Perhaps one of the more important times in the ownership of your car is knowing "when should I trade car or truck in?" Should I trade it after a specific number of years? Is there such a thing as too many miles on the odometer? Does it have to be mint? It probably will not be a surprise to learn there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to these concerns. But, we do have a few tips to help you figure out when is the best time to trade in your car or truck.
This is usually the first thing car owners wonder. Most of us think the only way to get top dollar for their used car is to do it on their own instead of trading it for another car. However, there are a few things to think about when attempting to decide if you should trade your car or just sell it.
Selling a car can take several weeks, if not longer; specifically if your vehicle needs extensive repairs. You would have to take care of every single part of the sale transaction, from posting an ad, to test drives, to haggling on price, and anything else that comes up. Conversely, trading a vehicle generally takes place at the time you get your new one with little effort.
Typically the person selling the vehicle is accountable for the paperwork, such as registration and the title. Trying to do everything yourself can be a disheartening and even lengthy process if unexpected challenges like a lien, are connected to the paperwork. The dealer is ready to take care of the paperwork, including surprises.
Maybe the most notable benefit to trading in your car is the potential tax savings in states with a state sales tax. For these states, there's a credit applied to the new vehicle's sales tax if the buyer trades in a car at the same location they purchase a new car. Simply, the taxes are applied to the price difference after the trade-in price is calculated into the new vehicle price. The savings can easily reach hundreds and even thousands of dollars, depending on which vehicle you are buying.
There are plenty of schools of thought on this question, especially since newer vehicles are designed for high mileage usage. Yet, there is a nearly universal agreement of three mileage milestones to consider when trading your vehicle in:
This is when most new car warranties usually conclude. Conversely, this is also when the first replacement or repairs of 'wear' parts, like brakes or tires, are usually done on cars. The depreciation of your car will usually begin to grow faster at this point, so the nearer your car is to these miles, the more desirable your trade-in value options will likely be.
Depending on how much you drive, a vehicle that gets to this mileage will typically be 3 to 5 years old and most likely has been well taken care of. Obviously as the miles add up, the value tends to decrease so owners should think about this when considering their trade-in.
It's true that hitting this mileage isn't nearly the automotive death sentence that it was in years past thanks to advancements in modern engineering. Yet, the more miles a vehicle has, the more the depreciation. Cars within this milestone can still have a positive trade-in value even if it isn't in perfect condition. The condition of your vehicle is looked at more closely as the miles increase on your odometer.
Lastly, a crucial piece of trading in your car is being prepared for the trade-in assessment. These ideas are not the only ideas but these steps will definitely help you get the best value out of your trade.
This ought to be a no-brainer, but people believe presenting their car 'as-is' is an honest approach to a trade-in appraisal. While we're not advocating hiding blemishes or problems (spoiler alert, they will see through that anyway), it is not a bad idea to clean up your car before bringing it in for the appraisal. This includes getting rid of all trash and debris from inside the car (yes, even including the trunk), vacuuming and washing inside and outside, and maybe even doing a nice interior and exterior detailing. Just think of the appraiser as a buyer and prepare the vehicle accordingly.
We understand that auto repairs can be overwhelming, especially for serious mechanical concerns. However, if it's possible to repair minor dings, defects in the paint, and cracks in the various mirrors, windows, and windshield, all of those cosmetic repairs will go a long way towards improving the price of your trade. If possible, we suggest repairing any mechanical concerns the car may have. The better the condition, the more money you will get for your trade-in.
If you've decided that trading in your vehicle is the best option for you, then we suggest coming here with all of your car's paperwork, which includes the title (if you have it), registration, any maintenance receipts you have, and all copies of the car's keys. Come ready to trade-in your car and you will not suffer any delays in driving away in your new vehicle.
No matter the time of year, month or day of the week, Robbins Nissan invites you to trade in your car, truck, SUV, or minivan near Houston, TX. 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.