Real-World Trade-In Values



  • Bill

    I am looking for a late model Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. Being that these cars are not available new for purchase to the public, used is the only way. The problem is value...

    1999 Crown Vic Police Interceptor
    27,000 miles
    No damage/paint
    no antenna holes, spotlight install, etc.

    Not an LX or Base model. Any info on how to determine what is fair value?

  • i need to trade my car in but what separates my scenario from other's is that i still don't own my car yet, the bank does.

    so with this in mind, if i have a $7k loan left and my blue book value is at $8,500, when i walk into a dealership, what are the chances that i can get close to blue book value?? or will they just pay off my loan and then use that as my down payment towards a new car???
  • Well,

    This is a tough call, IMHO. I mean, One one end, it's seen Police service technically, so it will be worth less. Also, Cop cars are very beefed up, but they can have pretty spartan Interiors.

    However, a Gold, Low Mile Police Package car was probably a Captain's or Cheif's car and did not see heavy or severe use. THe Very Low mileage also supports that (Police Cars generally clock up 30+K miles per year).

    I'd say, do you like the car? I mean, if you want a Crown Vic with a Police package, then it's hard to beat this car, and the seller may well know that and expect a premium price. I'd say, based on that, that a realistic price is that of a regular LX Crown Vic.

  • Whether you owe anything on your car or not Should not have any effect on it's trade-in value.

    Your vehicle is worth $X, whether or not you owe $Y on it.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 41,482
    Thanks Bill. From poking around on the 'net and looking in the paper, the Mustang price seemed reasonable. Just haven't decided if that's really what I want to own. Like the commercial said, I coulda had a V8.

    Real quick (I know I saw this from you recently), also ran into a very nice green '98 ES300. 18,000 miles, leather, roof, etc. What's reasonable from a non-Lexus dealer? They took it in trade.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • appraiser. Find out what your used vehicle's trade-in & dealer retail value is at Edmund's True Market Value Used Vehicle Appraiser.

    Let us know what you think. ;-)

    Pocahontas, Host
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 41,482
    Bill: Hope you have alot of free time!

    Anyway, I may have finally found a good possibility. '97 Eclipse GST spyder. Turbo, 5 speed, 1 owner, 67,000 miles. Recently had the full 60K service, inc. timing belt and brakes. Mostly highway commuter miles. real clean other than a few minor dings. supposedly never had any body work. white with tan top/saddle leather.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 41,482
    If you want my car for the TMV price, give me a call and I'll drive it to Florida for you.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    Between "True Market Value" (whatever that is) and the real world...That's why Bill started this forum.
  • Looks like the best 'effort' yet. There are adjustments for color and region!! Good effort. I wonder what the source of the info is. Nothing replaces the auction reports that only dealers can see. Free info is like anything get what you pay for.

    Keep up the good work, Bill!!!!
  • It's a very good effort.

    I plugged in a 1997 XJ6 I recently bought at auction, And it was close. However, No mention of paintwork???? If that Immaculate looking car has had paintwork all along the side and front of it, it's worth thousands less!

    However, You list a Loaded 1997 LS400 with 44K on it being worth $32K+ Trade-In. That's somewhere around $6,000++++ Over what the cars are currently selling for on a wholesale level. I'm advertising a Certified car like that (With over $2,500 in recon and warranty packed in) for $33,900.

    I found a few others like that as well. This is why I created this topic. People come in, waving a printout from Edmunds. Edmunds says that their numbers are accurate and that dont believe the dealer if he claims their numbers are inaccurate. Now I tell the customer that their 1997 LS400 is really worth $26-27K, Suddenly I'm a slimeball dealer who is trying to steal their trade.

  • Plug in a GS300, A Silver 1998 with 36K, Moonroof, CD and Leather. Plug it in using the "32819" zip code (Where I live.. SW Orlando) And list it at clean.

    You'll be quite low on that car.

  • My sister inlaw has recently went through a divorce. She got the red 1981 firebird Turbo. She hates the car, but she really wanted the thing because her ex really wanted it. Now she wants to get rid of it on trade. It's a real shame, but divorce for her was about punishment.


    1981 firebird (last year of the 70's body style)
    color red
    46,000 miles
    turbo v-8 atomatic
    am/fm cassette
    alloy wheels

    stored winters - never seen snow- no rust apparent during a quick inspection- interior clean

    Any idea on trade in value would be appreciated.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    To estimate values since it can be such a moving target...for example, just a couple of months ago, dodge Durangos would bring top dollar. Now, it's hard to give them away.

