Courtesy Ford Sauk Prairie

How Trade-In Value is Determined | Sauk City, WI



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When drivers bring their older vehicles to the dealership to trade in, they often don’t know the exact amount of money they’re going to get for it. They might have a rough estimate in their minds, but they are hoping to get as much as they can so they can put that money towards the down payment on their next car. But, determining that value is complicated; there are many factors that go into calculating trade-in value. Going into the dealership aware of these factors can help prepare drivers for what to expect when trading in a car.


How recent of a model year the vehicle in question is, has the most impact because it directly indicates the vehicle’s newness. A 2015 model year, for example, will fetch a prettier penny than a 2005 model, even if it’s been well-maintained. This is because potential buyers will be more attracted to a newer model due to its updated style and technology. Of course, the condition of the car matters, too, and even a new car that hasn’t been maintained well or has been scratched up in collisions won’t be seen as valuable as a like-new car.


Condition can be directly related to mileage, but even a well-maintained used vehicle may have a high number on the odometer. Unfortunately, high mileage usually gets a lower trade-in value, and that’s because a vehicle that’s seen a lot of use may have looming mechanical problems or maintenance deadlines that a new buyer will have to drop extra money on.


Make and model matters, too. Some brands have loyal enthusiasts who are willing to spend a little extra on a used car just for the reliability and reputation that comes with a certain brand. Popular nameplates, especially crossovers and SUVs, will also generally be more highly valued than unpopular vehicles.


Above all, trade-in value is determined by desirability. If the dealership doesn’t think it can turn a profit with your vehicle, you will get quoted a lower value.


If you have any more questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to visit us at Courtesy Ford of Sauk City to find out more about the value of your used car.


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