1993 Escort 4dr LX 5spd 169k miles. What is a fair price to ask?

I am looking to sell my car soon. It’s been a daily driver for 5 years since I bought it, and been a good car. I like the person I want to sell it to, and they would fix the issues it has. NADA and KBB seem a little out of touch with the prices I am seeing in Craigslist and other sites. How should I know how to fairly price this? Any suggestions?

The good:

  1. Clearcoat still good on everything but the bumpers
  2. Interior in good shape for a 18 year old car, not smelly or dirty.
  3. Starts up every time, runs well.
  4. Since I purchased it, all belts have been replaced, driver side seat belt motor was replaced, ignition and switch replaced, battery is only 2 years old, all fluids and filters changed regularly.
  5. Tires have less than 1000 miles on them.

The bad:

  1. Needs clutch master/slave cylinder rebuilt soon, but still works for now.
  2. Needs new AC compressor, line flush, and charge for AC to work.
  3. Check engine light comes on when warm, but doesn’t seem to interfere with how it runs.
  4. At highway speeds (60-75mph), has a shudder. After $700 worth of parts, new tires and alignment, shudder did not go away.
  5. Has small scratch and dent that could be easily fixed on rear quaterpanel. It is very minor, but a little bigger than typical “parking lot ding”.

Best offer.

Since it runs I could see asking $500. That’s just because I figure any car that runs goes at $500 minimum - but then again only if it passes inspection in whatever state its in & is road worthy. Sound possible iffy in this case.

There’s no emissions test here, and it is perfectly roadworthy. All lights work, I even have a couple of spare bulbs. It has only blown two lightbulbs in the 5 years I have owned it. If there were emissions tests, it may or may not pass, I would assume not since everywhere I have lived that tests, they check to see if the check engine light comes on as part of the test. The person I am thinking of selling it to has worked on the car, so they know it as well as I do, and it would likely stay local, so emissions may not be a concern for the buyer, even if he fixes it up and resells it.

I feel perfectly safe driving it as a daily driver, I just want a change to something with more headroom as I am tall.

We sold my mother-in-law’s 1994 Pontiac Sunbird (same as a Cavalier) for $700 last year. Like your Escort, the A/C did not work, but the buyer said she really did not need it. It had only 45,000!!! miles or so on it and very little rust. The car was immaculate inside and out, had been maintained by the book (on my instructions), and would easily pass government safety and emission inspection.

As others say, $500 if it runs and can pass inspection. The needed repairs far exceed the value, so no one would buy it to fix it up, except a mechanic.

There’s a market (around here, anyway) for gas sipper cars like this. Everyone seems to want one and will pay more than the car is actually worth to get one. Sight unseen, as you describe the car, I would say expect to get $500-1000 for it.

Based only on the information you provided, and not being able to see the car, I’d say it’s worth somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Maybe.

As mark9207 says, there’s a market for these cars, but yours has known mechanical problems, which reduces its value.

What you’ve spent on the car since you owned it has NOTHING to do with its current value. It’s worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and not a cent more.

Personally, I think it has too many issues and too many miles, and I wouldn’t be interested in it at any price.

If you have someone who wants it, sell it for whatever they offer you.

Thank you all, I was thinking it might be worth somethingin that range. I did some quick searching and found folks asking over $2000 for a similar car! Seemed kind of outrageous, but then again, when I bought the car, $4 a gallon gas had never been seen in the lower 48 states. I like this guy, and don’t want to rip him off, but I could use some cash toward reconditioning the replacement vehicle.

mc, if the car were automatic, and had more headroom, I would just fix and keep it over purchasing something else since I can’t afford anything less than 10 years old anyway. You are on to something though - I wouldn’t want to buy something with similar miles and known issues unless it was a steal of a deal.