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Real-World Trade-In Values



  • Yes, I've leased the bimmer for 5 years. Well, I guess its my own decision that I prefer 5 years: I've had 2 cars with 5 year lease, the first one was because of a special ad price, second one (the Acura RL) originally was a 39 month lease but I still felt attached to the car so I extended the lease to 5 years total. So just for my thing I do need 5 years lease, PLUS the fact that this is the only way to get down the payment to where I want it to be. But I double-checked my numbers (using guides from & other lease calculators on the net) to make sure the bimmer price is fair before I jumped into it. The only questions I had was my RL trade value (which you helped me to go over the TMV blues) and the 45% residual value the contract estimated. BTW, I do get 15K miles a year. After 5 years (2005), I am looking forward to get the new model 5-series (due out 2002 or 2003?) which I might be able to get a good deal since by that time, the new model has come out 2 to 3 years.
  • Had a chance to actually talk by phone to "brentwoodvolvo" today. Did it to save typing time and get some info quicker. Just doing this msg to let the forum know how much help he was and to thank him for taking the time to be a HELPFUL salesman!

    Now, let's see IF the neighbors read this board and know that I am planning to put price at $6400.

    Now waiting for T.S. Gordon to hit us here by Sunday...
  • OK,

    As long as you're cool with it. I just see a lot of people in leases that long that werent aware of how it all works.

    Since you are aware, that's cool :) And it is one hell of a car to boot!

    ANd, I was glad I was able to help!

  • Glad to be of help!

    ANd it was nice to talk to you as well!

    Let me know how it goes with the Taurus. And I'll keep eyes peeled for a Saturn LW. I do know a lot of wholesalers...

  • Hello,

    Like a lot of people have said, this is a great topic area.

    Wondering if anyone can help clarify a few things with my Saturn SL1 (96, 100K, auto, air, cassette)

    1. What exactly counts as accident damage? Three years ago I swerved to avoid another car coming into my lane and sideswiped a cement guard rail. Had the front quarter panel replaced with no engine or axle damage. What might this do to the value if I trade in now?

    2. Obviously it's a high mileage car and people's opinions on Saturn values seem to go all over the place. Any thoughts on what real world trade value would be (not interested in selling myself).

    Thanks in advance
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    Assuming its's an OK color, the paintwork, if done well, will not really hurt the value of the car that much at this point.

    Truthfully, and I hate to sound negative, the odometer reading is killing you.

    I'd bid the car at somewhere around $2,000-2,500 or so depending upon overall condition both cosmetically and mechanically. This should roughly follow the market on that car.

    I hope this helps...

    Let me know how you make out!

  • glengleglengle Posts: 57
    I just happened by this topic and am pleasantly surprised by your honesty and tangible assistance. I do understand "book" vs. internet values, so I'm anxious to hear your ideas on these two.

    The first is a 1999 Acura TL. Monterey blue pearl with parchment interior. Mileage is high at 29,000. I'm interested in the new MDX and would like to prepare myself for the shock. :o)

    The second is your personal challenge for the day. A 1985 GMC Suburban Sierra Classic 2WD. 350 engine, O/D trans, both rebuilt about 10K miles ago. Also new are tires, front and rear air, all under-hood peripherals (water pump, radiator, heater core, alternator, etc. The truck has power windows, locks, cruise, etc and the third row seat. Color is two-tone brown and tan with tan cloth. Original mileage is 160,000. No rust, paint is in very good condition, with a few dings. With the MDX, I won't need this rig anymore for hauling duties.

    By the way, I'm in Alabama.

    Thanks in advance for what has to be a tough one.

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    OK, I can help here.

    First, the TL is probably worth, dead cahs value, somewhere in the range of about $21,000 as a dead wholesale trade-in. But since they are hot, you may want to call around, someone may be willing to step-up. $22K actual money would be worth shooting for, but I'd feel safer with the $21K number.

    As for the old Suburban. Sell it yourself. It's real tough to gauge what it might be worth, but it is a 16yr old truck with 160K miles. I'd like to think $1,000-1,500? It's a pretty tough vehicle to peg a value on, but thats what the market seems to be saying. However, for me to get that to auction, I have to pay the auction a $150 fee, then there's transport..etc..

    But in Reality, I'd like to think that $21K for the Acura is fair and realistic, and $1,200 for the Suburban. The Acuras have good resale, that's a 74% residual value on it.

