Perhaps one of the biggest decisions in the ownership of your car is figuring out “when should I trade the car or truck in?” Should I trade it within a specific time frame? Is there such a thing as too many miles on the odometer? What if it isn’t in mint condition? It probably should not be a shock to learn there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. But, we’ve got some advice to help you decide when to trade in your vehicle.
This is typically the first question owners wonder. Most people assume the only way to get top value for their used vehicle is to sell it themselves instead of trading it for another car. Yet, there are some things to consider when thinking about if you should trade your car or sell it separately.
Selling a car can take several weeks or longer; especially if the vehicle is in less-than-ideal condition. The seller would be responsible for every facet of the sale procedure, from creating an ad, to coordinating test drives, to arguing the price, and anything else that pops up. Conversely, trading in a vehicle generally takes place the same day you purchase your new one with only slight negotiation.
Typically you would be accountable for the required paperwork, such as registration and the vehicle’s title. Trying to do everything yourself could be a discouraging and even lengthy procedure if there are unexpected challenges assigned to the paperwork, like a lien. We are equipped to do all of the paperwork, surprises included.
One of the biggest benefits to trading in your car is the potential tax benefit offered in areas with a state sales tax. For these states, there is a tax credit applied to your new vehicle’s sales tax if you trade in a vehicle at the same dealer where they buy a new car. Simply, the taxes are only applied to the price difference after the value of the trade-in is factored into the final price. The savings can easily reach the high hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
There are many schools of thought on this, especially since late model cars are specifically designed for higher mileage usage. But, there’s general consensus on these three mileage milestones to keep in mind when considering trading in your vehicle:
This is when the majority of new car warranties typically end. On the other hand, this is also when the first major replacement of ‘wear-and-tear’ components, like brakes or tires, are generally performed on cars. The depreciation of your vehicle will usually begin to grow faster at this point, so the closer your car is to this mileage, the higher your trade-in will usually be.
Depending on how much you drive, a vehicle that reaches this mileage will be between three to five years old and most likely has been well maintained. As the miles add up, the value gets lower so car owners should think about this when weighing their trade-in.
It is true that hitting this mileage is no longer the automotive death sentence that it was in the past, thanks in part to modern manufacturing. However, the more miles a vehicle has, the more the depreciation. Cars within this milestone can still have value even if they might not be in pristine condition. The looks and mechanical condition of the car is definitely looked at more closely as the miles increase on your odometer.
Lastly, an important component of trading in the vehicle is preparation for the trade-in appraisal. While the following suggestions are not the only ideas, to be sure, they can help you get the most value out of your trade-in.
This ought to be a no-brainer, but people believe presenting the car ‘as-is’ is a more honest way to do a trade-in assessment. While we’re not advocating hiding problems or blemishes (Just so you know, they will see through that anyway), it’s not a bad idea to clean up your vehicle before bringing it in for evaluation. This includes removing all trash and debris from inside your vehicle (the trunk too), vacuuming and washing inside and out, and maybe even doing a nice exterior and interior detailing. Just think of the evaluator as a buyer of your vehicle and tidy up the vehicle accordingly.
We get that repair bills can be overwhelming, especially for serious mechanical concerns. But, if you can fix minor dings, defects in the paint, and cracks in the various windshield, mirrors, and windows, all of those fixes will go a long way towards improving the value of your trade-in. If possible, we advise repairing any mechanical problems the vehicle may have. The better the condition, the better the trade-in value will be.
If you have decided trading in your car is the way you want to go, then we suggest coming here with all of your car’s documentation, which includes the title (if it’s in your possession), registration, any repair documents you have, and keys you have for the vehicle. Come ready to trade your vehicle in and you will speed up the process of driving away in your new one.
No matter the time of year, month or day of the week, Bob Howard Acura invites you to trade in your car or SUV in Oklahoma City, OK. We provide great advice and tips for how to get the most value for your trade-in and can help you get behind the wheel of a new car. Schedule an inspection appointment online or visit our dealership today.
Quick service, very friendly, offered a free car wash with the service. I didn’t wait very long.
People were very friendly and efficient. Pleasant experience and quick service during my buying process.
My wife and I had a great experience at this dealership. The salesman, the sales manager, and the finance manager were all great to work with. I felt that they listened to us and gave us a very fair deal. I would highly recommend this dealership to anyone looking for a quality car at a good price.
Great follow and product information from my sales person Joni Wilson,
They did a good job getting me into the right vehicle for me.