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Maybe one of the more important decisions in the life of your car is knowing “when is the best time to trade ?” Is it best to trade it in within a specific time frame? Is there such a thing as too many miles? Does it have to be mint? It probably won’t be a surprise to learn that there is not an easy answer to these questions. Yet, we do have some advice to help you understand what time is the best time to trade in your vehicle.
This is usually the first thing car owners wonder. Most folks assume the only way to receive top value for their vehicle is to sell it on their own instead of trading it in. However, there are a couple of points to look at when thinking about if you should trade your vehicle or sell it separately.
Selling a car can take weeks, if not longer; especially if your vehicle is in less-than-ideal condition. You would be responsible for every single part of the sale procedure, from creating an ad, to test drives, to haggling on price, and everything in between. On the other hand, trading a car almost always takes place the same day you buy your new vehicle.
Usually you would be accountable for the required paperwork, such as registration and the title. If you are new to selling, this may be a disheartening and even lengthy procedure if unexpected challenges are attached to the paperwork, like a lien. The dealership is ready to handle all of the paperwork, surprises included.
One of the most notable benefits to trading in your car is the possible tax savings offered in places with a state sales tax. In these states, there’s a financial credit applied to your new vehicle’s sales tax if you trade in a vehicle at the same place they buy a new one. Simply, the taxes are calculated at the price difference after the cost of the trade-in is figured into the new car sale price. The tax savings can quickly reach the high hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
There are plenty of thoughts on this, especially with late model cars that are specifically engineered for high mileage usage. However, there is general consensus on three mileage ranges to keep in mind when considering trading in your vehicle:
This is when the majority of new car warranties expire. On the other hand, this is when the first major replacement of ‘wear-and-tear’ parts, like tires or brakes, are typically performed on vehicles. The depreciation of your vehicle will generally start to accelerate faster at this point, so the closer your vehicle is to this mileage, the more desirable your trade-in value options will be.
Depending on usage, a car that gets to this mileage will be three to five years old and most likely had many appointments at the local auto service bay for routine service. As the miles pile up, the value of the vehicle tends to decrease so owners should keep this in mind when weighing their trade-in options.
It’s true that hitting this milestone is no longer the automotive death sentence that it was in the past thanks to modern manufacturing. However, the more mileage a vehicle has, the more the depreciation. Cars within this milestone could still have value even if they might not be in mint condition. The looks and mechanical condition of the vehicle is definitely scrutinized more closely as the miles increase on your odometer.
Finally, a crucial piece of trading in your car is preparation for the trade-in assessment. These recommendations are not the only ideas but these steps will definitely help you get the best value out of your car.
This should be a fairly obvious point, but people believe presenting their vehicle ‘as-is’ is an honest way to do a trade-in assessment. While we don’t advocate trying to hide problems or blemishes with the vehicle (spoiler alert, they will see through that regardless), it’s always a good idea to clean up your vehicle to the best of your ability before bringing it in. This means removing all trash and debris from inside the vehicle (yes, even including the trunk), washing and vacuuming the interior and exterior, and perhaps even doing a nice detailing. Think of the appraiser as a potential buyer and tidy up the vehicle.
We realize that repair bills can be overwhelming, especially for serious mechanical issues. But, if you can repair minor dings, defects in the paint, and cracks in the various windshield, mirrors, and windows, all of those cosmetic fixes will go a long way towards improving the price of your trade-in. When possible, we recommend repairing any mechanical problems the car may have. The nicer your car is, the more money you’ll get for your trade-in.
If you have decided that trading in your car is the best option for you, then we suggest coming here with all of your documentation, which includes the title (if it is in your possession), registration, any repair logs you have, and all copies of the car’s keys. Come ready to trade your vehicle in and you will not be delayed in driving home in your new one.
If you’re wondering where you can trade in your car for another car, Shamaley Buick GMC is the right place. We make the trade-in process simple and can get you back on the road in a new car today. Schedule an appointment online or visit our dealership to get started.