A lot of people ask us at Blake Fulenwider Chevy Buick GMC in Eastland, “When is the best time to trade in my car for a new one?” This is what we tell people who ask us that.
The “Perfect” Time
You want to get the most value out of your old ride, but also need to get top dollar for your trade-in value. So, the “ideal” time to trade in your car varies.
The average life expectancy of a new car is around eight years or 150,000 miles, so anything over 200,000 miles could stop running at any time. Your car is on overtime and is probably more trouble than it’s worth paying to maintaining it.
What to Consider
According to research by Edmunds, there are three milestones that occur during the lifespan of a car. Each milestone is accompanied by varying degrees of upkeep costs and trade-in value depreciation.
The first milestone occurs around 30,000-40,000 miles. This is when you have to make your first major repairs and the bumper-to-bumper warranty usually expires. Since cars depreciate slower after three years of ownership, the first milestone is generally accepted to be the best time to trade in your car, before eclipsing the three-year mark.
The second milestone (around 60,000 miles) is when you move beyond costs just for maintenance and start paying for major replacements like batteries and brake rotors. The upkeep costs rise at this point, as the trade-in value decreases.
Even though cars today have life expectancies past 100,000 miles, the trade-in values tend to drop quite drastically at this point. The upkeep costs go up as well, so not only are you losing value on the tail-end, you are paying more money to do so. Because of this, it is generally recommended to trade off your car or truck before it hits the 100,000-mile mark.
If you have a car to trade in and want a fair value to pay toward a new one, talk to Blake Fulenwider Chevy Buick GMC in Eastland.