    When trying to get a buy bid on some trade ins, it's amazing what a month can do to raise or lower values.
  • Didn't know your name was Bill, also...;)
  • I would NOT Trade that car in.

    Put it in Hemmings! And check for a copy of Hemmings But I bet ya could get something like $7-8K for it privately.

    To a dealer it's just a 19yr old Pontiac... Or try peddling it to some classic car dealers..

  • If the car checks out and you like it.. $11,500 seems cheap for retail to me. Figure low WHolesale is like $10K or so on that car... Oughta do that or better at wholesale auction.

  • i got quote a price for a vw passat dealer demo with abt 5000 odd miles on it.

    here's the details
    gls v6
    luxury package
    monsoon package

    ok here's the price..
    $25,721 (including destination, but NOT tax and

    $200 over invoice they say. Tho they consider this to be a "demo" it's still used. Would you pay $200 over invoice for such an animal????
  • Thanks For the advice.

    I did suggest that she offer it back to the ex, nothing doing. It's a shame, that car was his pride and joy. I will check out Hemmings.

  • oops .. forgot to mention, for a 2000 VW Passat
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Why pay a penny over invoice for a car that is just another one-year-old used car with 5000 miles on it? They can call it a "demo" if they want to, which is sure not an endorsement in my mind - the only harder service would be if those 5k miles were on a rental car. Around here, that deal would be considered overpriced by at least a couple of thousand $. Here's one vote to pass, or get them to offer you a price closer to $23.5k.

    [Everything this car offers can be had in a new 2001 Accord EX V6 with an MSRP of $25.5k, and a real-world selling price of $23-23.5k. I know - I just bought one, and passed on the Passat because they are so ludicrously overpriced. This offer for a used one at a price over new invoice illustrates the point perfectly.]

    JR In Calif.
  • How about the trade-in value for a '93 Celica GT coupe. Teal 5 speed with low miles (69,500) and A/C, power locks and windows, power sunroof, cruise control, stereo with cassette tape. Generally good shape with some dings and chips, paint fading on roof in front of sunroof, will need brakes and timing belt service.

    I'm trying to trade it in for an 2001 Acura CL (good price compared to Edmund's TMV) at a dealer in Texas. They list NADA trade-in value at $6,050 but deduct $1,550 for paint touch up, servicing, and general reconditioning, making trade-in at $4,500. Are they trying to ream me or is it just me; is this a fair trade-in?
  • I forgot to mention that my car had hail damage and was rearended so it did have some paint and body work several years ago.
  • Well,

    From what you describe of the car (Paint problems, and previous paintwork/accident damage) And based on my own data, then I'd say that $4,500 is well more than fair. If anything, to be truthful, it's almost high. Or, it's more than I would put in the car. So they are being quite fair. It's quite rare for a car to be worth NADA "Trade-In". Trade-In data apparently comes in from trade-in figures shown on paper for vehicles nationwide. Oftentimes these are overallowances as we all know.

    NADA Loan is generally a lot closer to actual wholesale value.

    So, take the money and run! :)

    Good luck,

  • Wow, thanks for the quick response and thanks for the great service you are doing here. I've never liked going to a dealer and dickering so I've put that part of buying a new car off until this weekend. So I'm glad to find out they were giving me a fair trade-in so I don't have to go around to more dealers and maybe pass on the Acura since they're the lone dealer in town. Thanks again for providing us with an objective view!
  • Glad to be able to help!

    Sounds like you did very well, Let me know how it turns out!

  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Would you give me an idea of a wholesale & retail price for the following?

    Mitsubishi GS Spyder - 1999 model
    151 miles being sold as "new vehicle" never titled
    5 speed, cloth, premium sound, ABS, usual power goodies.

    Sticker's about 24K. Dealer's offering about 21K.

    Thanks a million!
  • This is a tough call. I mean, A Typical 99 with like 20K miles or so is worth about $15-16K or so, Making retail about $17-19K or so.

    However, This is a tough call. 151 miles...

    I'd say that, based on the market, that $20K is pretty fair retail for it. Especially if the warranty didnt start yet!

  • I have a '98 Monte Carlo LS with 28k miles. I used the Edmunds "Used Vehicle Appraiser" and got a Trade in value of $10,598 and a dealer price of $12,704. I went to a dealer and they offered me $8,300. I can see a difference of $1,000 or so but $3,000. Any ideas what's going on here? Are the values at Edmunds to high? Any info would be helpful. Thanks
  • Well,

    It's a tough call. However, let's see if I can help!

