Whether you’re buying a new or used car, you’ll have the opportunity to trade in your current vehicle. While there are alternatives to trading in, such as selling it privately or keeping it as a backup ride, they're usually not as lucrative or practical as letting the car dealership make an offer. Here’s what you should know about the benefits of trading in and how your car’s value is determined.
Why You Should Trade In at the Car Dealership
Boost Your Down Payment
Many people buy used vehicles to save money and get the features they want. Though these cars don't cost as much as new ones, they are still major investments. By trading in your car, you're essentially increasing the size of your down payment, leaving you in less debt; if you're financing the vehicle, this step can lower your monthly payments.
Avoid Selling Privately
While you hear stories from friends about making more money by selling a car privately than by trading it in to a car dealership, those anecdotes don’t reflect the amount of time and effort that must be invested in closing the deal. You have to advertise the car, meet with prospective buyers, and even potentially get additional work done on it. Plus, it might not sell for months or longer, depending on the season. Trading your car in at the dealership helps you avoid this hassle.
How Trade Value Is Determined
Year & Mileage
The two most important factors that go into determining the trade-in value of a vehicle are the car's year and its mileage. Newer cars with lower mileage tend to be worth more because they haven’t had time to depreciate as much. They’re also less likely to have undergone significant repairs because they’ve spent less time on the road. The value declines as those two numbers tick upward, making it essential to sell as soon as possible.
While probably not as important as the car's model year and mileage, condition is something of the X-factor in the trade-in value equation. Most appraisals use four categories to evaluate condition—excellent, good, fair, and poor—and the price differences between them can be substantial. For example, a 2013 vehicle with 75,000 miles on it in excellent condition could be worth significantly more than a newer model with extensive wear and tear.
If you're looking to trade in your car for a fair price to put toward a preowned vehicle, head to Northwest Rides in Bremerton, WA. As one of the most popular and respected car dealerships in Kitsap County, Northwest Rides offers an extensive selection of desirable vehicles, including used Jeeps, SUVs, lifted trucks, and luxury imports. Visit the dealer's website to browse their impressive inventory, or call the team directly at (360) 813-3516.