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Is there a ‘best’ time to trade in your old car?

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Is there a ‘best’ time to trade in your old car?

A key component to lowering the car loan you may need for a new car is maximizing the amount you get for your old one. Aside from the usual advice of keeping up with maintenance, not customizing the car too much, not buying unusual colours and keeping the car in good condition, is there an ideal time to trade in?

If you’re thinking calendar-wise, there is no real advantage to trading in from one day to the next. There is no real benefit in trade-in value at the beginning of the month or close to the end of the month. You may score a better deal when sales targets are looming but that doesn’t affect the trade-in value.

The best time to trade in your old car

The best time to trade in your old car is when the mileage isn’t too high, when the car is in good condition and when the season suits the vehicle type. Getting a good price at trade-in means either a better car for the same loan amount or a lower car loan altogether.

Vehicle mileage

There is no ideal vehicle mileage. Lower is always better but the days of not buying anything over 150,000km are long gone. Many diesels and luxury vehicles are comfortable driving many times that with regular servicing. For trade-ins, the lower the mileage the better so if you know you’re going to be putting a lot of miles on the clock over the coming months, you need to think carefully about when to trade in.

Vehicle condition

If you have just had work done on your car, it would be a good time to trade in. As long as you keep receipts, warranties and paperwork for that work, it can all help. Not only does it paint a picture of a responsible owner who looks after their car, which can help the decision to buy your car, it can also add a little to the trade-in value as the dealership knows they won’t have to perform any of that work before certifying it for resale.

Vehicle type

Vehicle type has a minor effect on the trade-in value. For example, an SUV with AWD will sell well in autumn or early winter. A convertible sells best in spring or early summer. Trucks sell well all year round and crossovers and minivans are much the same. If the car you’re planning to trade in has seasonal advantages, it is well worth being patient until it will get you more money.

All three of those considerations will work whether you’re trading in to a dealership or trying to sell it privately. Either way, the more you get for your old car, the better position you are for your next one whether you’re securing a loan or paying cash.

For a fair price for your old car, visit Car Nation Canada today!

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