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When Should You Trade In Your Car?

want to trade in your vehicle? this is the ideal time to get the most for it

Perhaps one of the most important times in the life of your vehicle is knowing “if it is the best time to trade in your car or truck.” Should I trade it in after a specific number of years? Is there such a thing as too many miles? Does it have to be perfect? It probably won’t be a shock to figure out that there is not an easy answer to these questions. Yet, we do have some advice to help you understand what time is the best time to trade in your car or truck.


Should I Trade In My Car or Truck?

This is typically the first question car owners ask themselves. Most folks believe that the best way to receive top dollar for their used car is to sell it themselves versus trading it in. However, there are a few things to consider when trying to decide if you should sell your vehicle beforehand instead of trade it in.

Selling On Your Own Typically Takes Longer

Selling a vehicle can take several weeks or longer; especially if the car needs repairs. The seller would be accountable for every single facet of the sale procedure, from advertising to scheduling test drives, to haggling on price, and everything in between. On the other hand, trading a car almost always takes place when you buy your new car.

Document Hassles

Usually the seller is accountable for getting the buyer the necessary paperwork, such as registration and the title. For the inexperienced seller, this could be a frustrating and even lengthy process if there are unexpected challenges attached to the paperwork, like a lien. We are equipped to take care of the paperwork, including surprises.

Missed Tax Savings

One of the most notable benefits of trading in your vehicle is the potential tax benefit offered in areas with a state sales tax. In these states, there is a tax credit applied to your new car’s sales tax if you trade in a car at the same location they buy the new vehicle. The taxes are applied to the price difference after the cost of the trade-in is calculated into the new car price. The tax savings can quickly reach up to thousands of dollars, depending on which car you’re getting.


What’s The Best Mileage Range To Trade In A Car or Truck?

There are many schools of thought on this, especially with newer vehicles that are specifically engineered to last a long time. Yet, there is a nearly universal agreement of three mileage milestones to think about when trading your vehicle in:

30 – 40k miles

This is the time when nearly all new car warranties usually expire. Conversely, this is also when the first major replacement of ‘wear-and-tear’ parts, like tires or brakes, are usually performed on most vehicles. Your vehicle depreciation will begin to accelerate more quickly at this point, so the nearer your car is to this mileage, the higher your trade-in will likely be.

60 – 70k miles

Depending on how much you drive, a vehicle that reaches this mileage will typically be 3 to 5 years old and most likely has been well taken care of. As the miles pile up, the value gets lower so owners need to take this into account when considering their trade-in options.

100k+ Miles

It is true that hitting this milestone is no longer the automotive death sentence that it was in years past, thanks to advancements in modern engineering. However, the more mileage a vehicle has, the greater the depreciation in all but the most exceptionally kept vehicles. Vehicles within this mileage could still have a positive trade-in value even if they might not be in perfect condition. The condition of your car is definitely reviewed more closely as the miles grow on the odometer.


Tips At Trade-In

Finally, an important part of trading in your vehicle is preparation for the trade-in evaluation. While the following recommendations are not an exhaustive list, to be sure, they will help you get the best value out of your trade-in.

Make Sure It’s Clean

This ought to be a no-brainer, but people believe presenting the vehicle ‘as-is’ is a more honest approach to a trade-in assessment. While we do not advocate hiding blemishes or problems with the vehicle (FYI, the assessors will see through those attempts regardless), it is always a good idea to clean up your vehicle before bringing it in. This includes getting rid of all debris and trash from inside the car (including the trunk), washing and vacuuming inside and out, and maybe even doing a nice interior and exterior detailing. Just think of the evaluator as a potential buyer and prepare the vehicle accordingly.

Repair What You Can

We understand that repairs can be overwhelming, especially for significant mechanical problems. But, if it’s possible to fix minor dings, chips in the paint, and cracks in the various windshield, mirrors, and windows, all of those fixes will go a long way towards improving the value of your trade. When possible, we suggest repairing any mechanical issues the vehicle may have as well. The better the condition, the better the trade-in value will be.

Know Your Stuff

If you’ve decided trading in your car is the best option for you, then we recommend coming here with all of your paperwork, which includes the title (if it is in your possession), registration, any maintenance logs you have, and keys you have for the car. Come ready to trade-in your vehicle and you will speed up the process of driving away in your new vehicle.


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Where to Trade In my Car Or Truck In Oklahoma City, OK

No matter the time of year, month, or day of the week, Bob Howard Toyota invites you to trade in your car, truck, SUV, or minivan in Oklahoma City, OK. We provide great advice and tips for how to get the most value for your trade-in and can help you get behind the wheel of a new car. Schedule an inspection appointment online or visit our dealership today.


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DealerRater Feb 24, 2024

It is good for everyone to maintain your car. Service is friendly to me . Thank you

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DealerRater Feb 23, 2024

Very helpful, understanding, and patient. Thanks for all you do! Always willing to work with the customer!

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DealerRater Feb 21, 2024

Devon service writer and his twin brother are awesome. They took care of me from the time I rolled in. They made me feel welcome and informed. I would be proud to have them as my employees.

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DealerRater Feb 20, 2024

Absolutely Wonderful and extremely professional!! Very courteous and friendly. Very clean and well organized environment.

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