How Much is My Trade in Worth: Ten Things To Know Before You Sell Your Car for Cash

By elivate | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, August 30th, 2021 at 10:27 am
how much is my trade in worth

You want to sell your car for cash, but you want to know: how much is my trade in worth?  Our staff has put together everything we know into this article, and we did some research to make sure we covered everything. Our list is split into ten things to know, but it is really more like 20 or 30 things you should understand.

One thing’s for sure, your car’s value can only go down. Selling now is probably the best idea you could have.  

Earnhardt Auto Centers is buying used cars from many people across the Phoenix area. We encourage you to give us a chance to buy yours. This is how we build our used car inventory. There will be no pressure to purchase from us.  Just a cash for cars kind of settlement! We think you’ll be happy with the accuracy and speed with which we can cut a check for your car!

Understanding Trade In Value: 10 Major Factors to Know Before You Sell Your Car

Please keep in mind that it was hard for our staff to put these factors in a firm order. Certain negative factors can override multiple positive ones. So please read the whole list to be sure what factors are most important to your vehicle sale. As you can see, a final valuation is complicated.

1. The Relationship Between Vehicle Mileage and Trade In Value

We all know that the best resale values tend to go to those cars with low mileage. If you are thinking of selling, this is a perfect reason to sell your car soon rather than to wait until more miles are on the odometer.

10,000 or 12,000 miles a year is optimal.  15,000 miles a year is quite common.  However, 20,000 or more miles per year indicates a hard road life, and it will affect the valuation.

To determine if your vehicle has low, average, or excessive mileage, divide the mileage by the number of years it has been driven. 

2. The Hidden Truths About the Model Year and Generation

The model year may seem like a straightforward marker for car evaluation. However, additional data comes into play when it comes to the model year. A vehicle’s road age is often older than it’s model year age.  A 2015 vehicle may have been made and sold in 2014, for instance. This is important to keep in mind when a valuation isn’t as high as you were hoping.

Your car is either part of the current generation or the prior one. If it is the most recent generation, this would indicate that tech and safety features are more advanced. For instance, a 2017 model of vehicle A may be in the same generation as the newest models. On the other hand, a 2017 model of vehicle B could be in the prior generation and, therefore, outdated in terms of quality or technology. This is likely to make A more desirable than B if everything else is equal.

Although it isn’t common, your model’s valuation could be affected by something that happened during its production year.  Sometimes exciting upgrades are late coming online. It also happens that a manufacturer may upgrade safety systems midyear to increase safety scores. These are all data points that can be positive or negative for your vehicle.

3. The Possible Effects of Vehicle Size and Style

Size and style will weigh into any valuation decision. It’s just logical that a small sedan will be valued less than a bigger one of the same make. SUVs and crossovers generally fetch a higher price than cars, even if the cabin size is the same or smaller. 

In another example, a high mileage pickup truck may fetch a similar price to a low mileage car of the same year.  Trucks are generally in demand, and this makes it likely that the truck will fetch a higher trade-in price, even if the mileage is high.  

Earnhardt Auto Centers is always on the hunt for three-row vehicles, since our customers with families seek these bigger rides.  As pickup traders, we are always looking for good haulers.  

4. How to Evaluate the Brand Reputation for Quality and Durability

What brand is your vehicle? Does it have a reputation for durability and quality?  Some brands naturally fetch higher prices. However, it’s not just a matter of Mazda versus Mercedes. There’s much more involved than that.

You can learn about your brand from Consumer Reports, JD Power, and other industry watchdogs. When evaluating a brand, be sure to look at its reputation during the time that your car was made. That’s what evaluators will be looking at.

Why wait?  You can get an instant offer when you use this valuation tool. It can give you solid answers about your vehicle’s projected value in the marketplace, and it doesn’t require you to accept the offer.

5. The Effect of Model Popularity and Reliability on Car Trade In Values

Your vehicle model’s popularity and reliability will be a major factor. If the model’s reputation with analysts is a good one, that will help increase the selling price.  Furthermore, certain models are extremely popular, but they are hard to find. 

You can get an idea of your vehicle’s reputation by looking at car journalism sites, such as U.S. News and World Report, J.D. Power, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.  You may also Google your year/make/model to see if owners have been reporting serious issues. 

Keep in mind that some car rating sites are created by online companies that are seeking to sell you a used car at a higher rate. Likewise, many valuation tools are created by online companies or large used car traders trying to buy your car at a lower rate.

6. Trim Level and Technology

Whether it’s an economy or luxury ride, the trim level is likely to affect the valuation.  So you can expect certain trim levels to have a positive effect on the price and others to be neutral or negative.

Your vehicle’s technology may have been determined by trim level, but not always.  Therefore, the car infotainment system and connectivity features may affect the price when selling a vehicle. Certain used cars, regardless of trim level, have the latest crash avoidance features, the best entertainment connectivity, and the most useful touchscreen systems. This should have a positive impact on the valuation.

A vehicle’s poor safety scores can hurt its chance of resale. To verify, you can check the NHTSA and the IIHS for model year crash scores.

7. Curb Appeal

Overriding all of these factors, a car that has lost its curb appeal will also lose value. The original paint job must be intact, and there must be no missing exterior trim, broken lights or bald tires. A 2017 in pristine condition is likely to fetch more than a beat-up 2019 model.  

If you have aftermarket accessories or decorations on your vehicle, this can affect the selling price. Unfortunately, it usually drops the price rather than increases it. However, do not undertake to remove accessories as you could cause damage. 

8. Interior Condition

The interior may not be as important as the exterior, but it is important. If there are stains, rips, and other permanent damage, the price will be affected.  Furthermore, cigarette smoke odor is often a deal breaker. On the up side, a spotless interior helps secure a good price. 

Our aim is to buy your car! You should enjoy the benefit of large dealerships with plenty of incentives to give you a good price. 

9. The Car’s History and the Condition of the Engine and Body

Drivers should gather records of a car’s maintenance when it’s time to sell. After all, the engine’s condition and viability are tied to how well a car has been maintained.  

Be aware that the car history report could reveal a wreck or fender bender that may pose a structural threat to the car’s integrity.  A bent frame or rusty underbody can also drop the price. 

What about recalls? Some are major, and some seem minor. Either way, did you take it to the dealer for the necessary repairs?  Is it worth doing that now?

10. Marketplace Supply and Demand

Last, but not least, the valuation is affected by supply and demand.  A shortage of vehicles may drive up prices. On the other hand, too many used cars for sale can drive prices down.  

Dealerships in certain areas of the country may pay more for a vehicle than dealerships in a different climate or different economy.  A snow-ready SUV may not fetch much in downtown Los Angeles. Similarly, a convertible may not be worth as much in a predominantly cold climate. 

Use Our Valuation Tool to Learn: How Much is Car Trade In Worth

We can take the uncertainty out of the process. Let us buy your car.  The Kelley Blue Book valuation tool shows how much your vehicle can fetch in today’s marketplace.  The key to making the KBB valuation tool work for you is to be honest with yourself about the condition of the car.  This is often a sticking point when selling it to a dealer.  

Dealerships, such as ours, have access to data collected by NADA, the North American Dealers Association, and JD Power. In addition, we consult authoritative sources, such as Kelley Blue Book and the Black Book. Keep in mind if you use these or other valuation tools that they do not always agree. That’s because they give different weight to different valuation aspects. 

Choose one of our dealerships and bring the valuation to us.  Or, just reach out to us online or by phone.  We are buying cars, and we want to buy yours!  Again, please use our independent valuation tool and let’s make a deal on your car!

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