Trade-In Car Deals: How to Find and Take Advantage of Them
Sign Up to get great deals for cars!
Subscribe to our blog that will make you look like an expert dealer.
When it comes time to purchase a new-to-you vehicle, you'll probably want to either sell or trade in your old one.
Receiving a nice amount of money for your previous car can help with a down payment on your next one and can even save you on sales tax.
Though selling your old vehicle yourself might fetch you more money, it can take a while and be a hassle. You need to take pictures, post ads, and answer phone calls from prospective buyers, taking up your valuable time in the process. And it could take weeks or even months to find a buyer.
In comparison, trading in your car is quick and simple. You receive an offer, and if you decide to accept it, receive money for your vehicle. You can even have this amount automatically applied as a down payment on your next car, lowering the total transaction cost and your monthly payments.
With the automotive market thriving in 2021 and low inventory around the country, used cars experienced a rise in market value. And of those used cars, specific makes and models fetch higher prices on trade-in from those eager to put them up for sale.
Which vehicles receive the best trade-in value today? How can you receive the best trade-in money for your car? What's the value of your car in 2021? Let's look at the best car trade-in deals and how you can get the most for your used vehicle.
How to trade in a car
Trading in a vehicle is a simple process that nets you a nice down payment and quickly gets you behind the wheel of your next car.
Instead of the time-consuming process of selling your old car to a private party, trading in is as simple as accepting an offer, then receiving the money to put toward a down payment.
Rather than days and weeks waiting for someone to buy your used vehicle, in a matter of minutes or hours, you can have a trade-in completed and be driving away in a new-to-you car.
It can also reduce the amount of sales tax you pay on your vehicle purchase when you trade in. Many states only impose sales tax on the amount left after subtracting the trade-in value from the car price. This could amount to thousands of dollars in savings and keep extra cash in your bank account for other essential expenses.
When it's time to sell your old vehicle, Shift makes it easy. All you'll have to do is enter the make, model, year, and mileage on Shift's easy-to-use website, and you'll instantly receive a purchase offer that's valid for seven days. You can get a fair offer, better than at the dealership, driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data. And with Shift, there's no need to spend extra time washing and waxing your car. A little dirt won't affect the quote, and we fully detail the cars ourselves before putting them up for sale.
Good practices when trading in
When it's time to trade in your current vehicle, several things are worthy of your attention.
Performing research ahead of time and finding out what your car's worth prepares you for the offers you may receive. If you receive an offer that doesn't line up with those provided by trusted online sources like NADA or Kelley Blue Book, you may want to look elsewhere for the best price.
Though your trade-in reduces your net cost when buying a new-to-you vehicle, there's still the "out the door" total that includes tax, title, and licensing fees. Keeping this tally in mind can help you budget and know just how much you can afford.
And knowing the tax laws in your state and how much they reduce the taxable amount of the transaction lets you know just what to expect before you sign the papers.
Buying a pre-owned car gives you the chance to save thousands of dollars versus a new one. But whether you're after an electric car or a full-size truck, where can you go for not only a great price but also a quality vehicle? Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new. And at Shift, you'll get a fair, no-haggle price driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data. If you live in one of Shift's many service areas, a concierge will even come to you, letting you take a test drive before signing the papers.
Cars with the best trade-in value
Over the past year, as the automotive market's grown stronger and stronger, used vehicles have experienced significant gains in value.
Topping the list of the best cars to trade in is the Chevrolet Corvette, with its classic American V-8 rumble and sports car performance that rivals other vehicles costing twice as much. For the one year between April 2020 and 2021, the value of a used Corvette rose by a healthy $17,432. If you currently own a Corvette and have the itch to get into something new, now is the time to make a trade-in.
The Dodge Ram 1500 also gained substantially on the trade-in market during that same period, its price rising by an average of more than $8,002. Even if you weren't considering buying a new vehicle, if you have a Ram 1500, it might be worth considering with such excellent trade-in value.
Another pickup fetching top dollar as a trade-in is the Toyota Tundra. During the past year, trade-in prices for Tundras went up by $8,356.
Other vehicles with trade-in values rising by over $5,000 in the past year include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Camaro, GMC Sierra 1500, Mercedes S Class, and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
With the value of your trade at a high level in 2021, it could be a wise decision to buy something that's new to you. When you buy used, you have the potential to save thousands of dollars versus a new car. But where can you go for not only great prices but quality vehicles that stand the test of time? Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new.
2014 INFINITI Q50 Premium (from $21,950)
Car trade-in deals in summary
With vehicles selling at a healthy rate in the past year and dealer inventory lacking, used cars experienced a healthy increase in value. If you're ready to purchase your next vehicle, this means a higher trade-in value on your old one and an excellent reduction in the total transaction cost. If you're unsure whether or not to go forward with buying a new-to-you vehicle, now is the time to take advantage of excellent trade-in values, so you get a great deal on the one you want.
2018 Toyota Highlander XLE (from $30,950)
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the author or Shift Technologies, Inc. Shift does not endorse or evaluate the accuracy of any claims made or data provided by third party sources referenced herein.
This article is for informational and educational purposes only and may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our effort to advance auto education. We believe this constitutes "fair use" of any such copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The material in this [article/blog/website] is distributed without profit and only to those who have demonstrated an interest in receiving the included information for research or educational purposes.
All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
April 15, 2022
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.