Calculating the Trade-In Value of Your Car


What's Your Car Worth?

When you’re in the market to buy a new or used car, you want to do everything in your power to get the possible deal. This means finding the right dealership, negotiating on a price and agreeing on a trade-in price for the vehicle you already own. You may be asking yourself, “how do I calculate the trade-in value of my car?”. Well, the answer is simple and in this article, we’ll quickly explain the ins and outs of trading in your car and how to maximize the value of your car. 

What is my Car’s Trade-In Value?

The trade-in value of a car is the amount of money you’re likely going to receive from a dealership. Typically, the dealership you trade your vehicle into is the one your set to buy a new or used car from. Alternatively, if you just want to do a trade-in without buying a car from the dealership, the dealer may be willing to give you cash for the car. If you’re making a trade-in to buy a new or used vehicle, you may be able to negotiate better terms on the vehicle your buying. For example, the dealership may give you an extended warranty on the vehicle or give you an additional upgrade. Trading your car into a dealership is usually the quickest way to get money for your car.

What Determines My Car’s Trade-in Value?

While there is no “standard” way to find a car’s true value, these are the things dealers consider when appraising your vehicle.

  • The vehicle year, manufacturer and model
  • The popularity of that particular vehicle
  • The trim model of the vehicle
  • Any upgrades or customizations done to the vehicle
  • The number of kilometres on the car
  • If the vehicle has had any accidents or major repairs
  • The amount of wear and tear on the exterior and interior
  • What the particular make and model is selling for on the market

With all of these things considered, dealers now need to figure out how much money it will cost them to make the vehicle sellable. Maybe there’s a crack in the windshield and the passenger seat was all ripped up by your dog, if that’s the case, the dealers will have to spend “x” amount to make these repairs.

What is The Trade-in Value of my Car?

The first thing you need to do to figure out the value of your car is go to Canadian Black Book and see what your exact make, model and year of car is selling for. Once you have a rough idea of what your car is selling for on the market, you need to check your car’s mileage in comparison to the age of the car. Typically, the average kilometres driven annually is approximately 20,000km. If you have driven your vehicle way less than this or way more, the value will be impacted accordingly. 

The last thing you need to consider before trading in your vehicle is the condition of the vehicle. You’re not doing yourself any favours if you show up to the dealership for an appraisal if your car is a mess. Take the time to clean up your car and wipe off any scuffs on the exterior. If you have no records of being in any accidents or needing any major repairs, this will help keep the car’s value. 

How to Get the Most Trade-in Value For my Car

Before you make the drive to the dealership to get your vehicle appraised, make sure you do these things. 

  • Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your car. Appearance is key, if the car looks like it’s in great shape, this will help you during the negotiation process.
  • If there are any cheap/quick repairs, get them taken care of. Dealers will see minor repairs as time and money required by them and will therefore give you less than what you want. If you can fix these yourself, you should, if they’re small cheap repairs, it’s probably worth the cost of getting them fixed.
  • Keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance. For the entire duration of owning a car, make sure you’re keeping up with any maintenance needs whether that be an oil change or regular checkup. This will help with the longevity of the vehicle, making the vehicle more valuable.
  • Get rid of any smells or be proactive and don’t smoke in your car. One of the worst things you can do is regularly smoke in your car to the point that the smoke smell won’t come out. If your car has a permanent stench, this will undoubtedly decrease the value of the car. 

When is The Best Time to Trade In My Car?

While the more mileage you have on a vehicle, the less that vehicle is going to be worth is absolutely true, it doesn’t mean you should trade-in your vehicle at a certain odometer reading. As long as you can keep your vehicle in as good of shape as possible, you should be able to get a fair trade-in value according to the number of kilometres on the vehicle. 

Should I Sell my Car Privately or to a Dealership?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on how much of a rush you are to get money for your vehicle. Typically, selling a car privately can result in you getting more for your vehicle, but can take weeks or months to ever get the sale. This also means having to do all the marketing for it by taking good photos, posting it on the right websites and allowing people to come to see it. Despite doing all of this work, you may still get offers far lower than you were hoping for. There’s always a chance that your effort pays off and you get more than what you would at a dealership. 

If you’re in a rush to sell your car and you’re not concerned about losing a few hundred dollars in exchange for immediate cash, then trading into a dealership is the best option for you. They do all the work to make the vehicle sellable, and you get either cash for it or credit towards a new or used car from them.

Looking to Upgrade Your Vehicle?

If you’re looking to upgrade your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place. Car Loans Canada will connect you with one of our many dealer partners across Canada and get you approved for a car loan. All you have to do is fill out our short application!

Ready to apply for debt reduction?

Fill out our short application form to get started

Apply Now!

Get Pre-Approved Now!

Ready to apply for financing? Fill out our application form here to get started

Apply Now!