    Let me know what kind of bids you get... Have you also looked at the RX300? :) Sorry, I work for Lexus and I'm partial.. haha

  • glengleglengle Posts: 57
    Thanks for the help. Yeah, I've actually looked at the LX470. My boss has one now and really likes it. He's now looking at the Acura with me. :0

    My wife and I do like the RX300, but felt it a bit small for our needs. The LX470 is too big. So...

    If I were to buy a Lexus, it would be the LS430. I just haven't gotten to the point where my watches and vehicles justify being true luxury. Ergo, an Acura and a Roven Dino instead of a Lexus and a Rolex.

    As for the Suburban, that's what I figured. To sell it out right, I can get about $5K with the new stuff (had an offer). For that, it'll sit in the side garage for the duties unfit for a near-luxury SUV.

    Again, I appreciate your help. You're doing a good thing here. By the way, Monterey Blue Pearl is tough to get around here from what I've heard. Is it a more desirable color?

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    When my 81 year old mother decided to finally stop driving, I bought her 1991 Honda Accord Wagon LX automatic to use as a second car. After recently acquiring a new '01 Accord EX V6, we are seriously contemplating letting the '91 go, since it is hard as retirees to justify two cars. Before I start shopping it to the local dealers, want to take a crack at it? We are in the Sacto, CA area [95758]. The car has 44,000 miles [not a misprint], is dark metallic blue with a gray cloth interior. Paint is in good shape and very nice except for the top, which has a bit of fade around the rear hatch. All service records are available, and the car has had, in the last 3k miles: new Michelin MX4 tires, new front pads, new plugs, new drive and cam belts, fresh coolant, fresh wiper blades, and of course an oil/filter change. [In other words, most of what needs to be done to keep it out of the shop for at least another 15k miles has been done.]

    I call this a "ten-footer": from ten feet away, it is difficult to tell from new. After driving it for 3k miles, it seems to need nothing...just is excess to our requirements. I intend to give the local Honda dealers a crack at bids before I go through the hassle of a private sale. What would be a good wholesale dealer bid?

    John In Calif
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Sorry for the delay :)

    Glad to be of help! I created this topic to kind of give people an idea of what their trades are selling for in the real wholesale world.

    As far as the TLs and color, the Blue ones didnt seem to be bringing much over average, the Silver ones seemed to be doing that.

    And yeah, I kinda guessed you'd be keeping the Suburban :)

    Let me know how you make out!

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    This is tough.

    You might try shopping it to Some Honda dealers, but I doubt they would be you best bet. Most won't want to buy a Vehicle of that age, no matter how clean.

    You may want to try seeing if there are some used car dealers that specialize in Hondas, here in Orlando, for example, there's a dealer known as APL that pretty much is Honda/Acura only.

    So I think private party or selling it to an independent dealer is your best bet.

    That being said, I think that it's worth somewhere around $5,000 to maybe as much as $6,000 if it's nice and everything works. Seems like most of them wholesale for 3-4K, but most of them are 100+K mile cars. It's still tough to evaluate very low mile vehicles unless theyre highline cars. But in California, there have to be some dealers that deal in Japanese cars, you'd do well to look around!

    Let me know how you make out..

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    As a matter of fact, dealers around here are very anxious to get their hands on the car [I've made a couple of calls]; the key is how much they will want to pay. I'll be doing my research for the next couple of weeks, and will get back to the forum on how it turns out. Yes, I know a private sale is the best for highest return, but unless I'm selling to friends or family, my experience suggests the hassle factor can be very high.

    In the end, we may decide to just hang on to it; we spend all day yesterday reorganizing the storage in the garage, buying a small outdoor shed, and rationalizing the entire space to make it easier for both the '91 and '01 to coexist in the garage. Being a serious car nut, I need room to get around each car to do my detailing, tire rotations, etc, and before yesterday this space consisted of about 18" all around each car. Now that we've done the deed, this space is more like 24" all around, and it feels much different. I suddenly like the idea of hanging on to the '91. Still, I plan to get some estimates just to see what the wholesale market is...thanks again for your time and help.

    John In Calif.
  • ddeliseddelise Posts: 355
    Hello -

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    This car was purchased new in July of 93. It is Red, with the cloth interior, and an automatic. Everything else is standard. The car is in prefect mechanical shape. The paint is fading (I live in Tampa), and has some scratches. No rust though. The mileage is 114K.

