Your Used Car
Trade In Value

What's Your Car
Worth To A Dealer?

Your car trade in value...
The 5th of 11 essential steps in the car buying guide

Car dealers will try to play games with your trade, by low balling, and if you've got no clue what your car is worth, they stand to win.

This means you could be handing them (on a silver platter) potentially thousands of dollars in profits.

There are three used car value guides that dealers use in addition to auction reports and knowing their local market, to determine your used car trade in value.

Unfortunately, unless you get a car dealers license you will not have access to the auction values, but can get some very useful information from the used car value guides.

Three Top
Used Car Value Guides

Depending on your area of the country (ask your local bank what guide they use for auto loans), car dealers will use either:

  1. Kelley Blue Book Values
  2. NADA Used Car Values or
  3. Black Book Car Values

to help determine what your car is worth to them.

A quick overview of each
used car value guide from least to most used...

Black Book
Car Values

Black Book car values are known for being very accurate in determining a used cars value, but many dealers do not use it.

I personally haven't used it in years and a consumer would only have access to Black Book car values with a subscription, so for the sake of brevity I'll leave it at that.

Used Car Values

A very popular used car guide, with both car dealers and consumers.

NADA has three levels for trade in values:

  1. Rough
  2. Average
  3. and Clean

Lenders will typically lend off the NADA clean trade-in value and you can expect a car dealer to try and value your trade in at a discount from rough trade-in.

This is not to say you should accept that but be prepared to have to work that number up with them.

Blue Book Values

As you'll see off to the left side of this page, in the navigation bar, I've dedicated a whole section of the website to Kelley Blue Book and have packed it full of information on figuring trade in values.

Dealers don't use the Kelley Blue Book trade in value to determine a cars worth, but use the wholesale value, which is not available to consumers for free.

To simplify this for now, I'd say to simply use the Kelley Blue Book used car trade in value as a ballpark figure and, when you are able to, check out my KBB Used Car Value Guide to gain a wealth of knowledge and to really narrow it down.

Now that you've figured your car trade in value...
What would you like to do next?

< Go Back To Step 4
Budget & Shop Cars Online
|Move On To Step 6 >
Figure New & Used Car Cost

Or you can...

Review the Car Buying Guide table of contents by returning from -
Car Trade In Value to the Car Buying Guide

Go to Insider Car Buying Tips home

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