Determining A Fair Trade-In Value For Your Car

Now that you have decided to purchase a new car, you need to figure out how to sell your old car. Should you sell it privately? This may seem very profitable but it involves a lot of hassle with no guarantee that you will receive the price you want. Trading in your car at a dealership is your next option. But how do you determine a fair trade-in value? Read on.

A Starting Point for Car Valuation

Start by determining your car’s value by using websites that provide car valuation tools, like The process will require you to enter some basic data about your car. Remember to be realistic about the condition of your car though. You will get back two different price ranges. One gives you information on the average rate you can expect at a dealership and the other tells you the possible rate for private selling. These figures are just a reference based on the trade-ins of similar cars in your local market. However, it is hard to determine the responsiveness of these websites to market fluctuations that happen almost on a daily basis.

Fine Tuning with Hyper-Local Market Research

It’s now time to fine tune the initial value of your car with some local market research. Why is it necessary? Because the local market rates determine the accurate trade-in value of your car. If you have a specific dealership in mind, you can visit their website and check for a car of similar make, year and model. Your job now becomes simpler: make a note of the price, subtract about $2,500 for reconditioning expenses and dealer mark up, and you will have your final trade-in value. You can even negotiate with the dealer for better prices.

But before settling on the final value, make sure to cross verify with the websites you have used previously for car valuation. If the sites display better rates, you can equip yourself with the data and present it to the dealer. Another important aspect of local market research is to find dealerships that offer free appraisals for your car. You might just encounter a better trade-in offer elsewhere.

Other Factors

Not surprisingly, dealerships will want to close the trade-in with as little payout as possible. Nevertheless, remember to stick to your value and consider only those dealerships that are willing to play fair. This is especially important if you are planning to purchase your next car from the same dealer. Separate the two transactions to avoid getting manipulated by the dealer. Consider cleaning up your car and ensuring the maintenance and service records are available. This will improve your chances of maximizing your trade-in value.

Trading in your old vehicle at a dealership is the smoothest and fastest way to sell your vehicle. Dealers are always looking to expand their inventory and will be willing to take your car. Sometimes, the situation can get tricky and you may feel that your trade-in values are not fair. However, with research and data, you can negotiate a good price.

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