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6 Ways a Dealership Determines Your Car's Trade-In Value

6 Ways a Dealership Determines Your Car's Trade-In Value

As Car Nation Canada is offering top dollar for quality used cars, there has never been a better time to trade in or sell your car to a dealership. But how do dealerships determine your vehicle's trade in value?


That’s what we’ll be discussing today. We asked our Bronte auto loans team how Car Nation Canada dealerships determine your vehicles trade in value.


Vehicle Trade-In Value

All dealerships determine your vehicle's trade-in value with a standard assessment theme theme


That includes:

  • Current market prices
  • Make and model
  • Trim level
  • Mileage
  • Condition
  • Service history


Let’s take a look at each of those.


Current Market Prices

Like anything, an item’s value is determined by the price people are willing to pay for it. Market forces dictate a lot of a vehicle’s value. The higher used car prices are at the time, the more it will be worth as a trade in.


The current market is strong right now so we can afford to pay more for used cars.


Make and model

Some vehicle manufacturers and models are more desirable than others. This will be reflected in the price. Some manufacturer’s vehicles depreciate faster while others are generally more popular.


It can also make a difference if you’re trading in a non-dealer car. For example, selling your old Ford to a Nissan dealership will get you less than selling it to a Ford dealership or a chain with a Ford dealership.


Trim level

The trim level also affects the price. The higher the trim and the more features the car has, the higher the value. Higher trim cars generally sell for more as people like features like reversing cameras, heads-up display, heated seats and so on.



The higher the mileage, the lower the car’s value. Part of this is down to desirability. Buyers prefer lower mileage cars because there is still a lot of perceived life left in the car.


Higher mileage cars will fetch a lower price for the same reasons. Even though most quality cars can easily cover 500,000 miles, anything over 100,000 is regarded as high mileage, even somewhere as massive as Canada.



The vehicle’s condition has a lot to do with how much we can pay. The more work we need to do to prepare the car for resale, the more it costs us. That will be reflected in the price we can pay.


Even though we pay more now for used cars, we still need to make a profit.


Service and Maintenance History

Service and maintenance history shows us how well the car has been looked after. It’s something that reassures future buyers that the car has been well looked after, has been repaired and serviced when required and is going to be reliable.


Lack of service history isn’t actually a bad thing but makes a car slightly more difficult to sell, which is reflected in the trade in price.


That’s what goes into trade-in prices. If you want to sell your old car, contact Car Nation Canada. We pay top dollar for quality used cars!


When you’re ready for a car lease or loan, get in touch with the auto loan experts at Northway Ford for great deals on auto finance.

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