    What color is it?

    Has it ever had any paintwork? If so, where?

    What State are you in?

    That being said, $8,300 may be a little light, but it isn't at all out of reason. The average national wholesale price on a 98 Monte Carlo is about $8,500. In fact, the more I look.. the more it looks pretty accurate to me.

    Now, looking at the Black Book, a wholesale book that bases its' values on actual wholesale market data (Auctions), $8,300 is pretty close to the number I'd put on one...

  • One of the great benefits to leasing for me is the fact that I don't have to worry about this trade-in business. I lease a new Cadillac every three years, get a nice write-off for my side consulting business and nothing to worry about in the long run.

    Anyway, my wife likes to buy her vehicles which makes sense because she keeps them much longer than I.

    At present she has a black '91 Jeep Wrangler S convertible (4cyl.) with 85k miles on it. It was pretty stripped down when she bought it new. I put new wheels and tires on it. It is on it's second top (convertible) and probably will need a third. It also needs a new windshield and a good detailing, otherwise it's in good shape with no mechanical problems.

    I have a pretty good "hook" in the dealership we are working with and have already gotten a great quote on a loaded '01 Wrangler Sport. But I am agonizing over the value of this trade. We live in the Pacific Northwest where SUV's are very popular, especially Jeeps.

    Any direction would be appreciated.
  • Bill

    1992 BMW 318iC Black, Tan Leather
    No Damage History/Paint
    5 speed
    shows some wear


  • eblueeblue Posts: 3
    I am planning on trading this car in to the dealer
    for a new 2001 model car. The car has:
    178000 miles
    3dr hatchback
    Black color
    4 Michelin tires with less than 9000 miles
    New battery, alternator and radiator installed
    five months ago
    Small touch-up paint spots at couple of locations
    According to an Acura dealer inspection two
    months ago the car is in 'excellent' condition
    expect for cracking CV boot;new CV boot installed.

    I think used 5-speed cars are not popular but then
    this is a sports coupe. High mileage may lower the
    value. Kelly Blue Book gives a value range of
    $2700-3200. What approx trade-in value can I expect
    from a dealer?

    Thanks in advance.
  • And they pile up. Sorry for the delay :)

    OK, the 91 Jeep sounds to me like a $2,500 vehicle. They seem to wholesale around $3500 or so, but you have to make allowances for condition problems..

    Now, on to the 92 318ic. My guess is that it's worth right around $5,500-6,000 right now. The market has softened a little on convertibles as the winter is starting, but that's about where I'd want to own it at based on current wholesale activity. Lower end of the spectrum if it's in Florida (It's Black) Perhaps the mid-higher end in the mid-south or northeast.

    The 1990 Integra. Sell it yourself. I bet you can easily get $3900+ for it. Realistic Wholesale on it is about $1,500-2,000 or so. And I'd peg it at closer to the 1,500 mark. Kelly Blue Book pegs it at $1,755 in "fair" condition, which is generally how a high-mile car of that age will be classified. Even if it is in nice shape, you have to look at the car as we would: It's an 11yr old car with 178K miles. It's a straight wholesale unit for about any new car dealership, and all we could offer is wholesale.

    This is for the lurkers too:

    It's very important that if you use Kelly Blue Book to realize that many people overclassify. In reality, you want to use "good" for a nice, low-mile car without paintwork (Fair or below fair if it's had previous accident damage) and Fair when classifying a average to hi mile car.

    Excellent is a classification used for very high-demand, super low mile, no paintwork cars in outstanding condition.

    Such as a 1997 BMW M3 in Silver with Dove Grey Leather. No paintwork, 22K miles, nonsmoker's car in just outstanding condition.

    Or the 1998 Jaguar XJ8 in Topaz with Oatmeal Leather, Heated Seats/Trac, CD, 19K miles, Perfect.

    Those are "excellent" cars. Even if that Jag was absolutely spotless, if it's got 61K miles, you'd ratre it as "fair" to be accurate to yourself.

    Hope this helps!

  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021

    I've got a general question that's somewhat off topic. How do new car dealers get used versions of super-hot cars? A couple examples:

    1. My local Buick/Pontiac/GMC store has a '99 TT roadster for sale. Now I can't imagine someone trading this in on a Buick Regal or something and I don't think too many TT buyers cruise the Buick stores looking for cars. Why would this store even have this since it's so different than what they normally sell?

