Real World Examples Of A Used Car Trade In & How You Can Get More For Your Trade


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Trading in a used car is probably one of the most despised parts of buying a car, truck, van or suv.  So let's look at this part of the car purchase from a different perspective....one that will help you get through this a bit easier and allow you to get the most money for your used car or truck.

Let's start with some Automotive Lingo -

Trade-In is another word for Wholesale.

And Wholesale is another word for Auction.

So, when you want to trade in your car, an Auction price is what you’ll be given.

That's the exact reason why normal folks like you and me have problems with a dealership about our trade in.

Many of us have an emotional attachment to our car.  We think our car is the nicest one there is.

Let me be as gentle as I can with this....it’s not.

A large dealership sees hundreds of cars and trucks a month and if you approach the trade-in with that frame of mind, you are going to be disappointed.

Think of it this way....why would a car dealer give you $2000 more for your car...than what they would pay for it at auction?  Doesn't make much business sense, does it?

Here's several common scenarios regarding used car trade ins -




The Best Source For Used Car Trade In Values....And How To Use Them The Right Way


When trying to determine the value of your trade, I’d suggest only three public sources - Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NADA.

Try kbb.com Used Car Trade In Values first, then head on over to both Edmunds Used Car Trade In Values and NADA Used Car Trade In Values.

Just provide your zip code when asked - it's important because values are different in various parts of the country.

Here are a few really important tips when appraising your car online.

During the online appraisal process, you’ll be asked to grade your vehicle.  Your choices are poor, fair, good or excellent.

I want you to burn this into your brain right now - there are very, very few excellent cars, trucks, vans and suvs that get traded in.

In fact, I saw only one in my years in the business - 2001 Nissan Altima with 600 miles.  It was traded in 2 weeks after it was originally purchased because the guy that bought it....died.

I couldn't even begin to tell you how many people tell a car dealer their trade-in is excellent when it needs new tires, new brake pads and $300 of paint repair.

So, carefully review what poor, fair and good actually mean when you visit KBB, Edmunds and NADA....and be honest in your opinion.  More than 90% of you will find that your car or truck falls in the "fair" to "good" range.

Once you have your figures from the 3 web sites, just take the average. If a dealer offers anywhere near that figure, you're in business.

If you have a little time on your hands and want to get the most accurate source for trade-in values, pick up the phone and call a couple of Dealers that sell the Brand you own.

Ask them for the “Black Book” value on your vehicle.  The “Black Book” is a publication put out by the Hearst Corporation.  They’re a huge company that owns major newspapers, TV Stations, Radio Stations and Magazines.

The “Black Book” is a publication that details the Average Auction (remember, that's another name for trade in) prices for every vehicle sold in the U.S.  It’s printed monthly and set-up to represent the various geographical areas of the Country.  You can buy the Black Book yourself if you wish – it’s a yearly subscription and it’s pricey.

I suggest you just pick up the phone and ask a few Dealers what the value is for your vehicle – for a vehicle in fair to average condition.

You’ll know within a couple of hundred dollars of where you stand - and whether you’re in good-shape or bad-shape in regards to your trade-in.



Other Important Advice To Remember



TIP: If you've considered selling your car or truck yourself, buy changed your mind, I want you to take a step back for a moment.  Spend a few minutes reviewing our guide - sell you car yourself and pocket an extra $1,500 to $3,000 more.  It really isn't that hard.

TIP:If your vehicle is at the 80,000 mile mark on the odometer, expect to get less than the fair value that KBB or the Black Book gives it.

The reason – many manufacturers and their certification processes will only warranty or certify a vehicle with less than 80,000 miles. It can’t be resold as a “certified’ vehicle with that many miles.

The result – the dealer will have difficulty selling it. Most likely, they won’t even try. Your vehicle will end up at auction and be sold to the secondary markets, i.e. Small, Privately Owned lots or Buy-Here-Pay-Here lots.

TIP: If your vehicle has reached the 100,000 mile mark and beyond, it’s an automatic auction car.  Be prepared for a lousy value.

In fact, you’ll probably be offered considerably less than the fair value that KBB gives it. Why? Because that’s all the Pre-Owned Manager will get for it.

TIP: If your vehicle is 7 – 12 years old, and the trade-in figure is low, consider this - Donate it to a recognized non-profit (Charity Group) and take the allowed Federal tax credit when you file your taxes the following year.  I can help with this – I have the federal requirements and the names of several worthy non-profits.  To find out more, see our guide to Donating A Car

TIP: If the State you live in offers a Tax Credit, it can be a huge benefit.  For instance, if you are an Ohio resident and are purchasing a new vehicle for $30,000 and your trade-in is worth $10,000, you only pay taxes on the difference between the two.  It looks like this:

$30,000 Purchase - $10,000 Trade-in = $20,000 Taxable X Ohio 7% Tax = $1,400.

