How much is my Honda CR-V worth?

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Classified­s - BY RAY MAGLIOZZI

Dear Car Talk: First, let me start off by say­ing that I am 72 go­ing on 62. I have a 2014 Honda CR-V with over 34,000 miles on it.

I am think­ing that I want a new Odyssey be­cause I have had them in the past and be­cause of new safety fea­tures, like blind spot warn­ing and all the other stuff you guys al­ways rec­om­mend.

My ques­tion would be, what is my CR-V worth in a trade-in? What­ever help you can give me would be much ap­pre­ci­ated. Thank you. — Dorothy

Well, there are sev­eral ways to fig­ure out the value of your car, Dorothy.

My brother fig­ured out the value of his cars by leav­ing them un­locked with the keys in the ig­ni­tion. When no one stole them in a week, he had a pretty good idea of the value.

What you should do is start by go­ing to a web­site like kbb.com. Click on “Get Trade In Value” and fill in your in­for­ma­tion. That’ll give you a guess as to what it’s worth.

While you’re there, have a look at the “trade in value” vs. the “pri­vate sale value.” You’ll no­tice that you’ll get about 15 to 20% more for your car by sell­ing it your­self. You might want to con­sider that.

A bet­ter way to value your car for pri­vate sale is to see what sim­i­lar cars are sell­ing for in the real world. How do you do that? Try a cou­ple of web­sites. First, try Craigslist. That’s where you’ll find peo­ple sell­ing their own cars. Look for 2013-2015 CR-Vs with mileage sim­i­lar to yours. My guess is you’ll find that they’re sell­ing for $13,000-$15,000.

Next, check out used CR-Vs at cars.com. You’ll find mostly ads from deal­ers there, so the prices will be higher than in a pri­vate sale. But again, it’ll help you fig­ure out what sim­i­lar cars are sell­ing for, and what your com­pe­ti­tion is. For in­stance, if you see a sim­i­lar CR-V sell­ing for $17,000 from a dealer, you know that if you list yours for $15,500, it’ll look like a good deal to buy­ers.

Once you’ve done your re­search, you can also ask the dealer what he’ll give you for a trade-in and com­pare that to what you’d get in a pri­vate sale. If the dif­fer­ence is 2,000 to 3,000 bucks, you might de­cide it’s worth the trou­ble to sell it your­self. Or com­mis­sion a grand­kid to do it for you.

Now, about the Odyssey. You’re ab­so­lutely right that we rec­om­mend for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing and cross traf­fic alert for ev­ery­body. Es­pe­cially 72-year-olds go­ing on 62 like you, Dorothy. But you don’t have to get an Odyssey in or­der to get all that stuff. You can buy a new CR-V with that safety equip­ment if you like your cur­rent car.

If you love the Odyssey, and you want to tote around six grand­kids, some 4-by-8 sheets of ply­wood and a cou­ple of re­frig­er­a­tors, by all means, get the van. But it’s a big ve­hi­cle, and if you don’t need some­thing that large, you can get the safety equip­ment you need on al­most any ve­hi­cle now. So don’t feel limited.

Dear Car Talk: I am re­tired, but I work part time as a trans­porter for Hertz Rental Car at our lo­cal air­port.

As I drive the cars, mov­ing them around, I’ve no­ticed that al­most all the cars have black in­te­ri­ors. Is this for cost sav­ings for the car com­pa­nies, or do rental com­pa­nies just buy cars with black in­te­ri­ors? Thanks. — Arnie

It’s to cover up the latte stains, Arnie. Or what­ever other stains rental car cus­tomers leave be­hind.

While cloth in­te­ri­ors are cer­tainly cheaper than other op­tions, the black cloth is prob­a­bly no cheaper than, say, gray or tan cloth. But when you’ve got fam­i­lies with kids rent­ing cars for the week­end, and lit­tle Fred­die eats too many jelly beans at Grandma’s and tries to read “Where’s Waldo” in a mov­ing car and ... Well, you get the idea.

Be­ing able to hide stains is some­thing rental car com­pa­nies fig­ured out was im­por­tant pretty quickly. That’s why Rent-A-WhiteIn­te­rior Rental Cars went out of busi­ness years ago, Arnie.

By the way, this is a good time to re­mind all of our readers to check with your credit card com­pany be­fore rent­ing a car.

Most ma­jor credit cards pro­vide in­sur­ance cov­er­age for any rental car you pay for with that card. More of­ten than not, you can de­cline the “sup­ple­men­tal in­sur­ance” that the rental car com­pa­nies of­fer, which is ex­pen­sive, and in most cases, un­nec­es­sary.

You’ll still have to hit those black cloth seats pretty hard with Fe­breze af­ter the “Where’s Waldo” in­ci­dent, but you’ll save a good chunk of money on the rental fee.

Got a ques­tion about cars? Write to Ray in care of King Fea­tures, 628 Vir­ginia Drive, Or­lando, FL 32803, or email by vis­it­ing the Car Talk web­site at www.cartalk.com.

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