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When Should You Trade In Your Vehicle?

when should you trade in your car?

Maybe one of the most important times in the life of your current car is understanding “when should I trade car or truck in?” Should I trade it in within a specific time? Is there such a thing as too many miles? Does it have to be in perfect condition? It probably won’t surprise you to figure out there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. But, we’ve got some advice to help you figure out what time is the best time to trade in your car, truck, or SUV.


Should I Trade In My Car or Truck?

This is generally the first thing car owners wonder. Considering that most of us assume that the only way to get top value for their car is to do it on their own versus trading it for a newer car. However, there are some things to think about when attempting to decide if you should trade your car or just sell it separately.

Selling It Yourself Typically Takes Longer

Selling a vehicle can take weeks or longer; especially if your car is not in great condition. The seller would be accountable for every single part of the sale transaction, from creating an ad to scheduling test drives, to arguing the price, and everything in between. On the other hand, trading a car generally takes place at the time you get your new car.

Document Hassles

Typically the seller is accountable for the necessary paperwork, such as registration and the title. For the inexperienced seller, this may be a frustrating and long process if there are unexpected challenges connected to the paperwork, like a lien. The dealership is ready to do all of the paperwork, including surprises.

Missed Tax Benefits

One of the most notable benefits to trading in your vehicle is the potential tax savings in states with a state sales tax. In these states, there is a tax credit applied to the new vehicle’s sales tax if you trade in a car at the same place they purchase a new one. Simply, the taxes are applied to the price difference after the trade-in price is calculated into the new car price. The tax credit savings can reach the high hundreds and even thousands of dollars, depending on the vehicle you’re buying.


When Trading In A Car, What Is The Best Mileage?

There are many opinions on this, especially since newer cars are designed for higher mileage usage. But, there is a nearly universal agreement of the following three mileage milestones to think about when trading in your vehicle:

30,000 To 40,000 miles

This is the time when most new car warranties typically expire. Conversely, this is also when the first major replacement of ‘wear’ items, like tires or brakes, are usually done on vehicles. The depreciation of your vehicle will usually start to increase faster after this milestone, so the nearer your vehicle is to this mileage range, the better your trade-in value options will likely be.

60,000 To 70,000 miles

Depending on usage, a vehicle that gets to this mileage will generally be 3 to 5 years old and most likely has been well taken care of. As the miles add up, the value of the vehicle tends to get lower so owners need to take this into account when considering their trade-in.

100,000 Miles Or More

It’s true that hitting this mileage isn’t nearly the automotive death notice that it was in the past thanks in part to advancements in modern technology. But, the higher the mileage a vehicle has, the greater the depreciation in all but the most pristinely kept cars. Anything within this mileage can still have a positive trade-in value even though it isn’t in perfect condition. The condition of the car is definitely looked at more closely as the miles increase on your odometer.


Tips For Trading In Your Car

Finally, a crucial piece of trading in the car is being ready for the trade-in evaluation. These recommendations are not the only ideas, to be sure, they can definitely help you get the most value out of your car.

Make It Clean

This should be a no-brainer, but many people think that showing their car ‘as-is’ is a more honest approach to a trade-in evaluation. While we do not advocate trying to hide blemishes or problems with the vehicle (spoiler alert, they will see through those attempts anyway), it is always a good idea to clean up your vehicle before bringing it to the dealership for evaluation. This includes removing all debris and trash from inside the vehicle (yes, even including the trunk), washing and vacuuming the exterior and interior, and perhaps even doing a nice detailing. Just think of the appraiser as a potential buyer of your vehicle and clean the vehicle accordingly.

Repair What You Can

We get that repairs can be overwhelming, especially for major mechanical issues. But, if it is possible to repair minor dings, chips in the paint, and cracks in the various windshield, mirrors, and windows, all of those cosmetic repairs will go a long way towards improving the price of your trade. When possible, we suggest repairing any mechanical problems the vehicle may have. The better the condition, the higher the trade-in value will be.

Have Your Bases Covered

If you have decided trading in your car is the best decision, then we suggest coming here with all of your car’s paperwork, which includes the title (if you have it), registration, any maintenance logs you have, and keys you have for the vehicle. Arrive ready to trade-in your vehicle and you will not be delayed in driving away in your new vehicle.


MINI online car buying Santa Fe  NM


Where to Trade In my Car In Santa Fe, NM

Considering trading in your small sports car or crossover for a new one? Santa Fe MINI provides the help you need to get the best value for your trade-in. Call us to schedule an appointment or visit our dealership to get started.


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