Price Watch: Identifying Your Vehicle’s Trade-in Value

Car keys and miniature car figure

Everyone dreams of buying a new car. But, if the old one is still in good condition, simply disposing it off can be a waste. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry, as you can sell it a dealer or a private buyer. You can also trade it in for a new one.

It’s possible to get a good price if you take the initiative to sell it yourself. But, this takes a lot of effort and time. Trade-in prices are lower. Still, many people see it as an easy option to own a new unit. Vehicle auction groups such as Pickles are also another available venue to get a hold of your dream car.

Here are some information on how to strike a good trade deal for vehicles:

Car keys and miniature car figure


Know the price your vehicle will fetch by consulting a pricing site. You can also check with the local classifieds or available vehicle auctions to know the going price for automobiles similar to yours. Be honest about the condition of your automobile and have realistic expectations.

The dealership will definitely offer a price much lesser than the value of your automobile. After all, dealers need to spend money on cleaning it, fixing any existing problems, and still manage to make a profit by re-selling it. In fact, you should be wary if they offer a good price. This means they’re sure to make up for the difference while negotiating the price of the new automobile. If your automobile is not in good condition, an old model or has high mileage, the price will be much lower.


Some dealers may manipulate the price of both the trade-in and the new automobile. This is to give you the impression that you’re getting your new one at a lower price or that you’re getting good money for your old one. So, it’s advisable not to let the dealer know about your trade-in until you have actually negotiated the price of the new automobile.

The price you get for the trade-in can always work similar to a down payment. But, negotiate as though the down payment will be in cash. Even while offering the trade-in, let the dealer give his quote first. You can negotiate the price at this point, too. But, if the price quoted is still significantly less than what you had in mind, make the down payment in cash and try to sell your old automobile privately. You can also give away your old automobile to charity, family and friends or just retain it as a second unit.