How to Determine Car Value
The market value of your vehicle is known as its “actual cash value” or ACV. To get a better understanding of ACV, it's important to first learn how the actual cash value for a vehicle is determined.
While Kelley Blue Book® is popular, other valuation guides that track vehicle values include Edmunds® and NADA®. However, keep in mind that these are only guides that track vehicle values. Consumer bias toward their car's condition, data lag between current car values and what's in the guides, and current wholesale pricing explain why the valuations and the actual cash value of your vehicle may differ.
Most insurance companies use third-party vehicle valuation companies (e.g., CCC, Audatex, Mitchell), which currently aren’t available to the public, to establish the ACV based on comparable vehicles currently in the market that are for sale or have been recently sold.
What if the ACV payment from my insurance company doesn’t cover my loan?
This may occasionally occur, and you can protect yourself from this. Guaranteed Auto Protection, or GAP insurance, covers the difference between the amount you owe on your loan and the amount you receive for your vehicle’s ACV. Read more about GAP coverage here.