Want To Trade In Your Vehicle? Here Is The Best Time To Do It

when is the best time of year to trade in your car?

Perhaps one of the most important decisions in the ownership of your vehicle is figuring out “if it’s the right time to trade in your vehicle.” Do you trade it in within a specific number of years? Is there such a thing as too many miles on the odometer? Does it have to be in perfect condition? It probably won’t surprise you to find out there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. But, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you decide when is the best time to trade in your car, truck, or SUV.


Should I Trade My Car or Truck?

This is generally the first thing vehicle owners consider. Considering that most people believe that the easiest way to receive top value for their vehicle is to do it themselves vs. trading it for a newer car. However, there are a couple of points to look at when deciding if you should trade-in your vehicle or sell it separately.

Selling It Yourself Normally Takes Longer

With only a few exceptions, selling a vehicle can take many weeks, or longer; especially if your car is in less-than-ideal condition. You would have to take care of every part of the sale transaction, from creating an ad, to coordinating test drives, to negotiating price, and everything in between. On the other hand, trading in a car usually takes place when you buy your new one with only slight negotiation.

Document Hassles

Usually the seller is responsible for getting the buyer the required paperwork, such as registration and the title. Trying to do everything yourself could be a discouraging and long procedure if there are unexpected challenges assigned to the paperwork, like a lien. We are capable of doing all of the paperwork, challenges included.

Missed Tax Savings

Perhaps the biggest benefit of trading in your vehicle is the potential tax savings found in states with a state sales tax. In these states, there is a tax credit applied to your new car’s sales tax if the buyer trades in a car at the same dealer where they purchase the new one. Simply, the taxes are calculated at the price difference once the trade-in appraisal is calculated into the new vehicle sale price. The savings can reach up to thousands of dollars, depending on which car you’re getting.


When Trading In A Car or Truck, What’s The Best Mileage Range?

There are many thoughts on this question, especially with newer cars that are specifically engineered for high mileage usage. Yet, there is a nearly universal agreement of these three mileage milestones to think about when trading your car in:

30,000 To 40,000 miles

This is the time when the majority of new car warranties usually end. On the other hand, this is when the first major replacement and repairs of ‘wear-and-tear’ items, like brakes or tires, are usually performed on vehicles. The depreciation of your car will usually start to increase more quickly at this point, so the closer your car is to these miles, the higher your trade-in will be.

60k – 70k miles

Depending on usage, a car that reaches this mileage will be three to five years old and most likely has been well maintained. Obviously as the miles pile up, the value of the vehicle gets lower so vehicle owners should keep this in mind when considering their trade-in options.

100k Miles Or More

Thanks to modern technology, this mileage is no longer the automotive death sentence that it was before. However, the higher the mileage of your car, the more the depreciation. Anything within this mileage could still have a positive trade-in value even though it might not be in pristine condition. The condition of the car is scrutinized more closely as the miles grow on the odometer.


Tips At Trade-In

Lastly, an important component of trading in the car is preparation for the trade-in appraisal. These suggestions are not an exhaustive list, to be sure, but these steps will definitely help you get the best value out of your car.

Make Sure It’s Clean

This should be a no-brainer, but many people believe showing the vehicle ‘as-is’ is an honest approach to a trade-in appraisal. While we don’t advocate hiding problems or blemishes with the vehicle (spoiler alert, the assessors will see through those attempts regardless), it’s never a bad idea to clean up your vehicle to the best of your ability before bringing it in for evaluation. This includes tossing all debris and trash from inside your car (yes, even including the trunk), washing and vacuuming inside and out, and perhaps even doing a nice interior and exterior detailing. Just think of the appraiser as a potential buyer and clean the vehicle accordingly.

Fix What You Can

We realize that auto repairs can be overwhelming, especially for serious mechanical concerns. 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 fixes will go a long way towards improving the value of your trade-in. When possible, we advise fixing any mechanical concerns the vehicle may have. The nicer your car is, the more value you’ll get for your trade-in.

Know Your Stuff

If you have decided that trading in your car is the best option for you, then we recommend coming to the dealership with all of your car’s paperwork, which includes the title (if it is in your possession), registration, any maintenance logs you have, and all copies of the car’s keys. Show up ready to trade your car in and you will not suffer any delays in driving away in your new one.


Volkswagen online car buying Lubbock  TX


Where to Trade In my Car In Lubbock, TX

No matter the time of year, month or day of the week, Gene Messer Volkswagen invites you to trade in your car or SUV in Lubbock, TX. 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 May 14, 2024

I have been a loyal VW and Gene Messer Volkswagen customer for over a decade. My salesman Kyle is knowledgable and very interested in making me a happy, repeat customer. I am now on my 3rd Tiguan!

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DealerRater May 1, 2024

Fast and friendly service wasn’t sure if I needed to make an appointment to have my car serviced or I could just show up, they took it right in, and didn’t take very long at all.

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DealerRater Apr 27, 2024

Excellent service. Great people. Really work with you. Price was reasonable. Got most work done under warranty.

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7007 University Ave, Lubbock, TX, 79413
Gene Messer Volkswagen 29.7777148, -95.5441151.