    What should I expect as trade in, and what can I expect if I sell it on my own?

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    I think that, like you're finding, if you sell it to the right dealer it's going to be a car that will be in pretty high demand. Honda, Wagon, Clean, Super Low Miles..etc...

    Let me know how it all works out!

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    From what I am guessing here..

    That Vehicle is probably worth $4,000 or so dead wholesale. Maybe closer to $5,000, but the miles and paint do hurt it.

    If you sell it yourself I'd think that $7,900 is the number to ask, maybe $8,900 but see what they are selling for in the autotrader first.

    This is based on my info, But I'm just 75 miles up I-4 from you in Orlando.

    Hope this helps!

  • ksheddkshedd Posts: 10
    I am asking input on a vehicle purchase.

    I am looking to purchase an Accord, with the intent on buying a Honda Odyssey in 1-2 years.

    I am interested in purchasing a vehicle at the best price, with resale in mind as well.

    Here are my current 3 options:

    2000 Honda Accord SE: $18000 incl. destination
    2000 Honda Accord EX V6: $22000 inc. destin.
    2001 Honda Accord LX V6: $21,100 incl. destin.

    How about the following:

    Color of car: Black, White, Silver, Tan, Maroon, on resale value?

    2000 vs. 2001 on resale in 1-2 years, taking into account, 2000's final price will probably be below invoice including destination.

    Resale value of leather vs. non-leather
    Resale value of 4 cyl. vs. V-6.

    Anything else?

    thank you.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    It's tough to gauge a crystal ball. Back in, say, 1996, Green was a good color to have. Now it's among the worst. I'd like to say that you're going to be safest with a neutral, light color. Black may be OK, unless you're in a hot climate, such as here in FL (Wanna buy a car cheap here? Black with Black leather is the way to go).

    So I'd say that the silver, white or beige would all be quite safe.

    As far as the models go, Honda Accords all seem to have pretty similar residuals, percentagewise, irrespective of their trim levels although the EX Models are usually a lot easier to resell. However, if you do get an EX V6, make sure you get it with what I generally call "typical equipment", that is, the way that the majority of them are equipped. Take what I deal in, Lexus. You can get a GS300 or an RX300 without Leather, Moonroof and CD, but you will get slaughtered at trade-in time. Same goes with the Accord EXs. Im not sure if theyre options or not, but I'd expect to see that car with Moonroof, CD, and Leather on the V6.

    What will kill you is paintwork. A car that has had a lot of paint repairs is always going to be bid very low.

    As far as 2000 vs 2001, the 2000 will be worth less, but then again, a 30K mile 2000 will be considered low mileage after 2 years, while the 2001 will be considered higher mileage. So it may be a lot closer than you may think. But unless you are saving at least $1,500+ I'd go for the 2001. This is why I rarely consider leftovers to be good buys, unless there is a substantial discount.

    Hope this helps!

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Avoid the red, unless you're buying a Ferrari!

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I gave Kshedd my opinion in the Accord forum, so I won't repeat it here. But one observation on some of the above comments:

    EX V6 Accords come only one way: with everything. We just took delivery of an '01 EX V6 sedan three weeks ago...wonderful car, quick, quiet, tight as a drum. MSRP was $25.5k, accepted offer was $23.5k. What options? Std. equipment includes sunroof, leather power seats, in-dash 6 CD changer with cassette, ABS, dual stage air bags, side bags, remote entry/alarm, etc. ad nauseum. That's one of the reasons we went with this alternative: no need to add anything. As a long-time MB owner, it has gotten on my nerves recently how things that used to be standard have crept on to the options list. I don't much care for sunroofs, find them largely useless or worse, but in the lux class I know they are considered mandatory...I think Lexus was the first to start charging extra for this [and then requiring you to buy it on virtually every car they built], and it frosted my backside when MB decided to start doing the same thing.

    Accords are really solid cars on resale...there is a customer base here in Calif that buys nothing but one used Accord right after another, every few years. And unlike Camrys, you're not competing with the rental car resale market on the young ones [1-2 year old cars].
  • ksheddkshedd Posts: 10
    I would like to thank everybody who replied/gave information concerning my questions.

    I liken websites such as Edmunds as another "Reference Point" of information, which by itself, should not be taken as "gospel" but taken in perspective, can aid in a decision making process.
  • Bill,

    This one's right up your alley.

