What Is Equity in a Car?

What is car equity? When your car is worth more than you owe. Calculate car equity by subtracting the balance of your loan from the value of your car.

A car is considered an asset. It's one of the most common things that people own. Many people take out a secured loan to get a car, and then pay it off later. In contrast, many people use the equity in their vehicle to borrow money if they need it. If you have a financed car, it either has a positive or negative equity, depending on the difference between the value of the car and the loan you owe to the car loan lender. We'll show you what Is equity in a car and how to use it.

What Is Car Equity and How Do I Find It?

In essence, you will need just two items to calculate your car's equity:

  • Current balance of your car loan
  • Actual value of your car

If the car you own is worth more than the outstanding balance you still owe on the loan, it has a positive equity. If you owe more on your car loan than your financed car is worth, it has negative equity. When it comes to what is equity in a car, it simply means how much of the car you own regarding monetary value, i.e., dollars.

Find out Your Current Balance of Your Car Loan

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Find out how much you still have to pay on the car loan. If you get a monthly statement from your car loan provider or if you have access to your loan information online, then you can quickly obtain your car loan balance from the latest monthly statement or online loan information. The information on the most recent statement or online account provided by the loan provider should tell you how much you still owe on your car loan. If you do not get these things from your loan provider, you will need to contact your lender such as a bank, car dealership or online lender to get a current payout amount on your auto or car loan.


Find Your Car's Actual Value

You can find out the value of your car on your own, but it can be a little tricky since the automotive market fluctuates greatly depending on the season, the year and even the day. There are some things to understand when it comes to determining actual values on cars. You may have probably put some wear and tear and mileage on your car since you bought it, meaning it is worth less than the amount you paid to buy it. Even if your vehicle is in a similar condition to when you bought it, the price you paid may not be the actual value of the car's current market value.


There Are Two Ways to Determine the Actual Value of a Car:

Get an Appraisal at a Car Dealership

A reputable used car dealership can give you an accurate appraisal of your car. Even a used car auction house should be able to provide you with an appraisal of your car. However, the easiest and most accurate way to get an appraisal of your vehicle is to get it at a car dealership because they usually give more precise analysis than a computer or a used car auction house.

If you go to a car dealership, they will inspect the condition of your car and compare it with other vehicles on the market with similar makes, models, and conditions to determine the most accurate value of your vehicle and its demand. The whole process will take about half an hour and should be free. A car dealer, typically a manager at a car dealership, should be able to tell you the trade-in-value and the market value of your car.


Use an Online Appraisal Tool

You can use an online appraisal tool that will estimate the market value of your car. There are a lot of websites with online appraisal tools to help you determine the value of your car. The Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is one of the most trusted resources online, which will estimate the market value of your vehicle based on the make, model, and condition of it. An online appraisal tool such as the Kelley Blue Book is easy to use to find the value of a car.

When using an online appraisal tool, make sure to enter your vehicle's information as accurately as possible whether you would like to get a trade-in value or a private-sale value. The demand and market value of your vehicle can change based on the place where you are selling the vehicle, mainly depending on climate and terrain of the area.

Other reputable sites that you can use to get an online appraisal of your car include Edmunds, CARFAX, NADAguides and more. The value that any of these online appraisal tools give you is a number that you will use to calculate what is equity in a car.


How to Calculate a Car's Equity?

Now that you have found out the appraised value of your car using one of the methods listed above, just subtract what you still owe on your car, including all loan payout fees if there are any from the appraised value of your car. The difference is the equity in your vehicle. If you are not making car payments right now on your car, you will subtract zero, meaning your equity is just the value that you found in your car.

For example, let us say that you get an appraisal of your car by The Kelley Blue Book and it means that the value of your car is $20,300 based on the make, model, style and condition of it. If you, the car owner, still owe $10,000 to the lender, and the lender charges a $150 payout fee, then the equity in your car is $10,150.

So, to calculate your car's equity, you will need to get an accurate appraisal of your car to find the actual value of your car and then just subtract the total amount of loan you still owe to the bank or dealership from the real value of your car. The difference is the equity in your car. If you do not have a loan on your car now, the equity in your vehicle is simply how much it is worth.


What Is Equity in a Car and Can I Use It to Borrow Money?

If you have taken out a loan on your car from a bank, a car dealership, or an online lender, then you may want to calculate your car's equity to see if you could qualify for a personal loan. If you are struggling to get a personal loan because your credit score is bad, you may choose to use the value of your car to borrow money from a traditional lender or a reputable online lender. That is where an auto equity loan comes in. You can qualify for an auto or title equity loan using your car's equity.

Most community banks, some small banks, and some credit unions offer auto equity loans. The rates for auto equity loans depend on your credit score, if you hurt your credit score and the value of your car. However, usually, these traditional lenders require that consumers have good credit score and credit history to qualify for an auto equity loan. On the other hand, some reputable online lenders offer auto equity loans to people with low credit score and credit history.

Car equity or registration loan providers typically do their evaluation and appraisal of your car, but it works similarly. You could get a loan using the equity in your car and your ability to pay a loan. The good news is that although you'll be getting a car collateral loan, you do not have to leave it behind.


What Is Equity in a Car?

If you have positive equity available on your car, you can use it to your advantage by taking out an auto equity loan. A title loan with a lien allows you to get same day cash and you can use it for paying bills, medical expenses and other expenses that need to be paid.


What is equity in a car? When your car is worth more than you owe. Calculate car equity by subtracting the balance of your loan from the value of your car.