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How to Find the Original Price of a Car

Updated February 21, 2017

Buying a vehicle is one of the largest purchases the average person will make in his or her lifetime. Brand new cars are attractive to many consumers, but buying used cars can often save on the overall cost of car. Used cars may also be less expensive to insure than similar new cars, since less valuable items are less expensive to replace. The original retail or sale value of car is known as the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price.).

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  1. Write down the make, model, year, and transmission type of the vehicle.

  2. Ask the owner of the vehicle for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle and the name of the dealership where they purchased the vehicle. Dealership names are often printed directly on cars.

  3. Call the car dealer, provide them with the VIN and other identifying information and ask them about the original MSRP of the vehicle. If you cannot find information from the dealer, you may be able to find price information online.

  4. Go to "Newcartestdrive: Auto Reviews" and click "Used Car Reviews."

  5. Click on the make of the car in the list, and then click the year and model and read the review information. Reviews often contain information on the original costs of vehicles.

  6. Tip

    The original MSRP of a used car may not be especially relevant to its current value. Many cars depreciate in value quickly; a car that sold for £19,500 five years ago might only be worth half that amount today.

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About the Author

Gregory Hamel

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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