How Car Trade-In Prices Are Determined

Used Cars

A top concern for those who are buying a car is the trade-in price. Trading in a vehicle has numerous benefits, including convenience and release of all liability for anything that ever goes wrong with the vehicle. However, these benefits do come at a cost. On average, you will get less money for your car if you trade it in as opposed to selling it yourself.
Ordinarily, dealerships consider the following points when figuring out how much money to offer on a trade in:

• Year. The year of a car is one factor dealerships consider. Typically, newer vehicles are easier to sell than older ones. Those searching for a used car are attracted to newer used vehicles that cost less than the price of similar new one. The more attention a car receives, the faster it should sell. Dealerships are more willing to pay a higher price if it means the car has more potential to sell.

• Make and model. The make and model is important in determining a trade-in value. Some makes hold their value much better than others. For example, Toyotas and Hondas tend to hold their value which means a strong resale value. These brands will generally be offered a higher trade in value than comparable Chevrolets and Fords. Not to mention, certain models within a specific brand can also carry higher trade in values, even if the brand itself is not as desirable. For example, most Chevrolets don’t receive a high resale value. However, a Chevrolet Corvette will receive a higher trade in value due to its exclusivity and popularity. Demand is key.

• Condition. How well a car that has been taken care of can carry a lot of weight when trading in a vehicle. A car with scratches, dents and faded paint will bring a lower offer. An interior with a cracked dashboard and ripped upholstery, and stained carpet will also reduce the price. Well maintained vehicles should get higher prices upon trade in.

• Mileage. Mileage is always important in determining trade-in value. Higher mileage cars will generally get a lower offers when used as a trade-in. Most buyers want a used car that looks and feels like a new car. Keep in mind that even if the vehicle’s condition is impeccable, an odometer showing high mileage may make a buyer less willing to purchase a car at a price acceptable to the dealership.

• Desirability. If your vehicle has high desirability this one factor can be the most important factor of all. Of course we all want top dollar. However, a dealership is not going to offer the most on a car they don’t think they can sell. A vehicle will receive stronger offer if the dealership knows it can mark up the price and still make a reasonable mark up. Check out current headlines or car magazines can provide an idea of what’s popular at any given moment.

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