Online Trade-In Estimators
Finding the value of your trade-in is not as “clear-cut” as finding the new car’s pricing online. The primary reason is that the condition of the trade is more or less a subjective variable. Also, the demand for certain vehicles can change from region to region and dealer to dealer. For example, if a dealership already has five used cars for sale that are the same model as the customer’s trade-in, they are not going to pay “top dollar” for another one. It is critical to find a good range of values before you begin negotiating.
A good website on which to find a trade-in value is Kelly Blue Book or KBB.com. This website will calculate your vehicle’s estimated trade-in value and will also apply a regional adjustment. KBB.com provides the user with the Trade-in Value, the Private Party Value and the Retail value. If you intend to trade the vehicle at the dealer you should reference the KBB’s “Trade-In Value.”
Below is an example of how to find an estimated Trade-in Value online at KBB.com:
On KBB.com click—Search by Year, Make & Model:
Enter your Trade-in’s Info:
Select Trade-in Value:
Enter Details, Mileage and Equipment:
Select the Condition of your Trade-in:
The largest discrepancy in value generally arises from the customers’ description of their trade-in’s condition. The customer can choose between three selections: “Excellent condition,” “Good condition,” and “Fair condition.” This website also adds a “Poor” selection, but it will usually not disclose a value. Most vehicles that have been properly maintained and have newer tires and brakes will fall under the “Good condition” category. Customers must refrain from selecting “Excellent condition” unless the tires are brand new and the car has no chipped paint or dinged doors, and has a “like-new” interior.
Also, if a trade-in has been in an accident and has been repainted (even a fender bender) the absolute best condition you should select is “good.” Keep in mind, repainted cars, even those with minor repaints, will have a diminished trade-in value. It is very difficult for a dealership to sell a repainted car because the next customer will always be concerned about the vehicle’s accident history.
KBB Trade-in Estimate:
Of course, the best way to get the most money for your trade-in is to sell it yourself.