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One of the biggest times in the life of your current car is figuring out “when is the right time to trade in your car?” Should I trade it in within a specific time? Is there a point where there are too many miles on the odometer? What if it is not perfect? It probably should not be a surprise to find out that there is not an easy answer. But, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you figure out what time is the best time to trade in your car, truck, or SUV.
This is usually the first question vehicle owners ask themselves. After all, most of us think that the easiest way to get top value for their pre-owned car is to sell it themselves versus trading it in. However, there are a couple of things to look at when trying to decide if you should sell your vehicle first instead of trade it in.
With few exceptions, selling a vehicle can take many weeks, if not longer; especially if the car needs extensive repairs. You would have to take care of every single facet of the sale procedure, from advertising, to test drives, to negotiating price, and anything else that comes up. On the other hand, trading a vehicle usually takes place at the time you purchase your new one.
Normally you would be responsible for getting the buyer the required paperwork, such as the car’s title and registration. Trying to do everything yourself may be a frustrating and long procedure if unexpected challenges are attached to the paperwork, like a lien. We are equipped to take care of the paperwork, including surprises.
One of the biggest benefits of trading in your vehicle is the potential tax benefit found in places with a state sales tax. In these states, there is a credit applied to your new vehicle’s sales tax if the buyer trades in a vehicle at the same dealer where they buy a new one. In short, the taxes are calculated at the price difference after the trade-in value is factored into the new car price. The tax credit savings can easily reach the high hundreds and even thousands of dollars, depending on which car you’re purchasing.
There are plenty of opinions on this question, especially since late model cars are engineered for high mileage usage. Yet, there is a general agreement of three mileage ranges to consider when trading in your vehicle:
This is when most new car warranties typically conclude. On the other hand, this is also when the first major replacement or repairs of ‘wear-and-tear’ parts, like brakes or tires, are typically performed on most vehicles. Your car depreciation will generally start to grow more quickly after this milestone, so the nearer your vehicle is to this mileage, the better your trade-in appraisal will be.
Depending on usage, a car that reaches this mileage will be between 3 to 5 years old and most likely had many appointments at the local auto service bay for routine and not-so-routine service. As the miles pile up, the value of the vehicle tends to decrease so vehicle owners ought to keep this in mind when weighing their trade-in options.
Thanks in part to advancements in modern engineering, this milestone is no longer the automotive death notice that it was previously. But, the more miles of your vehicle, the greater the depreciation in all but the most exceptionally kept vehicles. Cars within this mileage can still have a positive trade-in value even though they might not be in perfect condition. The cosmetic and mechanical condition of your vehicle is looked at more closely as the miles increase on the odometer.
Lastly, an important piece of trading in your car is being prepared for the trade-in evaluation. While the following ideas are not the only ideas, to be sure, they will help you get the best value out of your car.
This ought to be a fairly obvious point, but people believe showing their car ‘as-is’ is an honest approach to a trade-in appraisal. While we’re not advocating hiding blemishes or problems (Just so you know, the assessors will see through those attempts regardless), it is always a good idea to clean up your vehicle to the best of your ability before bringing it to the dealership for evaluation. This means tossing all trash and debris from inside the car (the trunk too), vacuuming and washing inside and out, and perhaps even doing a nice detailing. Just think of the evaluator as a buyer of your car and tidy up the vehicle.
We understand that repairs can be overwhelming, especially for significant mechanical problems. Yet, if it is possible to fix minor dings, chips in the paint, and cracks in the various mirrors, windows, and windshield, all of those repairs will significantly help improve the value of your trade. When possible, we suggest repairing any mechanical concerns the vehicle may have as well. The nicer your car is, the more value you will get for your trade-in.
If you have decided trading in your car is the way you want to go, then we recommend coming here with all of your documentation, including the title (if you have it), registration, any repair documents you have, and all copies of the vehicle’s keys. Show up ready to trade-in your car and you will speed up the process of driving home in your new vehicle.
Fisher Acura invites you to trade in your car or SUV near Denver, CO. No matter the day of the week, time of the month or year, we are happy to value your trade-in and get you into a new vehicle. Visit our dealership in person or give us a call to schedule an appointment.