred bucks. The wild card is the condition & the vehicle history. Our pricing algorithm doesn’t factor in accidents, mileage issues, branded titles, etc. We don’t know of any guidebook source or car buying site that does. Once you jump into the funnel and get to your vehicle inspected we can provide an exact price. Why use a car buying company?

  1. We come to you
  2. The inspection is fast & free
  3. Price adjustments happen when there is wear and tear but 35% go through with ZERO adjustment
  4. Payment is electronic – no paper and no checks to clear
  5. Avoid the headaches, scammers and a lost Saturday at the dealership

So now is without question, the best time to sell your car. Get an offer fast and without giving up your email address or phone number. Shop it around and see how we stack up. We usually beat CarMax 75% of the time and our offers are better than Kelley Blue Book Avg Trade-in 84% of the time.

For more information please email us at:

Does wrapping a vehicle enhance the value?

- Tuesday, September 07, 2021

It is sometimes more productive to tell the punchline before the joke. Anticlimactic? Sure it is… but people today want information fast. That’s why they use the internet!

So the answer to the above question is a resounding “NO”…in fact you can make that a “Hell No!”

Here are the TOP 3 Reasons not to wrap your vehicle:

  1. Wrapping a vehicle requires a personal selection. It is highly custom and designed for your taste exclusively. All you are doing is limiting the audience of potential buyers to those with your exact preferences. When you limit the audience for an item, you lessen the demand which equates to price erosion.
  2. It is not, I REPEAT…it is not easily removed. You will spend $2000-4000 wrapping your vehicle in a very unique color and most likely this will not include the door jambs and trunk and under the hood which will remain the factory color. The wrap is applied and heat shrunk or worse yet sprayed onto your car (dipped) and there will be razor cuts, tape marks, overspray and other undesirable effects that will cause damage. That is during the application! When you try to remove it there will be paint hazing and potentially removed paint when yanking it off. That doesn’t even consider fastidious hands of an untrained detail assistant with a razor scraper. Yeah even the plastic blades will tear the paint up on a car. Show me a vehicle with the wrap removed and I will show you the damage.
  3. It does not protect the paint, it fades, tears and scratches more easily than any factory finish. Paint is much harder and far more durable than vinyl. We have seen them damaged in car washes, in fact some car washes won’t take a wrap vehicle in – they require hand washing.

This information is going to make a lot of people salty and will draw all kinds of fire from MFR’s, custom shops, applicator techs, tuners and the performance crowd. We will add that a Clear Bra or Paint Protective Film (PPF) is a huge value killer. Dealers (MFR’s also) sell this garbage for thousands of dollars along with a so-called “magic” paint sealant (wax) and an optional warranty for stone chips / paintless dent removal (PDR) packages. This film is very thick and yellows in the sun very quickly and is quite noticeable after a season of carwashes and normal road wear. PPF has a lifespan of 5 years tops and most shops won’t even give an estimate on removal. It is very tedious work and the paint will be left damaged and the shop won’t want the liability.

In closing, in our experience we have never seen a wrapped vehicle fetch more than fair market value for a vehicle with the original factory finish. Even if its BROWN, don’t wrap it because the brown door jambs won’t show well with the pearlescent pink wrap your daughter wanted.

For more info on Wraps and vehicle valuations please email us:

What happens to Old Tesla’s

- Tuesday, August 31, 2021

There’s no doubt that Elon musk created an absolutely amazing product with the Tesla automobile. The Tesla is an absolute engineering wonder. They perform extremely well in every possible category: acceleration & top-end, operating cost, durability and they are Hella-Fun-to-drive! Factor in the “zero emissions” thing and it’s just the perfect vehicle for today. We absolutely love it, but what happens to old Tesla’s? Better yet, who buys high mileage Tesla’s?

I mean think about it… what if the batteries go bad? Nobody really knows how long a Tesla will truly last? If the batteries crap out, it’s a total loss. Check this out…replacement batteries for an “S” Model Tesla cost in excess of $20,000. That’s like the engine and the transmission going bad at the same time on a gas-burning vehicle. When Tesla’s cross the 100K mile mark, the cost to repair could easily exceed the respective fair market value. This is a text book definition of a total loss. The legal definition of a total loss in most states hovers around 60-75% of the value of the vehicle. Most states have created similar “thresholds” that are established to prevent citizens of their respective states from being duped or sold vehicles unknowingly that may not be roadworthy or perform poorly in a crash. With batteries alone costing $20K, a higher mileage Tesla worth $30,000 would not be worth repairing - and there is no claim to file for a total loss!

