Which Used Car Appraisal Tool is Right for You?

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Today’s car buyers spend more than 60% of their time researching online and just 20% with the dealership that sells them their car. That also includes the time spent filing paperwork and going through the purchase process.

The market is driven by consumers who have access to all the information in the world via the Internet. When buyers come to our lot, they already know which causer they want and how much it costs.

To succeed as a dealership, you need to listen to your buyers. You have to stock the right cars with the right trim level at a price that’s competitive with other dealerships in the area.

To offer the best product and price consistently, you need to make accurate appraisals and make data-driven decisions. Relying on your gut feelings or book values to price cars is a sure way to fall behind the competition.

You can only be the best if you use the best tools. In this article, we’ll compare the best car appraisal tools by the leading dealership software providers.

  • VinCue
  • vAuto Provision
  • Laser Appraiser
  • Autoniq
  • CDK Global

VinCue

VinCue is a pricing and appraisal tool developed by DealerCue. The software collects real-time data from more than 40,000 dealerships and industry sources. Using this database, VinCue can calculate a true retail and wholesale price for any vehicle based on its condition and the local prices in your area. You can appraise any car within seconds, by scanning the VIN with your phone and adjusting the parameters.

vincue mobile app- used car appraisal tool

Features:

  • Works on any device. You can scan any VIN with your phone, or dial in the number manually. Browse via the vehicle menu or search for the car you want to research. VinCue offers easy navigation and seamless experience.
  • The tool uses real-time market data for more accurate appraisals. VinCue calculates retail and wholesale prices, factoring in your recondition costs, mileage and desired profit margin.
  • Offers an abundance of reports to help you optimize your dealerships’ strategy including – market day’s supply, average days on the market, number of competing vehicles in the market and average time on the lot.
  • A handful of native plugins are available.
    • RevCue offers inventory and website management tools.
    • BidCue offers auction sourcing and bidding on vehicles directly from the dashboard.
    • AdCue helps you optimize your online ads to get the most results for your money.

Pros:

  • The appraisals are very accurate because they are based on real vehicles in your area.
  • All history and pricing information is available for your consideration. VinCue integrates NADA, Kelley Blue Book, Black Book, CarFax and AutoCheck.
  • Works for both new and used car markets.
  • The technology performs on par with more expensive platforms and long-standing service providers.

Cons:

  • DealerCue is a smaller company and only opened in 2015… DealerCue has proved itself against the reputation of companies like CDK Global and vAuto.

Cost:

  • Reasonably priced and affordable for any sized dealership. Add-ons cost additional premium.

Learn more about VinCue

vAuto Provision

Provision is a pricing, appraisal, and inventory management tool by vAuto. Provision taps into real-time data from Autotrader and Cars.com to calculate the true market price of any vehicle for retail, wholesale and subprime markets. You can appraise a vehicle by simply entering the VIN into the search box. You can refine your selection by adding your profit margin and choosing your rank among the competition.

Features:

Provision comes with its rBook tool, which uses market data to calculate what any vehicle is worth in your local market. Users can input details and adjust the parameters.

Users can customize their dashboard and see multiple screens from CARFAX, AutoCheck, Cars.com, rBook and more – all synchronized to the same vehicle.

Provision enables dealers to access online auctions like Manheim and add the screen to their dashboard, so they see all available information for the vehicle as they bid online.

Pros:

  • Provision’s appraisals are competitive to real vehicles in your area.
  • The dashboard is easy to use, and dealers can customize the screen to include their favorite tools.

Cons:

  • Works only for used car markets. New car markets require a separate product called Conquest.
  • For vehicle sourcing and stocking recommendations customers need to buy a separate product called Stockwave.
  • Neither tool is integrated with the rest. They are separate, stand-alone products.

Cost:

  • Provision, Conquest and Stockwave are separately priced and considerably more expensive than a tool like VinCue. There is a  setup fee plus a monthly subscription cost.

Learn more about vAuto

Laser Appraiser

Laser Appraiser was one of the first VIN scanning applications for smartphones. You scan any VIN, and the tool will display a healthy mix of vehicle information, condition reports and pricing information from several industry guides. Its desktop version offers additional valuation tools and market reports.

laser appraiser screenshot- used car appraisal tool

Features:

  • Integrates the majority of high-profile auto guides and pricing books including – Manheim Market Report, Cars.com, NADA, KBB, Black Book, Galves, AutoCheck and CARFAX.
  • The desktop version — Dealer Studio — offers a few useful market reports like vehicle shortages in your local market.
  • Dealer Studio offers a market-based appraisal tool which provides a more accurate retail price.