    Silver/Charcoal Y2k GS 300 with Premium Package and heated seats. 13k miles. Live in SoCal and would like to move into an RX 300 but may sell on my own to avoid any loss on the lease buyout.

    Seems like I should be ok as these are very popular cars in this area. What are your thoughts?

    Secondly, would a Lexus dealer look favorably on a deal moving me from the GS to the RX or would it indeed be better to sell on my own?

    Thanks for your insight.

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Good point.

    In My opinion, Lexus ought to Raise their Base MSRPs and simply make what I call "Typically Equipped" units the norm.

    I can't remember when we had a Non Sunroof, or Non-Leather GS or RX in. Or an LS without a moonroof!

    Probably so they can run ads like "The new LS430, starting at $54,005"

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Glad to help.

    The most important thing to remember with website such as this is that they offer a wealth of great and useful info, but that market conditions must also be taken into account.

    For example, Knowing the Invoice of a Honda S2000, Lexus LS430, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Acura TL, BMW M5 or even the Honda Odyssey for the most part is almost pointless.

    OTOH, Paying MSRP for an Accord, Taurus, Infiniti Q45, Blazer or the like seems silly!

  • Thanks for the feedback Bill. That's about where I hoped it would be. I'll let you know how things turn out.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,311
    Hope you're working today Bill!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,311
    Better slow the old fingers down.

    A 2 parter: I ran across a Passat that I like at a local Ford dealer (have no idea what they are doing with it). Anyway, I have to decide quick, since it has already been assigned to be wholesaled, and will be gone when the truck shows up. Of course, that should give me more leverage, right?

    Anyway, I need an estimate on the VW, plus my current car:

    VW: 1998 Passat GLX, 33K, 5 speed (nice easy car to look up since there are no options). Looked clean seemed to drive nice, but I didn't have a chance to get a mechanic to look at it. Silver/black leather. They want $18,497 for it, but again, it's about to go to the auction.

    My car: 1995 Mercury Mystique LS, very clean. V6, 5 speed, every other option (leather, roof, trac control, all power stuff). Nice car, only problem is it needs a new power antenae. When you stop laughing, how bad can I expect to get creamed on it if I look to trade in?

    The only way I would probably do this deal is as a trade, since I don't care to try and move the Merc. myself. Guess what I'm really asking is, given the total situation, what is a reasonable deal to over as my car + $$?

    Thanks for the help.


    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883

    I'm here, hope I got to ya in time.

    On the Passat: At $18,500 or so... that's a damn strong price truthfully. They can get aclose to that for it at auction if not more.

    Buy it. NOW!

    Now, as to your car, so we know that $18,500 for that Passat is wholesale, truthfully.. uhh... It's a 1995 Mystique 5-Speed. Uhh...

    Take Galves, Punish it for miles if need be, and deduct for the 5-speed if you're lucky.. I hate to sound umm.. well, you guys know I'm a straight shooter...

    It's somewhere to the left of tough to sell. FIgure $3,500 is what hits me if the miles are decent (60-70K) and $4K is true luck.

    That's the realistic range, $3-4K. I mean, Average auction on the 1998 GLX Passat is $19,500 or so, so you're stealing it. However, also don;t expect an overallowance. $15,500 or less with your car and you should be signing up as fast as you can. I'd probably hit the Mystique at about $3,000-3,500 If it's clean and paintwork free.

    Also, assuming it doesnt have megamiles. I e-mailed you my cell # if ya need help and wanna discuss it. Feel free to call me!

  • Where are you?

    I might be interested in the Mystique. If you are near STL drop me a line. Check out my profile or just email me at [email protected]


  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,311
    Thanks for the quick response. $18,500 for the VW did seem pretty good, but I imagine it was also a tough sell being a 5-speeed. Nice car. I also saw a '00 leftover advertised for $23,800 (a GLS V6, leather, pretty much the equivalent car) off of a 27.5K MSRP.

    The Mystique only has 46K on it, and basically looks almost new except for 1 door ding and a few scratches (gotta keep the kids bikes out of the garage). At the price you came up with, it may be with me a long time, or I could ultimately sell it on my own, which might take a while. thats the downside of having an affinity for odd ball but fun cars. Also the reason I got it for 1/2 of original sticker 3 years ago.

    I will probably take it over for an appraisal tomorrow and see what happens. At least I'll know what a realistic figure is if the front of the deal isn't heavily padded.

    Thanks again for the help.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

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