I have a 1996 Toyota Corolla, manual transmission, original owner, new clutch, 23,000 miles on it. It has some external cosmetic dings and scratches but the inside is perfect. I’m thinking of selling it but know it’s worth more than the blue book estimate - with such low mileage. Any advice on what I should be asking for it? Thanks!

Are you saying the clutch has 23,000 on it or the whole car?

Actually, if the CAR has 23,000 on it after 12 years, that will NOT increase the value much, if at all. It means the car isn’t driven much (less than 2,000 per year on average). Such a driving pattern can be very hard on the engine, especially if maintenance wasn’t done on the basis of time instead of mileage. There is also the issue of the new clutch. If it needed to be replaced with so few miles, that’s a red flag. The car wasn’t driven properly unless the clutch was defective from the factory (not likely).

Rather than guessing, go to, and Answer the questions truthfully and you will get a range of values for your car. These valuations consider low mileage in their calculations. Based on this info, you can make an informed decision on how to price the car for sale, if that is what you want to do.

Ask what you feel its worth and then see what the market decides.

The and KBB will add some value for low mileage. If this car had 100k or 23k its still 12 years old.

I’ve done maintenance on the basis of time, not mileage. The clutch had to be replaced due to me loaning the car to a friend who SWORE they knew how to drive a manual transmission. Yeah - right…

“No good deed goes unpunished.”

Good luck with the sale. If you price it as per Kelley or Edmund’s (with mileage factored in), you shouldn’t have too much trouble selling it in these days of $3+ gasoline.

This is what a 4 door sedan is worth guessed that it was not the DX:

DX model is valued at:

Just remember those book prices are just guesses, What it really is worth is what you are willing to sell it for and what someone else is willing to buy it for. Good Luck

“Just remember those book prices are just guesses…”

Very good guesses, too. These guesses are based on actual sales and trades. Edmunds says that the mileage adjustment is + $605. That’s a lot considering that it’s about 20% of a private party sale.

Just a comment about selling a used car: It is hard to get top dollar for a car you have to sell yourself. I have sold many via the newspapers and internet. You only get calls if you are in the bottom third in asking price. If you ask in the top tier you phone will remain silent. You may be better trying to find someone you know that needs a car and knows the history.

Everyone thinks their car is worth more than the book value. Extremely few really are.

Try EBay.

I would not say they are all that good. In their own way they are self fulfilling prophecies. Many people tend to look at the book for a price and the book looks at recorded sale prices for the book. :slight_smile:

For high volume models they are not usually far off, but for low volume cars, the are far less accurate. In the end it is what you and the buyer or seller agree on.

The market in Seattle Washington for Civics in the $3,000 to $4,000 range, has been consistently $1,200 over any of the book values published on line. The occasional bargain comes along when someone looks on-line but not in the classifieds or Craig’slist.

As usual, books (or book values) are just books. I certainly don’t mean to diminish their importance, or the importance of the words within them; they contain valuable information and usually reasoning and background, but often times reality does not match up with what is read. Take the information from the book and apply a little real life caveat: the value of the car is in the eye of the beholder. What any given individual is willing to pay for it is its value to that individual. You can price the car more than the estimate, but if no one else wants to pay that for it, how valuable is it?

The blue book is an average price guide. It gives one an idea of what to pay for a car, but is by no means the final the
say on the matter. However, kelly’s online site does give different values depending upon the condition of the car. And since your car has some external cosemtic problems then it would almost definitely be rated as good, not excellent. Sometimes it is hard for the owner to have a fair eye towards their car. It is their baby and they think it is perfect and worth far more than anyone else is willing to pay. To get a better idea of what your car is worth, go to both new car dealers used car lots, and
then just plain used car lots. Check to see what similar cars to yours look like. These will all be priced at what you think your car is worth. I said both because the new car dealers keep only the best cars and sell off the somewhat less desirable.

“For high volume models they are not usually far off, but for low volume cars, the are far less accurate. In the end it is what you and the buyer or seller agree on.”

I guess that means their estimates are pretty good. I think their estimates are good for late model cars that sell in large volume, but how many visitors here want to buy a Lotus or other low-volume seller? The estimate for the 1996 Corolla indicates that no matter how low the mileage is, it is still a Corolla and it is still 12 years old. A 20% premium for low mileage is good. There is just so much that low mileage can do for a car’s value, especially this one. The Corolla in question is 2 or 3 generations older than a new one, and not nearly as desirable due to the improvements over the years.

Best bet is to sell it yourself, to an individual – someone who is willing to acknowledge the value and pay the premium for the low miles. My wild guess is that adds $500-1000 to the standard blue book value of this car.

Incidentally, there are lots of great used cars around the retirement cities in Arizona (Tempe, etc.). Low mileage, no rust, etc. I suppose some of them haven’t had an oil change in a couple of years, but these would be great old cars to buy for low blue book prices. As long as you like Olds, Buick, Crown Vic, etc.

Whatever all the books state, your car is to be rated average or fair. No car is rated excellent if it cannot be placed on a showroom floor. Also, since it has Walmart dings it cannot be rated good. Keep in mind even though your car may book for a certain value you may not get it since value is also what a potential buyer is willing to pay.
For what it’s worth I do know how values are rated by insurance companies since I have appraised over 5,000 vehicles for various insurance companies. Hope you make out well.