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When Should You Trade In Your Vehicle?

want to trade in your car or truck? here is the best time to get the most money

Perhaps one of the biggest times in the life of your current car is figuring out “when is the right time to trade?” Should I trade it in after a specific number of years? Is there such a thing as too many miles on the odometer? Does it have to be mint? It probably will not be a shock to find out that there is not a simple answer to these questions. Yet, we’ve got a few tips to help you decide when to trade in your car, truck, or SUV.


Is It Time To Trade In My Car?

This is typically the first question owners consider. Considering that most folks believe the best way to get top dollar for their car is to do it on their own versus trading it in. Still, there are some points to look at when deciding if you should sell your vehicle beforehand instead of trade it in.

Selling It Yourself Typically Takes Longer

With few special circumstances, selling a vehicle can take several weeks, if not longer; specifically if your car is in less-than-ideal condition. The seller would have to arrange every aspect of the sale procedure, from advertising, to test drives, to arguing the price, and everything in between. Conversely, trading a vehicle almost always takes place when you purchase your new car.

The Hassles of Paperwork

Usually the person selling the vehicle is responsible for providing the buyer with the required paperwork, such as the title and registration. Trying to do everything all alone may be a discouraging and long process if unexpected challenges like a lien, are attached to the paperwork. We are equipped to do all of the paperwork, including surprises.

Missed Tax Savings

One of the most notable benefits to trading in your car is the possible tax benefit in states with a state sales tax. In these states, there is a credit applied to the new car’s sales tax if you trade in a car at the same dealer they buy the new one. Simply, the taxes are only applied to the price difference once the trade-in appraisal is factored into the final price. The tax credit savings can quickly reach up to thousands of dollars.


When Trading In A Car, What Is The Best Mileage Range?

There are many opinions on this, especially since newer cars are specifically engineered for higher mileage usage. Yet, there is a general agreement of the following three mileage milestones to think about when trading your vehicle in:

30k – 40k miles

This is when most new car warranties usually end. On the other hand, this is when the first replacement and repairs of ‘wear’ components, like tires or brakes, are generally performed on cars. Your vehicle depreciation will start to grow faster after this milestone, so the closer your vehicle is to this mileage range, the higher your trade-in appraisal will likely be.

60,000 To 70,000 miles

Depending on how much you drive, a car that gets to this mileage will typically be three to five years old and most likely has had many trips to the local auto service bay for routine maintenance. Clearly as the miles pile up, the value of the vehicle gets lower so owners need to keep this in mind when considering their trade-in options.

100k+ Miles

Thanks in part to advancements in modern engineering, this mileage isn’t nearly the automotive death sentence that it was before. Yet, the higher the mileage a vehicle has, the more the depreciation in all but the most pristinely kept vehicles. Cars within this mileage can still have a positive trade-in value even if they might not be in perfect condition. The condition of your vehicle is definitely scrutinized more closely as the miles grow on your odometer.


Tips For Trading In Your Car

Lastly, a meaningful component of trading in a car is being prepared for the trade-in assessment. These suggestions are not an exhaustive list, to be sure, but these steps can definitely help you get the best value out of your car.

Clean It Up

This ought to be a no-brainer, but many people believe presenting the vehicle ‘as-is’ is a more honest approach to a trade-in assessment. While we are not advocating hiding blemishes or problems with the vehicle (Just so you know, automotive assessors will see through those attempts anyway), it’s always a good idea to clean up your car to the best of your ability before bringing it in. This means tossing all debris and trash from inside the vehicle (including the trunk), washing and vacuuming the exterior and interior, and perhaps even doing a nice interior and exterior detailing. Think of the appraiser as a buyer and prepare the vehicle accordingly.

Fix or Replace What You Can

We understand that repair costs can be overwhelming, especially for major mechanical problems. Yet, if you can fix minor dings, chips in the paint, and cracks in the various windows, windshield, and mirrors, all of those fixes will significantly help improve the value of your trade. When possible, we advise fixing any mechanical issues the car may have as well. The nicer your car is, the higher the trade-in value will be.

Know Your Stuff

If you have decided trading in your car is the best option for you, then we recommend coming here with all of your car’s paperwork, including the title (if it’s in your possession), registration, any maintenance logs you have, and all copies of the vehicle’s keys. Come ready to trade your car in and you will not be delayed in driving home in your new one.


Volkswagen online car buying San Diego  CA


Where to Trade In my Car In San Diego, CA

If you’re wondering where you can trade in your car for another car, Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa is the right place. We make the trade-in process simple and can get you back on the road in a new car today. Schedule an appointment online or visit our dealership to get started.


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Cars Oct 16, 2021

Great service! I got a new Atlas My sales guy was super helpful really kind showed me everything I needed!! Walked me through the process to make everything seem so simple !!! Not complicated at all!! Very smooth !!! I would recommend this place !! If you need a car and good honest people !! Thank you Mike.S

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Cars Oct 9, 2021

From the time I pulled up to service center I was greeted with a smile and excellent customer service. Armando thoroughly explained the service that I was receiving as well as answering my questions. I highly recommend this dealership hands down.

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Cars Sep 28, 2021

They are always busy, but do a great job. Ask for Sal. He goes the extra mile and will always take great care of you.

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Cars Sep 10, 2021

Great environment the whole process was very easy thank you again Mike and everyone on the sales team. I would definitely recommend Volkswagen and this dealership Thank you

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Cars Aug 28, 2021

My car was done when they said it would be. My service advisor, William McAuliff really knew a lot about my vehicle, 2003 Eurovan Weekender. It's running great.

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8040 Balboa Ave • San Diego, CA 92111

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Volkswagen of Kearny Mesa 32.8228011, -117.1495453.