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Auto Appraisals FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When and why would I want an appraisal for a car or light truck?

A: Auto and light car appraisals are desirable in many circumstances:

  • When buying a new or used car you'll be armed with the best information available on the actual value of the car you’re buying. When selling a vehicle, having a written appraisal is critical in determining how to establish a fair and accurate market value.
  • When trying to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
  • To help determine fair value in an estate sale.

Q: What information should be in a professional appraisal?

A: Appraisals provide written evaluations with information compiled from a wide range of sources by professional appraisers. Factors such as mechanical condition, physical condition , maintenance, performance, mileage, previous use, and market factors all have a impact on a vehicle’s real value.

Q: Why can't I used look it up in Kelly Bluebook or order a CarFax?

A: Resources like Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds can’t tell you what an individual car is really worth without a physical inspection. Many factors like unreported accidents or interior damage, which may not have been reported to the insurance company, impact the value of a car. A physical inspection is essential to determine a vehicle’s true value. Kelly Bluebook and other sources say as much in their disclaimer.

Many vehicles that end up on lots have history reports that show no previous accident history, when in fact they have in fact been involved in collisions with major frame damage. These reporting agencies clearly disclose that their reports will only reveal information that has been reported.

Q: What is a certified appraisal?

A: A Certified Appraisal is a written document prepared by a Certified Automobile Appraiser and must meet the following criteria:

  • All Certified Appraisals must conform to the Uniform Standard for Automotive Appraisal Procedure and be prepared by an experienced appraiser.
  • The appraisal must contain a full and complete description of the vehicle including the year, make, model, Vehicle Identification Number, odometer reading, standard & optional equipment, condition report, photographs, history and documentation relating to the vehicle.
  • Based on the that information the appraiser will conduct a search of the local market area to establish comparable values.

Q: What are the qualifications of a certified appraiser?

A: A certified automotive appraiser must have the requisite training and experience to be accepted by a professional association with the power to regulate professionals in their specific field of expertise. At Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC, we are certified by the International Automotive Appraisers Association a globally acknowledged authority.

Q: Are there any standards which must be followed for an automotive appraisal?

A: All of our appraisals conform with the Uniform Standard for Automotive Appraisal Procedure. This standard mandates that the appraiser be trained and certified in their specific field, follow specific moral and ethical guidelines, and be truthful and accurate while following specific guidelines when appraising, documenting and reporting an appraisal.

Q: Why would I need a certified appraisal?

A: Certified appraisals can be a valuable tool in many different circumstances.

  • A certified appraisal from Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC, can be very helpful in establishing a true and accurate value prior to entering into a contract to purchase or sell a used, specialty, or classic automobile.
  • If you’re in a dispute with an insurance company over the value of a vehicle that’s been stolen or totaled in an accident, a certified appraisal from Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC could save you thousands of dollars. Establishing a true and accurate value of your vehicle is what we do. Insurance company’s are obligated to pay you what your car is actually worth and not what they claim it’s worth.
  • If your filing for divorce, bankruptcy or have a vehicle in an estate, a certified appraisal from Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC is what you need for a true and accurate written representation of the vehicle’s value.

Q: Can an appraisal be done even if my vehicle was stolen?

A: Yes. Even if your vehicle was stolen and a hands-on evaluation cannot be performed, a written appraisal can still be done.

Q: Are appraisals prepared by Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC admissible in court?

A: Absolutely. As experts in our field our appraisals have been used in many civil litigation cases.

Diminished Value Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is diminished value?

A: Diminished Value is the difference in a vehicle’s value before and after a collision when the vehicle has since been repaired to current automotive standards. In other words if you have an accident and your vehicle is repaired by a qualified repair facility, it may still have a lower market value than before the accident. This reduction in value is referred as "diminished value".

Q: Are insurance companies financially liable for diminished value.

A: Yes. Although they often deny their responsibility, insurance companies are often responsible for diminished value in third party claims.

Q: How do you file a claim against an insurance company for diminished value?

A: This is one of those situations where a Certified Appraisal is an invaluable tool. Proving diminished value requires a level of expertise that only trained professionals can provide.

Re-marketing Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC help in liquidating Estate Vehicles?

A: Our expertise is establishing a true and accurate value in order to facilitate liquidation of the asset in a timely manner. We are also aligned with a network of automobile professionals which can usually put a buyer and seller together to liquidate a vehicle asset in 48 hours.

Q: Can Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC help individuals sell their cars?

A: Absolutely, not only do we have access to a network of automotive professionals, we also have the ability to recondition and offer vehicles for sale at local dealer auctions.

Pre-purchase Inspections:

Q: Why is a pre-purchase inspection important?

A: Buying a used vehicle is a major investment. As discussed above, you simply cannot rely on book values and vehicle history reports to provide true and accurate information about a vehicle’s condition and value.

At Vehicle Valuation Specialists, LLC we have over 27 years of experience in the automotive industry. We know what to look for and all the tricks unscrupulous sellers sometimes employ.

As an added service our team includes an A.S.E. Certified Master Automotive Technician. Having a complete mechanical evaluation in addition to an inspection can truly provide peace of mind.