Without the Trade-In the Sales Tax is $2,100.

You would net $700 if you traded the car in.  That means $700 less to pay on the new car transaction. Or, think of it as getting $700 more for your trade.

TIP: One more thing – I know that several “leading experts” have advised that you hide the fact that you are going to trade a vehicle in.

They suggest you negotiate the new car price first.  Then they suggest you say “by the way, I have a trade”.  Supposedly, you will get a lower price on the new car by not tying the two vehicles together.

I don’t agree – and the reason is this.  If you plan to use the Internet to shop, the really good Internet and Fleet Managers (see our New Car Prices & New Car Quotes Guides for more info) don’t have the time to negotiate for hours. You’ll typically get very close to their best price in the first communication.

If you try to introduce the trade later in the process, the Internet Manager has very little room on the price of the new car and no room on your trade.  You’ve wasted your time as well as theirs.

If you're dealing with a good Internet or Fleet Manager, be upfront with them and tell them about the trade.  I guarantee a very pleasant experience.

Have Fun!















I do have an obligation to point out that not all Car Makers, Dealers, Salespeople, Insurance Companies and Banks are greedy or crooked.  This site is dedicated to honest Companies and their Professional Employees who've grown weary of the ignorant and classless giving the automotive related industry a black eye......a black eye that I feel is very close to being permanent.

By using these new and used car guides, I hope to be able to help you find the Best Businesses, and the Professionals that represent them, with very little effort on your part and help you....

Save More Money and More Time Than You Ever Have Before.

It is also my hope that these Companies and the Professionals that represent them will have more business than they can handle - a reward they justly deserve.

Thank you for visiting My New Car Purchase - and please take 5 seconds to or perhaps let a friend or relative know about us - Click here to send this page to a friend.

I guarantee that you will have an exceptional experience the next time you buy a car, van, truck or SUV - again, thank you for visiting this Web Site!

Tom O'Leary  - "A Concerned Dad....and Automotive Analyst"

New Car Purchase - Exceptional New Car Purchase Advice and Automobile Purchase Strategies for your next new car or used automobile purchase.

Feel free to e-mail me at: Tom at my new car purchase (no spaces) dot com - or take a few seconds to send a question or comment by Clicking here

P.S. Make sure you check out the My New Car Purchase Blog.

To see specific information on how to have the best new car purchase you've ever had, click on the My New Car Purchase links listed below.








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Best & Worst Picks
 For 2006 - 2007
Cars, Trucks, Vans & SUVs

Best Picks for  2006 - 2007*




    NSX
    MDX
    RSX
    RL
    TL
    TSX
    A4
    A6
    TT
    5 Series
    6 Series
    325 Series
    330 Series
    X3
    7 Series
    X5 Series
    Z4
    Rainier
    XLR
    CTS
    SRX
    STS
    Corvette
    Monte Carlo
    SSR
    K1500 Silverado Pickup
    Avalanche
    K2500 Silverado HD Pickup
    K3500 Silverado Pickup
    Trailblazer
    Colorado Pickup
    Equinox
    Express Cargo Van
    Suburban
    Tahoe
    Pacifica
    Town & Country
    Crossfire
    PT Cruiser
    300 Series
    Viper
    Dakota Pickup
    Durango
    RAM 1500 Series Pickup
    RAM 2500 Series Pickup
    RAM 3500 Series Pickup
    Freestyle
    Five Hundred
    Mustang
    Thunderbird
    F150 Series Pickup
    F250 Super Duty Pickup
    F350 Super Duty Pickup
    Econoline Van
    Econoline Wagon
    Escape
    Excursion
    Expedition
    Explorer
    Ranger Pickup
    K1500 Sierra Pickup
    K2500 Sierra HD Pickup
    K3500 Sierra Pickup
    Savana Cargo Van
    Yukon
    Canyon Pickup
    Envoy
    Yukon XL
    Pilot
    CR-V
    Accord
    Civic
    Element
    Odyssey
    S2000
    Ridgeline
    H2
    Santa Fe
    Tucson
    FX
    G35
    Q45
    QX56
    S-Type
    X-Type
    Grand Cherokee
    Liberty
    Wrangler
    Sedona
    Sorento

