How to Get the Best Value for Your Trade-In Car

July 25th, 2023 by

If you’re looking for a new vehicle, consider trading in your old car for a portion of the value. This is a popular option among car buyers, as it lets you offload your old vehicle without the hassle of selling it yourself while also giving you a chunk of money that you can put toward the cost of a new car or truck. A new car purchase can be a big investment, so anything you can do to help get the cost down can be beneficial. Here are a few things to consider that can help with getting the best value from your trade-in:

Know Your Car’s Value

When considering trading in your car, your first step should be to get an estimate of its value. You can do this through places such as Kelley Blue Book, which compares your car to similar ones in your area. You’ll just have to input some information, including the make, model, year, mileage, condition, engine, transmission, and location, and you can then see what similar cars are going for around you. These are just estimates and might not fully reflect your car’s condition, but it’s a good starting place that can help you know roughly what to expect at the dealership.

What Can Affect Your Car’s Value

Many things can affect the value of your car, truck, or SUV when you go to trade it in. You’ll want to keep in mind your car’s condition and history and any maintenance tasks it currently needs. All these things can affect its value, as can what season your car is built for and what sells well locally. The Toyota Camry is the number-one-selling car in Texas while the F-150 is the top-selling truck. These cars are popular due to their affordability, reliability, and practicality.

Time of Year

Certain times of the year can be better for selling or trading your vehicle. The summer months are usually popular for buying cars, so dealers like to have a well-stocked lot. This makes the spring months a good time to consider your trade. Four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles might sell better in the colder months when there’s a chance of ice on the roads, and safety is an issue people are thinking about, while convertibles do better in the summer. The time of year is just one thing to consider when shopping around for a trade deal.

Your Car’s Make

You’ll do well to find a dealer that works with your car’s brand regularly. Here at Classic Toyota of Tyler, we appreciate a good used Toyota, as well as many other brands, and know the value of these reliable, well-made cars. Why take your car to a seller who won’t see the full value in it or offer you what it’s worth? Another thing that can influence the value is what sells well. According to Kelley Blue Book, Toyota is the winner of 2023 Best Resale Value: Brand — its seventh year in a row winning this accolade.

Fix Mechanical or Cosmetic Issues

While you might not want to spend money on a vehicle you’re not keeping, fixing some minor issues can increase its value in a cost-effective way. Scratches, dents, and a cracked windshield can give potential buyers a negative first impression. In reality, these problems are relatively easy to fix, and doing so will have your old car looking fresh and cared for. Before you take your car to a dealer, it doesn’t hurt to replace any dead light bulbs, top up its fluids, and see that everything is running smoothly.

Clean and Detail

Curb appeal is nothing to dismiss when trading in your old car. Having your car look its best will make it easy for anyone inspecting it to see its worth. Consider getting it detailed or taking it to a carwash to clean off any road dust and get it sparkling. Vacuum up any dirt around the floor mats and crumbs between the seats, along with dog hair or other things that you wouldn’t want in your car’s interior. Make sure to remove any old items you may have stored in a door pocket and forgotten about.

Save on Sales Tax

You might not get quite as much value on a trade as you would if you sold your car yourself since the dealership will have to do the work of selling it later. But that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be worse off. One way you’ll save is on sales tax on your new car since you only have to pay for the value beyond the trade price. To put this into numbers, if you trade your old car for $10,000 and your new car costs $25,000, you’ll only have to pay tax on $15,000 of it.

Vehicle Records and History

Before you head to the dealership, it’s a good idea to gather any records you have of your car’s history and take them with you. Bring any papers that show what mechanical work has been done on the vehicle. These can help show that you’ve been taking good care of your car and that it has had any previous issues resolved. Showing that your car has had worn parts replaced and that the tires are recent and in good shape will be a bonus when it comes to trading your car for a new one.

Trading In Your Car

Trading in your car is a great way to help pay for your new car while avoiding the hassle of having to sell it yourself. At Classic Toyota of Tyler, we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about what we can do for you. You can contact us online or call us at 903-581-0600. Or stop by the dealership at 1717 W. Southwest Loop 323. Our sales hours are Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Toyota Camry LE by Tino Rossini is licensed with CC BY 2.0

Posted in Used Cars