CarDr.com's Reliability Score and Price Valuation
Here at CarDr.com, we rate every inspection using our Reliability Score system, and value each vehicle with an optional AI Suggested Price Valuation.
The CarDr.com Reliability Score is an alphabetical grading system - based on every single detail we find when inspecting the vehicle. Reliability Score is included in every CarDr.com Inspection Report
AI Suggested Price
Our retail pricing valuation is called the CarDr.com AI Suggested Price Valuation. This is a price boundary that is intelligently calculated using our AI, again based off every single detail we find during the inspection. This valuation can be purchased in addition to your inspection.More details below:
What is the CarDr.com Reliability Score?
Following our multi-step inspection process, the CarDr.com qualified inspectors will be able to find and note down any potential issues and problems they encounter during the inspection. This process is used not just for the interior and exterior of the vehicle, but also for the wheels, undercarriage, mechanical parts, and even the road test. During that road test, the CarDr.com OBD Adapter will be monitoring data coming directly from the car’s internals, recording error codes and important data.
Using all of this data, we can intelligently process each and every point to create what we call a “Reliability Score” of the vehicle.
What does each Reliability Score mean?
“Excellent” means the vehicle only has cosmetic issues, or some mix of cosmetic and potentially minor mechanical issues.
“Good” means the vehicle has more potential cosmetic issues, some of which can be more severe. Alternatively, there can be some smaller mechanical issues or one larger mechanical issue, with few cosmetic issues.“Fair” means the vehicle has one or more larger cosmetic or mechanical issues. Some of these may be severe issues.
“Poor” means the vehicle has multiple cosmetic issues of varying severity, along with mechanical issues of varying severity.
“Bad” means the vehicle has multiple severe issues.
How is the CarDr.com Reliability Score calculated?
As mentioned above, we have the ability to collect a lot of data on the vehicle, all within the 30-45-minute time frame of the inspection. Using this data, we consider the Reliability Score to be made of two components: Critical, and Non-Critical. These components will take between 40 and 60 points for a total of 100 points, depending on how many miles the vehicle has traveled. Then, those 100 points are converted into the alphabetical score seen above. The reasoning behind giving newer vehicles will have a higher share of non-critical points, and vice-versa for older vehicles, is that older vehicles are expected to encounter wear & tear, so giving them a smaller share of non-critical points should bring more attention to the more important mechanical aspects of these older vehicles.
The critical component relates all mechanically-related points of data. This includes the mechanical inspection, road test, undercarriage, and the results of all our OBD analytics. This component judges the immediate safety and usability of the vehicle. Of course, not all critical components hold an equal effect on the Reliability Score. For example, having a bad engine noise (such as engine knock) is much more severe than having a noisy wheel bearing. To balance this out, the critical component of the Reliability Score uses a multiplicative scoring method, that weights the data based on severity. That bad engine noise will amount to the most severe grade penalty, whereas the noisy wheel bearing will have a sizable, albeit more moderate affect on the Reliability Score. Severe penalties will reduce the critical score up to 50%, lesser penalties reduce the score in smaller 5% increments.
A similar process holds true for the Non-Critical component. This component houses mostly cosmetic data, such as the interior, exterior, and the tire and wheel inspection. Any issues found during these parts of the inspection are either easily replaceable (cost-wise or labor-wise), or are not necessary for replacement (minor scratches and dings). Used cars can expect to have multitudes of these types of issues, especially with age. To lessen the impact of having many sources of smaller issues, this component uses an additive model, that also weights data based on their severity. In this case, large and deep scratches, or inoperable equipment will have larger penalties, while smaller issues collectively have a lesser affect on the score. Severe penalties will reduce the score by up to half a letter grade, lesser penalties reduce the score by 1/10th of a letter grade.
What is the CarDr.com AI Suggested Price?
The CarDr.com AI Suggested Price takes into consideration all of the data from the inspection. Similar to the Reliability Score, the AI Suggested Price Valuation has the advantage of assessing the vehicle in its current state, to provide the utmost accuracy in deciding how much the vehicle is worth.
The AI Suggested Price valuation will come in the form of a price range for what we expect the vehicle to retail for.
How is the CarDr.com AI Suggested Price Valuation calculated?
The CarDr.com AI Suggested Price Valuation uses an AI that processes all the inspection data to fine-tune the NADA Clean retail price. The more issues that are spotted on the inspection, the lower the prospective value will become. This effect will vary depending on the severity of each issue. This AI runs on a polynomial logistic regression that was trained on used vehicle prices and price boundaries.
We are partnered with NADA (now under JD Power) to start with the basis of the AI Suggested Price, which means our AI Suggested Price Valuations will remain accurate regardless of mileage and geographical location. Using NADA as the basis, and applying our AI to adjust the price based off of the inspection, the CarDr.com AI Suggested Price Valuation is the most accurate value appraisal of the vehicle in its current condition.