    2. Across the street at the Saturn store they have a new PT Cruiser. Looks like the Limited model. I thought this was the hottest car on the planet. How does it end up "used"? And how would a Saturn store get it before a Chrysler store would? I'd think Chrysler stores would be at war with each other over PT allocations.

    Just looking for some business insight, as it were. Thanks!
  • Actually,

    There's a bunch of stuff like that running through the auctions. A lot of times new car stores will consign super hot models to see what they can get for them, generally far above list price.

    Also, a lot of people who buy cars like these are the ones who have to own whatever is new and hot. They'll get a TT, then trade it for a PT Cruiser (ANd the Chrysler dealer then takes the audi to the auction) then trade the PT Cruiser for, say, a T-Bird etc...

    Aparently, 2 of the Z8s that have been delivered by the BMW Dealer in town have already showed up at the local Auction that does highline cars. Both sold for in excess of $60,000 OVER MSRP!

    If I can make a Quick $50K, think I can wait for another Z8? I woulda sold it too!

  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    1984 Audi 4000Q, 200k miles, salvage title, total clearcoat peel, both rear doors inoperable. What, about $5000?
  • Ummm...

    $500 you meant? Even that's optimistic.

    You dont want to know.....

  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Although there is something to be said for a valueless four wheel drive car. I'm mostly just waiting for the inevitable not worth fixing repair (tie rod ends or clutch maybe). Its funny how even relatively nice old quattros aren't worth anything (well, ok, the coupes go for 6k to 10k retail, but jeez, they were expensive new).
  • Well,

    If I still lived in the snowbelt that'd be a perfect car for winter use!

  • I have a 1996 Olds 88LS. It has the standard equipment list,Plus I had a moon roof installed by ASC. It has 75,000 miles and is in good shape. Have been offered $6500 at one dealer and $5000 at another one. Edmunds says trade in is about $8300. What do you think?
  • Well,

    It would help a little if I knew what state you were in and the color. Also, I'll assume that the car is free from paintwork.

    I'd peg that car at somewhere around $5,500 or so if it's nice. $5,000 doesnt seem out of line for it either. Cars like these generally have very low wholesale values as a rule.

    $6,500 sounds a lot like an overallowance to me.

    Hope this helps!

  • Hi Bill,

    I have a '99.5 (new style) VW Cabrio GLS that I am considering trading in. I am located in SF Bay Area. Here are the details:
    Dark Green/Tan leather/black cloth top
    8,500 miles
    CD changer
    clean (no paintwork, non-smoker)

    What might a ballpark trade-in figure be?

  • Thanks for the info brentwoodvolvo. The 96 olds 88ls is gold in color and I live in middle Georgia. The paint is in good shape. Now my espectations won't be so high next time I go to trade. What I want to know is why does Edmunds give a trade in of $8300.00 and I am only offered $5000.00 to $6500.00?
  • You will usually ALWAYS make more when you sell your car yourself. Why give the dealer more money?
  • I'm not sure why the Values on Edmunds are high. I have had people come in with them and sometimes they are quite low, sometimes quite high.

    Perhaps because they update them quarterly? I base my info on what cars are selling for at auction/Black Book Values as a rule. I have always felt that if cars are selling for, as a rule, abdout $X than that's about what the car is worth as it's what the market is paying for them right now.

    I feel that's the fairest way to value a car for all parties concerned. I can show to a customer that this is what their car is worth on the actual market. And I know that I'm not misappraising a car and losing deals, and that I'm also not taking a number out of some arbitrary book and finding myself buried on a car.

    I also look at what I can retail a car for as well. Since I'm with a Lexus dealer, some times we'll pay a little too much for Lexus that's been serviced properly and is in a good color and clean because we know we can certify it and sell it quickly.

    Hope this helps!

  • Based on my data,

    I'd say that your car has gotta be worth $16,000.

    It's a hot car, in a good market for it (VWs in CA) in nice shape with low miles.

    Even though it's not a great color I'd think it's worth at LEAST $16K, Perhaps even more. If it was Desert Wind, I'd be tempted to say a little more but I'd put $16K in it if it's as you describe.

    Hope this helps, You know how to reach me if ya need help!

  • realareala Posts: 2
    In the market fora Civic and I have a 95 Escort to trade in. What should I look to get for it? It has about 72,000 miles and is in fair condition.


  • $16K+ sounds for the Cabrio like a good number to shoot for. I will hopefully be making a deal this weekend - I'll let you know it goes.

    I appreciate your assistance!
  • Could I have some more info?

    State, color, model, bodystyle, transmission... etc..

    Has it ever had paintwork?


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