When is the best time to trade in a car?

March 2nd, 2023 by

If you’re interested in swapping your vehicle for a different model, it’s important to understand the trade-in process. It’s a good idea to explore the benefits of trading in your car and explore how this can help you get into the vehicle you really want. At Cochran Cars, we care about helping you find the best deal and want you to understand all of your options before leaving our lot. Here’s a look at why you may want to trade in your current vehicle and explore when it’s the best time to trade in your car.

Why Trade In Your Car?

Man in car holding steering wheel Trading in your car can help you get money toward a different model, making it easier to afford the vehicle you really want. First, it’s important to value your trade and understand how much you can get toward a different vehicle. At Cochran Cars, we make this process even easier by allowing you to estimate the value of your trade-in online, so you’re well-informed when you come to visit the dealership. This can help you ensure you’re getting a good deal and helps you understand which new models are in your budget.

It’s important to consider the condition of your car, truck, or SUV, how long you’ve owned it, and how many miles you’ve acquired. To get the most for your trade, it’s important for your car to be in excellent condition, without marks on the paintwork, with plenty of tread on the tires, and with an engine that functions perfectly. Even if your car is in good or fair condition, you can still get plenty for your trade-in and get a great deal on the vehicle you really want.

When Is the Best Time To Trade In a Car?

There are several factors to consider when deciding on the best time to trade in your vehicle. First, evaluate the trade-in value of your car. If your car’s value is high enough that you’ll receive a low monthly payment on a new model, it may be the right time to trade it in. You may also want to consider whether your current ride needs a significant amount of maintenance. If you know it needs repairs that may be expensive, it can be a better investment to trade it in for a vehicle that won’t need any maintenance in the near future.

How Does Trading In Help Financially?

Trading in your vehicle can offer significant financial benefits and can help you get thousands of dollars toward your new purchase. This can allow you to consider a wider variety of vehicles and possibly get a newer model than you planned or a trim with additional features. Many reputable dealerships, like Cochran Cars, also offer to help with financing to make the trade-in process easier and allow you to maximize your savings. If you’re concerned about your budget, you may want to check out our selection of certified pre-owned vehicles to find one that suits your lifestyle and your wallet.

Can You Trade In a Car That’s Not Paid Off?

Although the trade-in process is pretty straightforward, you may be unsure how to approach the situation if your car isn’t paid off yet. There are a few additional steps to the process if you still owe payments toward an auto loan, but understanding them can help you make the best financial decision and get into the car you really want. While it’s typically a better idea to trade in your car after it’s paid off, you can still get money for your trade even if you have outstanding payments. However, your car payments will probably be higher than if you waited to trade in your vehicle until you paid off your entire loan.

When deciding whether you want to trade in a car that’s not yet paid off, you may want to consider your equity. Equity is the value of your asset, in this case, the value of your car. When trading in your vehicle, there are two possible equity situations you may be in:

  • Positive equity: If you know that the value of your trade is more than the amount you owe, you have positive equity. For example, if the value of the car is $9,500, and you still owe $4,000 toward a car loan, you have $4,500 worth of positive equity.
  • Upside-down equity: If you’re “upside-down” on a car, it means that you owe more toward a car loan than the vehicle is actually worth. For example, if your car is worth $4,000 and you owe $5,500 toward your loan, you have an “upside-down” or negative equity on your car.

If you’re upside-down on your vehicle, you’ll still have to pay the amount of negative equity to the original auto-loan lender before you can trade in your vehicle.

Can You Still Get a Lease With a Trade-In? Finance options

If you want to trade in your vehicle but don’t want to purchase a different model, you also have the option to lease a car instead. By leasing a vehicle, you agree to make monthly payments to a dealership in exchange for using the vehicle. When the agreement ends, you return the car to the dealer. If you know you like to drive new models every year or two, leasing can be a good option that allows you the flexibility you want.

Why Choose Cochran Cars

When you’re interested in trading in your vehicle, it’s important to have a team of sales professionals you can rely on to answer your questions and help you find the vehicle that’s right for you. With two locations and a wide range of makes and models of new and pre-owned vehicles, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for within our inventory.

We’ve been serving the community in Boardman and Youngstown, Ohio, and the surrounding area for over 100 years, so you can count on us to deliver reliable, friendly service. We’re committed to our customers and our community, and want to ensure you have a positive car buying experience so you leave our lot in a vehicle you love.


Image by why kei is licensed with Unsplash License

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