What Factors Determine the Trade Price of a Car?


Data shows that drivers are keeping their cars for longer than previous generations. Still, there will come a time when it’s time to say goodbye to your trusty vehicle.

And when that time comes, you’ll want the best trade price for your car. So how exactly is that established?

Keep reading to find out!


This likely won’t come as a surprise, but the better condition your vehicle is in, the more trade-in value you’ll be able to get. It’s understandable, too. The more problems a vehicle has, the more money a dealership will have to pour into fixing the vehicle.

But don’t worry, your car doesn’t have to be pristine to qualify for a trade-in. While you’ll get more trade value for a car with fewer dents and scratches, plenty of independent dealerships take junk cars, too.

With that said, you might not get a ton of cash for your junker, so make sure you look up ways to determine how much it is worth beforehand.


Age is just a number. But when it comes to cars, that number can affect your bottom line.

That’s because older cars, even if well-maintained, are more likely to have issues that require serious repairs.

There’s also the issue of popularity to consider. If you were to give people the option between choosing a 1988 Ford Taurus and a 2017 Ford Taurus, people would likely choose the newer model.

The Market

Expanding on that last section, the same can be said of all cars. The newer and more feature-rich the vehicle, the likelier it is to draw attention from consumers.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to basic supply and demand economics. If a car is easier to sell, a dealership will be more open to giving you more cash.

Reason For Trade-In

As you start to shop around, think about why you’re looking to trade your vehicle in.

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? Can you not afford to keep up with maintenance costs anymore?

If it’s the former, most dealerships will be happy to work with you, as it’s ultimately in their best interest. By incentivizing you to purchase a new vehicle with your trade-in funds, they’ll make more money in the long run.

Your Ability to Negotiate

Cars are unique in that the sticker price is rarely what you end up paying. If you’re a good negotiator, you can typically talk salespeople down and get yourself a nice little discount.

The same works for trade-ins. While you won’t have as much wiggle room, coming to the table ready to reach a compromise can help you squeeze every penny out of your current car.

Determining the Trade Price of Your Vehicle

So there you have it, everything you need to know about the factors that influence a vehicle’s trade price.

Before you take your car to the dealership, remember to give it a thorough wash, get your paperwork in order, and come ready to negotiate.

And if you’re looking for more great tips like these, make sure to check back with our blog often!



Leave a ReplyCancel reply