    LR3
    Range Rover
    ES330
    GX470
    RX330
    SC430
    GS300
    GS430
    IS300
    LS430
    LX470
    Aviator
    LS
    Navigator
    Town Car
    MPV
    Tribute
    Mazda 3
    Mazda 6
    Mazda Truck
    Miata
    RX-8
    CLK Class
    E-Class
    SLK-Class
    C-Class
    CL-Class
    M-Class
    S-Class
    SL-Class
    Mariner
    Montego
    Monterey
    Cooper
    Altima
    Murano
    Maxima
    Pathfinder
    Titan
    Armada
    Quest
    Sentra
    350Z
    Grand Prix
    GTO
    Vibe
    911 Carrera
    GT2
    911 Carrera 4
    911 Turbo
    Cayenne
    9-2x Series
    9-3 Convertible
    9-3 Series
    9-5 Series
    Vue
    xA
    xB
    tC
    Impreza
    Outback
    Outback Sport
    Baja
    Forester
    Legacy
    4Runner
    Highlander
    Sequoia
    Tundra
    Camry
    Solara
    LandCruiser
    Camry
    Celica
    Corolla
    Matrix
    MR2
    Sienna
    Tacoma Pickup
    New Beetle
    Golf
    GTI
    Jetta
    Passat
    Touareg
    V50
    XC90
    S60 Series
    V70 Series
    S40
    S80 Series


Worst Picks for 2006 - 2007*




    Audi A8
    Buick Century
    Buick LeCrosse
    Buick LeSabre
    BuickPark Avenue
    BuickRendezvous
    BuickTerraza
    Cadillac Deville
    Chevrolet Cobalt
    Chevrolet Aveo
    Chevrolet Cavalier
    Chevrolet Astro Passenger Wagon
    Chevrolet Impala
    Chevrolet Malibu
    Chevrolet Uplander
    Chevrolet Venture
    Chevrolet Astro Cargo Van
    Chevrolet Blazer
    Chevrolet Express Passenger Wagon
    Chevrolet Uplander Cargo Van
    Chevrolet Venture Cargo Van
    Chrysler Sebring
    Chrysler Sebring Convertible
    Dodge Caravan
    Dodge Magnum
    Dodge Stratus
    Dodge Neon
    Dodge Caravan Cargo Van
    Ford Crown Victoria
    Ford Focus
    Ford Freestar
    Ford Taurus
    Ford Freestar Cargo Van
    GMC Safari Cargo Van
    GMC Savana Passenger Wagon
    GMC Safari Passenger Wagon
    Hyundai Accent
    Hyundai Elantra

    Hyundai Sonata
    Hyundai Tiburon
    Hyundai XG350
    Isuzu Ascender
    Jaguar XJ-Series
    Jaguar XK-Series
    Kia Amanti
    Kia Optima
    Kia Rio
    Kia Spectra
    Land Rover Freelander
    Mercedes-Benz G-Class
    Mercury Grand Marquis
    Mercury Mountaineer
    Mercury Sable
    Mitsubishi Eclipse
    Mitsubishi Endeavor
    Mitsubishi Galant
    Mitsubishi Lancer
    Mitsubishi Montero
    Mitsubishi Outlander
    Pontiac Aztek
    Pontiac Bonneville
    Pontiac Grand Am
    Pontiac G6
    Pontiac Montana
    Pontiac Montana SV6
    Saturn Ion
    Saturn L300
    Saturn Relay
    Suzuki Grand Vitara
    Suzuki XL7
    Suzuki Aerio
    Suzuki Forenza
    Suzuki Reno
    Suzuki Verona
    Toyota Echo
    Volkswagen Phaeton


*Comparison Based on Price, Insurance Costs, Finance Costs, Repair Costs, Safety & Resale Values
Best & Worst Picks
 For 2006 - 2007
Cars, Trucks, Vans & SUVs

Best Picks for  2006 - 2007*




    NSX
    MDX
    RSX
    RL
    TL
    TSX
    A4
    A6
    TT
    5 Series
    6 Series
    325 Series
    330 Series
    X3
    7 Series
    X5 Series
    Z4
    Rainier
    XLR
    CTS
    SRX
    STS
    Corvette
    Monte Carlo
    SSR
    K1500 Silverado Pickup
    Avalanche
    K2500 Silverado HD Pickup
    K3500 Silverado Pickup
    Trailblazer
    Colorado Pickup
    Equinox
    Express Cargo Van
    Suburban
    Tahoe
    Pacifica
    Town & Country
    Crossfire
    PT Cruiser
    300 Series
    Viper
    Dakota Pickup
    Durango
    RAM 1500 Series Pickup
    RAM 2500 Series Pickup
    RAM 3500 Series Pickup
    Freestyle
    Five Hundred
    Mustang
    Thunderbird
    F150 Series Pickup
    F250 Super Duty Pickup
    F350 Super Duty Pickup
    Econoline Van
    Econoline Wagon
    Escape
    Excursion
    Expedition
    Explorer
    Ranger Pickup
    K1500 Sierra Pickup
    K2500 Sierra HD Pickup
    K3500 Sierra Pickup
    Savana Cargo Van
    Yukon
    Canyon Pickup
    Envoy
    Yukon XL
    Pilot
    CR-V
    Accord
    Civic
    Element
    Odyssey
    S2000
    Ridgeline
    H2
    Santa Fe
    Tucson
    FX
    G35
    Q45
    QX56
    S-Type
    X-Type
    Grand Cherokee
    Liberty
    Wrangler
    Sedona
    Sorento

