Search thousands of topics on

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Car Appraisal

Car Appraisal Cost

How Much Does a Car Appraisal Cost?

average costAssessment (Without Inspection): $80-$125high costAppraisal (With Inspection): $100-$500
post E-mail post Post  

A car appraisal is a written estimate of a vehicle's current value based on the appraiser's training and experience and current market trends. A vehicle appraisal is typically done when buying, selling or insuring a classic, antique or custom car; to get a tax value for a charitable donation; when dividing property for an estate or divorce; or when a car owner disputes the amount offered by an insurance company after a car is damaged or totaled in a collision. An increasing number of classic cars are being sold online, with buyers using an appraisal/inspection to evaluate the vehicle before they actually see it.

Typical costs:

  • Car appraisals are available for $100-$500 or more, but a detailed appraisal that includes photos, a thorough inspection and a written report typically costs $175-$350, depending on location, travel time or if the vehicle is brought to the appraiser. For example, Classic Appraisals[1] in Wisconsin charges $175 if a classic car is brought to them or $225 to travel within the Milwaukee metropolitan area for a "bumper to bumper analysis" with several color pictures; body tag or VIN decoding (vehicle identification number, with digits that if correctly interpreted can identify where and when the vehicle was manufactured, and with which factory-issued features); factory production statistics; comparable sales; and general comments.[2] , with appraisers in 48 states, charges $350 plus $65 an hour travel time for a detailed pre-purchase inspection including an initial and final consultation; 80-150 or more photos of the vehicle section-by-section; and written results from a test drive. Diminished Value of Georgia[3] charges $175 in the Atlanta area to appraise a totaled or stolen car and $225 for a diminished value appraisal of a vehicle that has been repaired to pre-accident condition.
  • If the appraiser does not physically inspect the vehicle, the evaluation is technically not an appraisal but an assessment, which can cost $80-$125. For example, Diminished Value of Georgia[4] charges $95 for an assessment based on facts provided by the client and USA Auto Appraisers[5] in Nebraska offers a "simple email auto appraisal" for antique, classic or or custom automobiles for $99.
Related articles: Used Car, Auto Painting, Car Insurance

What should be included:
  • A vehicle appraisal should include the date and location of the inspection, the date of the valuation, a full description of the vehicle, the methods used to establish value, the purpose of the appraisal, a description of the appraiser's qualifications and the appraiser's signature plus any certification or registration marks. in California explains what should be included.
  • Before an appraisal, clean, wash and wax the vehicle and complete all basic maintenance (change oil, add windshield wiper fluid, have a full tank of gas). Do a brief inspection and consider replacing any worn belts, filters or windshield wipers.
Additional costs:
  • If the vehicle appraisal is part of a legal dispute or an insurance claim, having the appraiser provide expert testimony typically costs $200-$300 an hour. For example, Auto Appraisal Network[6] in California charges $250 an hour, with a four-hour minimum.
  • Ask about discounts for seniors, military personnel or others. Diminished Value of Georgia[7] offers a $25 discount for AAA members or military personnel.
  • For a rough estimate, free pricing information is available through sites like NADA Guides[8] , Hemmings[9] , Kelley Blue Book[10] , Edmunds[11] or AutoTrader[12] .
Shopping for a car appraisal:
  • For classic, antique or custom cars, appraisals are typically available at shows or exhibitions, or ask for recommendations from a car club specializing in that particular model or type of car. For insurance valuations, attorneys specializing in car accidents typically have recommendations for auto appraisers.
  • There is no single national organization that certifies auto appraisers, and there are no formal training requirements[13] . Most states do not require vehicle appraisers to be licensed, although a few have licensing requirements for appraisers who assess damages for insurance purposes. For example, appraisers in Pennsylvania must pass the state's Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraiser exam; Massachutsetts requires proof that the person worked for a licensed car appraiser and completed an approved appraisal course; Oregon[14] requires two years experience with a licensed appraiser; and Vermont[15] says the applicant must pass a test and be employed by a licensed appraiser. Check with the secretary of state's office about appraiser requirements.
  • Ask about the appraiser's training process and experience, and how and when any certifications were earned or awarded. Classic Auto Appraiser in California lists what to consider[16] when choosing a car appraiser.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News

7 Fireplace and Wood Stove Safety Steps To Do This Week
Gathering around a wood stove or fireplace on a cold winter night can be wonderful experience, but it's crucial to not take basic safety for granted. || Posted November 12 2013

The 4-1-1 on Flu Shots
There are 13 different CDC-approved flu shots available this year. Do you know which one is right for you?To be fair, one is actually an inhaled spray, not a shot, but it is one of the choices. It's restricted to people between the ages of 2 and 49. || Posted November 4 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


Comment On Your Experience With a Car Appraisal
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Vehicle Make, Model: Type of/Reason for Appraisal: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.

External Resources:
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost? How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on


Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Angiogram of heart
Paid: 55150.00
Had this procedure done to check heart due to abnormal stress test. Did not need any stents or any other procedure as everything was negative... [more]
-Pamela Garrett
Angiogram Cost
HELP: asbestos in furance - many questions
Paid: 0.00
I am renting out my home in Grand Rapids, MI and have received a notice from the city that the home must be inspected... [more]
Asbestos Removal Cost
Paid: 45.00
The clamp was annoying so it took away concentration of the tiny sting of the needle. I had just turned 15 at the the time and I've had it for almost a year and it has healed fast and never given me any trouble... [more]
Body Piercings Cost
Paid: 3009.00
Single family home... [more]
Ductwork Cost
2 half shafts replaced
Paid: 140.00
Bought the axles myself on ebay for 40 each, then had a mobile mechanic come to my house to do the work. It is not a hard job, but has a couple tricky parts for a subaru. Easier for a honda or toyota... [more]
-Subbie Giy
Replacing a CV Boot Cost
Even with insurance looking at going broke
Paid: 55000.00
Recently on a camping vacation my 11 year old became very sick. Took him to the closest hospital. Found out he is type 1 diabetic. Was very sick and had to be flown from Rock Springs WY, to Salt Lake City, UT. 185 mile on the ground... [more]
-Broke and confused.
Air Ambulance Cost