Get the Most for Your Trade-in

Purchasing a vehicle is a big investment — the down payment, your monthly payments, insurance, maintenance and repair costs. Whether you keep it for several years or plan to trade it sooner, you should protect your investment. Here are four factors that affect your vehicle’s trade-in value, and ways to boost your return when it’s time to sell.

Mechanical Maintenance & Mileage      

Service your vehicle regularly. Keep a record of services and repairs and offer it when you trade in your car. Fewer miles make for a better resale value, so try and stay within 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year. For longer road trips, rent a car from Hertz to help keep your vehicle’s mileage low. (NOTE: AAA Members save up to 20 percent on standard rentals. See ad on page 19.)

Interior and Exterior Condition

Use a professional service to detail the interior once in a while, in addition to cleaning it on your own. Also, buy new floor mats before you sell. Wash and wax the exterior regularly, and take care of any small dings and dents before trade-in.


Brands like Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Hyundai rank high in the resale market and usually maintain about half their value in the first three years of ownership. Luxury vehicles like Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti, and Lexus fare best in terms of luxury brands. If the model you’re purchasing is popular as a new car, it is most likely attractive as a pre-owned vehicle, too.

Local Market Conditions       

Before buying, think about resale in your local market. If you’re trying to sell a convertible in a cold climate, you’ll probably not get the best value for your used vehicle. Also, certain regions make AWD a must-have feature. 

Want to trade in your current car? AAA Auto Buying can: 

  • Appraise and buy your current car. We’ll even pick it up! 
  • Find your next car and deliver it to you with all paperwork. No jumping dealership to dealership!
  • Offer both new and used vehicles and have lots of top brands including Honda, Subaru, Toyota and much more.  
  • Protect your car with our extended warranties. Avoid costly repairs with our customized plans.  

           — Greg Pence, AAA Auto Buying Manager

Call 800-590-0145 to enjoy a hassle-free car buying experience!
Llámenos al 800-998-0574 para hablar de sus necesidades de compra de autos! 

(Jan/Feb 2018 Go Magazine)