Pros:

  • Integrates the most industry guides and price books out of all appraisal tools.
  • Simple and easy to use.

Cons:

  • The more sophisticated market reports and appraisal tools are not available in the mobile application. Dealers out on the lot, or at an auction can only rely on integrated data from 3rd party tools.
  • There is considerably less market data being collected and made available in comparison to previous tools, making the appraisals less accurate and reliable.
  • The mobile app experiences some downtimes and is less reliable.

Cost:

  • The VIN scanner is free.
  • Dealer Studio is paid but on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Customers usually get reasonable value for its price.

Learn more about Laser Appraiser

Autoniq

Autoniq is an appraisal and pricing application. A VIN scanner is available with the mobile app, and dealers get instant access to extensive information from 3rd party apps and price guides. Autoniq offers some limited market data and access to most of the major auctions. Dealers can use this information to make an informed decision and price vehicles more accurately.

Features:

Profit Guide is a tool that offers valuable market insight specific to each vehicle including – sale price, cost and days to sell.

Autoniq integrates many 3rd party information sources like – Market Report, NADA, KBB, Black Book, Galves, AutoCheck and CARFAX.

The tool grants access to the main auction sources – ADESA, Manheim and ServNet.

Pros:

  • The tool is modular and allows users to customize which features to add to their suite.

Cons:

  • Autoniq’s limited market reports are based on 4,000 dealerships and updated weekly. That makes the information less reliable and accurate.
  • Autoniq provides access to auctions, but not the ability to bid and purchase directly from the app.
  • The tool offers nothing regarding inventory management, stocking, online advertising, and website integration.

Cost:

  • Autoniq is one of the cheaper tools. Customers can pay as little as $50 if they only want to use one module. Some modules come as a free bonus when purchasing two or more other.

Learn more about Autoniq

CDK Global

CDK is one of the biggest companies on the list. Previously part of Automated Data Processing Inc, it has more than 40 years experience in the automotive software industry. Now, CDK is an international corporation and operates on all six continent across multiple verticals. The company offers a wide array of tools that cover every dealership activity.

Regarding appraisals, CDK offers Used Lot Intelligence, a pricing and appraisal tool for used car markets. New Lot Intelligence is a similar tool for new car markets.

Features:

  • Used Lot Intelligence uses market data and analyses your inventory to help you make smart stocking and pricing decisions.
  • Pricing is automatically adjusted to reflect the real conditions of the market. You can save time and optimize your profits.
  • TradeRev helps you put a trade-in vehicle back on the market and sold ASAP. It takes a few clicks via the app.

Pros:

  • CDK has the resources and infrastructure to support large-scale data mining and processing. This gives users more accurate and reliable results.
  • CDK provides any tool dealerships need to manage and improve their processes – DMS, inventory management, sourcing, appraisals, eCommerce, digital marketing and many more.

Cons:

  • As a large software provider, the challenges to support all existing customers are difficult to overcome.
  • There is a steep learning curve before dealers can integrate the available tools into their process and use their full potential.
  • Not all products are equally developed and up to date with modern methods and strategies.

Cost:

  • CDK features an overly complicated billing system. Each product and service is priced independently.
  • CDK has recently increased its charges to 3rd party integration partners and also pushed for higher profit margins. This lead to increased cost for the consumer.
  • Small and mid-sized dealers are generally outpriced from using CDK’s tools and look for more affordable alternatives.

Learn more about CDK Global

Find Your Perfect Used Car Appraisal Tool

Just like dealerships, software products are significantly different, even though they serve the same industry. While each tool offers comparable features, they all come with their pros and cons. The best one for your dealership is the one that will cover all your needs without compromise and fit within your operational budget.

That said, we really should emphasize DealerCue’s toolkit. The software enables dealerships to buy and sell vehicles at optimal rates using real-time market data. It minimizes the risk and optimizes the processes at your dealership, thus giving you the most reliable profit. At the same time, the cost of the tools is many times lower than the top of the line competitors.

Judge for yourself. Request a free demo of VinCue in action!