Getting a title loan is one of the ways you can turn your car into cash, without needing to sell it. The title loan company decides whether to approve your loan application by assessing what your car’s value is, which means that approval rates are very high. Of course, to have an idea of how much money you’ll be able to get through a title loan, you’ll need to ask yourself “how much is my car worth?”
There are several factors that go into the current market value of a car. We’ve gone over them below so you can evaluate your car before you take it in to a title loan company.
How Much Is My Car Worth?
You could obviously make money off your car by listing it online and selling it, but then you wouldn’t be able to drive anywhere, which is a huge inconvenience. A title loan gives you the opportunity to pawn your car and still be able to drive, because you’re really only giving the title loan company your car title over the term of the loan.
There are several factors that go into a car’s value. The moment you buy a car, new or used, it starts to depreciate, or lose its value. Cars aren’t like homes, which can retain their value and often even increase in value. With a car, the value almost always goes down over time, except in very rare cases with classic cars.
If you buy a new car, it’s going to have a sharp, immediate drop in value the moment you start driving it. That’s because the car is going from new to used, and it loses that new car premium. This is why financial experts consider new cars one of the worst investments you can make. You’re paying more for a car that is about to experience its steepest depreciation.
When you buy a used car, it will still decrease in value, but this will occur much more slowly. That’s because the car has already gone through its fastest depreciation with the first owner who had it.
Obviously, whether a car is new or used will affect its value. Other than that, here are the factors you need to take into consideration to figure out how much your car is worth.
This is one of the most significant factors in figuring out the worth of a car. Even though cars are lasting longer than ever with their improved technology, the fact still remains that as a car accumulates more mileage, it’s also more likely to have mechanical issues or break down.
There will be a stark difference in value between the same car with mileage of 20,000, 50,000, 130,000 and 200,000 miles. The cars with higher mileage amounts will likely be worth thousands less than corresponding years, makes and models with lower mileage titles.
This is the other most significant factor in the worth of your car. Condition is obviously a bit more difficult to assess than mileage – with mileage you only need to check the odometer, but your idea of excellent condition could be different than someone else’s.
Still, it’s typically easy to gauge if a car is in at least good condition. Cars in good condition will be free of any major body damage, such as dents or large scratches. The interior will be clean and damage-free, without any tears in the upholstery. All the equipment needs to work properly for a car to be in good condition.
When people go car shopping, even when it’s for a used car, they want a car in good condition where everything works. This means that cars with any sort of damage or components that aren’t working will be worth far less and will also be harder to sell. Vehicle value guides offer multiple value amounts for each vehicle, with each amount corresponding to a certain condition.
Style and Location
For the most part, car values don’t change depending on where you go, but there are exceptions with certain styles of cars. Sports cars and convertibles tend to be worth a bit more in Southern California and other coastal areas. SUVs with four-wheel drive are often worth more in areas with rougher terrain or areas that have snowfall during the winter. Of course, your typical sedan will have a steady value anywhere you go.
As you’d expect, the following basic vehicle details will also come into play:
Newer cars are usually worth more than other cars, and certain makes and models cost more than others. A vehicle value guide can help you figure all this out.
Now you have an understanding of calculating how much is my car worth. But what about figuring out how much you can get through a title loan company? These tips on title loans should help.
1. Check Your State’s Title Loan Amount Limit
Depending on your state, there may be a maximum amount that the title loan company can issue you with a title loan. Many states, including Texas, don’t have a limit like this in place, which means that it will all depend on how much your car is worth. But in other states, there could be a limit of $1,000, $2,500 or more.
2. Understand the Title Loan Company Will Perform the Same Assessment as You
The quickest way to get an idea of your car’s worth is plugging all the pertinent details into a vehicle value guide, and then taking a look at it to figure out what condition category it falls under. Guess what? This is exactly what the title loan company is going to do when you apply for a title loan. If you use the same vehicle value guide as them and have a similar opinion about its condition, your assessment of its condition will likely be very similar to theirs.
3. Expect the Title Loan Company to Lend You a Percentage of Your Car’s Value
The last thing a title loan company wants is to lend someone too much money and not be able to recover what’s owed to them if the borrower defaults and they need to repossess the car. For that reason, a title loan company won’t issue you a title loan for 100 percent of your car’s worth. Instead, they’ll lend you a percentage, such as 30 or 50 percent. If your car’s worth $10,000, expect to get about $3,000 to $5,000 if you take out a title loan.
From a convenience perspective, there’s nothing better than using your car to obtain a title loan. It doesn’t require you to authorize a credit check, and you’ll probably make it through the application process within an hour.
Knowing how to calculate your car’s value is important regardless of if you’re getting a title loan or not. But if you are, you’ll want to know how much your car is worth so you have an idea of how much you can borrow.