When Is The Best Time Of Year To Trade In Your Car or Truck To Get The Most Money?

want to trade in your car or truck? here is the best time to get the most money

Perhaps one of the biggest decisions in the life of your current car is knowing “if it’s the best time to trade in your car.” Do you trade it in after a specific time frame? Is there such a thing as too many miles? What if it isn’t perfect? It probably won’t surprise you to find out there is not a simple answer to these concerns. Yet, we do have a few advice to help you decide when to trade in your car, truck, or SUV.

Should I Trade My Car?

This is generally the first thing owners consider. After all, most of us assume that the best way to get top value for their car is to sell it on their own versus trading it for a newer vehicle. Yet, there are some points to look at when thinking about if you should sell your car first instead of trade it in.

Selling It Yourself Normally Takes Longer

Selling a car can take many weeks or longer; specifically if your vehicle needs extensive repairs. The seller would be responsible for every part of the sale transaction, from creating an ad, to coordinating test drives, to haggling on price, and everything in between. Conversely, trading in a vehicle almost always occurs the same day you purchase your new one.

Paperwork Hassles

Typically you would be responsible for providing the buyer with the necessary paperwork, such as the title and registration. Trying to do everything yourself can be a disheartening and long procedure if unexpected challenges are attached to the paperwork, like a lien. We are equipped to take care of the paperwork, challenges included.

Lost Tax Savings

One of the biggest benefits to trading in your vehicle is the potential tax savings in areas with a state sales tax. In these states, there’s a credit applied to your new vehicle’s sales tax if you trade in a vehicle at the same place where they purchase a new one. In short, the taxes are calculated at the price difference after the appraisal of the trade-in is factored into the new vehicle price. The tax credit savings can quickly reach up to thousands of dollars, depending on which car you’re getting.

When Trading In A Car, What’s The Best Mileage Range?

There are many thoughts on this, especially since contemporary vehicles are built to last a long time. But, there’s general consensus on the following three mileage milestones to keep in mind when considering trading your vehicle in:

30,000 To 40,000 miles

This is the time when the majority of new car warranties expire. On the other hand, this is also when the first replacement of ‘wear’ components, like tires or brakes, are typically done on most cars. Your car depreciation will usually start to increase faster after this milestone, so the closer your vehicle is to this mileage, the higher your trade-in value options will likely be.

60k – 70k miles

Depending on usage, a vehicle that reaches this milestone will generally be between 3 to 5 years old and most likely has had many visits to the local auto repair shop for routine maintenance. Clearly as the miles add up, the value gets lower so owners should think about this when considering their trade-in options.

100k+ Miles

Thanks to advancements in modern engineering, this mileage isn’t nearly the automotive death notice that it was previously. However, the more mileage a vehicle has, the more the depreciation in all but the rarest cases. Vehicles within this mileage could still have value even though they aren’t in pristine condition. The looks and mechanical condition of the vehicle is definitely looked at more closely as the miles increase on your odometer.

Tips At Trade-In

Lastly, an important component of trading in the vehicle is being prepared for the trade-in assessment. These ideas are not the only ideas, to be sure, but these steps can help you get the most value out of your car.

Clean It Up

This ought to be a fairly obvious point, but many people think that presenting the vehicle ‘as-is’ is an honest approach to a trade-in evaluation. While we don’t advocate trying to hide problems or blemishes with the vehicle (Just so you know, they will see through that anyway), it is always a good idea to clean up your vehicle before bringing it in for the appraisal. This includes removing all debris and trash from inside the car (yes the trunk too), vacuuming and washing the exterior and interior, and perhaps even doing a nice exterior and interior detailing. Just think of the appraiser as a buyer of your car and prepare the vehicle accordingly.

Repair What You Can

We understand that repair bills can be overwhelming, especially for major mechanical concerns. But, if you can repair minor dings, defects in the paint, and cracks in the various mirrors, windows, and windshield, all of those repairs will go a long way towards improving the price of your trade. If possible, we recommend fixing any mechanical concerns the vehicle may have as well. The better the condition, the more money you will get for your trade-in.

Be Prepared

If you have decided that trading in your vehicle is the way you want to go, then we suggest coming here with all of your vehicle’s documentation, which includes the title (if it is in your possession), registration, any repair logs you have, and keys you have for the car. Arrive ready to trade your car in and you won’t be delayed in driving home in your new one.

Lexus online car buying Santa Fe  NM

Where to Trade In my Car In Santa Fe, NM

If you’re wondering where you can trade in your car for another car, Lexus of Santa Fe is the right place. We make the trade-in process simple and can get you back on the road in a new car today. Schedule an appointment online or visit our dealership to get started.

DealerRater logo
DealerRater Mar 5, 2019

I have purchased 2 vehicles from this dealership. They always take excellent care of me and their prices are always fair. I like this dealership more than the Albuquerque store.

Read at DealerRater

DealerRater logo
DealerRater Feb 5, 2019

Chris Ortega was extremely attentive and caring for someone who required a full education on specifics about her new Lexis hybrid, He was super patient through three tutoring sessions that I requested, addressing each concern and, in every case, giving practical solutions. Also he worked hard to make the financial part acceptable. Soon after, I had to drive to California, had a great trip knowing what to expect and how to deal with whatever might come up. Rest assured that he is putting out exactly what you would hope Lexis stands for!

Read at DealerRater

DealerRater logo
DealerRater Nov 15, 2018

2018 IS300 Chris Ortega is Phenomenal. Words cannot express his knowledge of LEXUS in every aspect. I cannot have asked for a better experience. I highly recommend LEXUS but most of all the patience, intelligence, and kindness CHRIS exhumes. I Definitely will be referring LEXUS and Chris Ortega! Thank you for making my Dreams come true! Monica Duran

Read at DealerRater

DealerRater logo
DealerRater Sep 12, 2018

Chris continuously went above and beyond to satisfy what I wanted in a car buying experience including driving the car from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, delivering it to my front door, walked me through setting up my phone AND thru the car features.

Read at DealerRater

DealerRater logo
DealerRater Aug 31, 2018

I told Chris I needed a car, somewhat serious but not committed. He showed me an option I actually really liked, asked me what kind of payment I was looking for, and made it happen for me! Very professional and easy to work with. Good personality that keeps it real and made it feel like he was there for me, not the other way around. Keep up the good work, awesome employee!

Read at DealerRater

DealerRater logo
DealerRater Aug 31, 2018

Cold drink on a hot day, professional and polite, no pressure, great communication via email and telephone, very knowledgeable of vehicle, quick and painless. Worked around my work schedule. Salesman had a great attitude and listened to all my questions and concerns. Even after purchase he still answers questions I have. Santa Fe Lexus has happy people that make it a happy place.

Read at DealerRater

Saved Vehicles


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us


Call Now

6824 Cerrillos Rd • Santa Fe, NM 87507

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 9am-1pm

Open Today! Parts: 9am-1pm

Lexus of Santa Fe 35.623, -106.02728.