You have options

Firstly, we would recommend that you not drive your Tesla into the ground or hand it down for 2 generations to watch the charging system malfunction. Why risk running into those high dollar repairs? Tesla’s with less than 50,000 miles on them still fetch a handsome resale price. While finding a private buyer for your used Tesla may be challenging there are online sources like CarBuyerUSA that pay top dollar for any used Tesla. We even have audience sources for the ones that do not run & drive as they should. Secondly, think ahead…if you average 15,000 miles per year, order your replacement vehicle in year 2 and give yourself enough lead time for the new one to be built. Finally, stay close to the value of your Tesla by checking in with dealers and car buying sites that will purchase your vehicle without requiring a trade like we do. Getting an offer is fast (under half a minute) and we require no personal information. We suggest using car buying sites rather than guidebooks for a more realistic valuation. Guidebooks don’t buy Tesla’s and finding a private byer for a vehicle over $10,000 is very difficult.

For additional information about selling your Tesla please email us at

Where is the title to your vehicle?

- Monday, August 16, 2021

When buying or selling a car privately, verification of ownership is critical. I mean…”why would you pay for something that wouldn’t be yours legally, right?” Sometimes a used car for sale looks “too good to be true” and chances are that “it is” and there is a problem! Don’t let it be with rightful ownership. There are very simple precautions that can be taken to prevent financial loss by fraud, incompetency or criminal act. We buy millions of dollars of vehicles each week all over the USA and we encounter a multitude of title issues.

Here’s a quick look at the kind of title problems we see:

  • Liens – sometimes they are not filed with proper governmental sources (hidden)
  • Tax Liens – also will be hidden and will encumber an ownership change
  • Domestic Liens / Judgements – the person who owns the vehicle has an unmet financial obligation against the vehicle, hindering ownership transfer
  • Brands: salvage, flood, total loss, lemon law (buyback)
  • Bonded Titles - the person in possession of the vehicle cannot prove ownership, so a surety bond was purchased to obtain a negotiable title (risky)
  • Mileage Discrepancy – mileage not actual or mileage on vehicle different from what appears on title or Vehicle History Reports (CarFax/AutoCheck)
  • Re-assignments – Jumped Ownership Titles – sellers transferring ownership to avoid sales tax that are not licensed dealers (very risky)
  • Electronic Titles – no paper copy available
  • Damaged/physically altered – disfigured, altered, illegible info entered, etc.
  • Endorsed improperly – signed improperly, signed in wrong spot, red pen used (blue or black only)
  • Correct information – printed name and signature must match what’s on the front of the title “exactly”
  • Year/Make/Model/VIN should all match the vehicle
  • Odometer – miles must be entered on the title exactly as on the vehicle

It is the sellers and the buyers responsibility to ensure ALL the info on the title is correct. If you are selling a vehicle and the title is not properly conveyed you are financially liable for anything that happens going forward as the vehicle is still yours. Buyers…you do not own the vehicle until the title is executed properly and conveyed to you.

States currently offering Electronic Titles:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

For more information on titles please contact us at: and we will try to assist you.

How It Works

We pay cash for cars, trucks, & SUVs, in any condition, anywhere in the Continental USA.

1 Get an Instant Cash Offer
Enter the Year, Make, Model, Trim Level & Miles (No VIN Required) and your cash offer appears onscreen (94% of the time)
2 Accept your offer
CarBuyerUSA offers are Cash Market Value. Funds are guaranteed and paid at the time of pickup or drop-off
3Talk to an Agent
Your CarBuyerUSA representative schedules a no obligation inspection. In most markets an on-site mobile inspection can be arranged. The digital purchase agreement takes less than 60 seconds to complete.
4 Get Paid
When CarBuyerUSA picks up your truck, you are paid on the spot in full with guaranteed funds – entire process is hassle free. Inspection, title work & pick up are all FREE.