Why Should You Trade Your Vehicle to a Dealership?

November 9th, 2022 by

Why Should You Trade Your Vehicle to a Dealership?

Financing a new vehicle can be a complicated process. Whether you’re planning to buy with cash, finance, or lease your new vehicle, it’s important to understand every aspect of the buying process, including the value of trading your current vehicle to the dealership. Keep reading to learn about trading your current vehicle to get a head start on a new car payment.

Trading in your current vehicle with a trusted auto dealer, like Bill Volz Westchester, is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add to your down payment on a new car, truck, or SUV. With the additional money from a trade-in added to your down payment, you can decrease your monthly payment or pay off your vehicle sooner. It can also allow you to add performance packages to a new vehicle.

Another benefit of trading your vehicle with a dealership is the convenience of the transaction. If you trade in your current vehicle at the same place you plan to buy a new one, the dealership can take care of a lot of the administrative work, like transferring the title deed. Depending on when you buy the new car, you might not even have to cash a check — you can apply the credit to your down payment.

What Affects a Car’s Trade-In Value?Vehicle Trade-in value

Here are a few key factors that might affect a car’s trade-in value:

Demand for Make and Model

Some car models have a reputation for low depreciation, meaning they retain their value better than others. There might be more demand for these models, increasing their trade-in value. Exclusivity can also increase demand for a certain vehicle. If your car, truck, or SUV is a special edition of a certain model, it might have a higher trade-in value because of the exclusivity of the edition. For example, if a car maker released 1,000 special edition trucks in 2015, there might be a higher demand for those trucks than for the regular vehicle version.


Newer cars often have more advanced safety and infotainment features that appeal to buyers. Used car shoppers often aim to get the most advanced technology they can afford on their budget, so if your car has parking sensors, backup cameras, wireless charging pads, or other luxury features, you might get more money for your trade. Newer cars also require less maintenance, so shoppers might be willing to pay more.


Cars with lower mileage usually have higher trade-in values than similar models with higher mileage. Low mileage on a car often means less wear on key engine components, giving buyers a few years before they have to worry about replacing expensive car parts. When a relatively new car has low mileage, it’s worth even more to car dealerships. Once a car reaches 100,000 miles, its trade-in value quickly begins to depreciate because it’s more likely to need expensive repairs or replacement parts soon.

Overall Condition

Most dealerships conduct a rigorous inspection before offering a trade. The dealership’s technicians might examine the engine, electrical system, brakes, transmission, and other parts of the car to ensure it’s in good working condition. If you keep up with your oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance, your car’s engine will likely be in good shape, increasing the amount you might get from the dealership for your trade-in.

Tips For Maximizing Trade-In Value

Here are a few things you can do to ensure you get the highest possible value for your car:

  • Consider renting for long drives: If you’re going on a road trip or driving to the beach for a week, you might rent a car rather than driving your own, especially if you’re planning to trade it in soon. Keeping your car’s mileage low can increase the amount of money you get from the dealership.
  • Fix any issues you can: While you shouldn’t replace your car’s engine to get a better trade-in price, you should take it to a mechanic to fix minor issues. Getting new spark plugs or filters won’t cost you a lot of money and ensures your car runs more smoothly when you take it in for a trade-in assessment.
  • Collect your car’s service records: Since maintaining your car can increase its trade value, it’s important to show the dealership that you’ve been keeping up with your car’s routine maintenance. Consider collecting receipts from oil changes and tire rotations to show a service timeline.
  • Clean your vehicle’s interior: A dealership might pay more for a clean interior because they’ll spend less time and energy preparing the car for potential buyers. You can clean and vacuum your vehicle, but you might hire a professional detailing company to deep-clean the interior and treat the seats.
  • Wash your vehicle: A wash and a fresh coat of wax can make your car look much more appealing to a car dealership, potentially increasing your trade-in check.
  • Get an idea of the value first: It’s always a good idea to prepare for a trade discussion, so find out the average market value for your car before you go to the dealership. You can use an online tool, like the Kelly Blue Book calculator on this page, to get an idea of your car’s value.

While the Kelly Blue Book calculator on this page can help you estimate the worth of your trade-in, many factors can affect exactly how much your car is worth. The best way to find out about your trade-in value is to talk to one of the experts at Bill Volz Westchester. While you’re here, you can look at our inventory of new Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps, along with our collection of quality used vehicles. Let us help you find the perfect vehicle for your next adventure.

Posted in Financing