    LR3
    Range Rover
    ES330
    GX470
    RX330
    SC430
    GS300
    GS430
    IS300
    LS430
    LX470
    Aviator
    LS
    Navigator
    Town Car
    MPV
    Tribute
    Mazda 3
    Mazda 6
    Mazda Truck
    Miata
    RX-8
    CLK Class
    E-Class
    SLK-Class
    C-Class
    CL-Class
    M-Class
    S-Class
    SL-Class
    Mariner
    Montego
    Monterey
    Cooper
    Altima
    Murano
    Maxima
    Pathfinder
    Titan
    Armada
    Quest
    Sentra
    350Z
    Grand Prix
    GTO
    Vibe
    911 Carrera
    GT2
    911 Carrera 4
    911 Turbo
    Cayenne
    9-2x Series
    9-3 Convertible
    9-3 Series
    9-5 Series
    Vue
    xA
    xB
    tC
    Impreza
    Outback
    Outback Sport
    Baja
    Forester
    Legacy
    4Runner
    Highlander
    Sequoia
    Tundra
    Camry
    Solara
    LandCruiser
    Camry
    Celica
    Corolla
    Matrix
    MR2
    Sienna
    Tacoma Pickup
    New Beetle
    Golf
    GTI
    Jetta
    Passat
    Touareg
    V50
    XC90
    S60 Series
    V70 Series
    S40
    S80 Series


Worst Picks for 2006 - 2007*




    Audi A8
    Buick Century
    Buick LeCrosse
    Buick LeSabre
    BuickPark Avenue
    BuickRendezvous
    BuickTerraza
    Cadillac Deville
    Chevrolet Cobalt
    Chevrolet Aveo
    Chevrolet Cavalier
    Chevrolet Astro Passenger Wagon
    Chevrolet Impala
    Chevrolet Malibu
    Chevrolet Uplander
    Chevrolet Venture
    Chevrolet Astro Cargo Van
    Chevrolet Blazer
    Chevrolet Express Passenger Wagon
    Chevrolet Uplander Cargo Van
    Chevrolet Venture Cargo Van
    Chrysler Sebring
    Chrysler Sebring Convertible
    Dodge Caravan
    Dodge Magnum
    Dodge Stratus
    Dodge Neon
    Dodge Caravan Cargo Van
    Ford Crown Victoria
    Ford Focus
    Ford Freestar
    Ford Taurus
    Ford Freestar Cargo Van
    GMC Safari Cargo Van
    GMC Savana Passenger Wagon
    GMC Safari Passenger Wagon
    Hyundai Accent
    Hyundai Elantra

    Hyundai Sonata
    Hyundai Tiburon
    Hyundai XG350
    Isuzu Ascender
    Jaguar XJ-Series
    Jaguar XK-Series
    Kia Amanti
    Kia Optima
    Kia Rio
    Kia Spectra
    Land Rover Freelander
    Mercedes-Benz G-Class
    Mercury Grand Marquis
    Mercury Mountaineer
    Mercury Sable
    Mitsubishi Eclipse
    Mitsubishi Endeavor
    Mitsubishi Galant
    Mitsubishi Lancer
    Mitsubishi Montero
    Mitsubishi Outlander
    Pontiac Aztek
    Pontiac Bonneville
    Pontiac Grand Am
    Pontiac G6
    Pontiac Montana
    Pontiac Montana SV6
    Saturn Ion
    Saturn L300
    Saturn Relay
    Suzuki Grand Vitara
    Suzuki XL7
    Suzuki Aerio
    Suzuki Forenza
    Suzuki Reno
    Suzuki Verona
    Toyota Echo
    Volkswagen Phaeton


*Comparison Based on Price, Insurance Costs, Finance Costs, Repair Costs, Safety & Resale Values




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