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2017 Canadian Auto Trade In Guide & Tips

2017 Canadian Auto Trade-In Guide & Tips

As spring rolls up from around the corner and we are shifting our mentalities into “out with the old and in with the new”, you might be realizing that it is also time to switch up your vehicle. Now this car has probably served you really well (or fairly poorly) for the past couple years but you are now at a place in your life where you want some change. You might want to switch up that Accord for a sports car or go up to an SUV or even replace an old truck for something more current. This is where you probably post an ad on Craiglist, Kijiji or some auto trading side to see how much money you can get for your car.

Trade-In vs. Private Selling:


I am here to tell you that you are probably better served in using your vehicle as a trade-in rather than selling and then buying. While you are right to think that there are some dealers who are offering pennies on what your vehicle is worth, there are others who are offering top dollar on vehicles being used as a trade-in. Some Canadian dealerships are even working with cashback deals. Now, while you might lose a couple bucks in your trade-in, you usually gain it back at two different stages.

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Stage 1: The sale of your vehicle

By trading-in you will save yourself from having to answer 100+ calls from people who are just shopping around. They usually want to come look at the car, ask you countless questions about the vehicle, then want to take time to think about it and while they are thinking about it, they WILL call you about once a day to ask if it is still available and plead for you not to sell it because they “might” be interested in the car. Not to mention that at times you might lose weeks or even months if the vehicle you are selling is not in demand.

Phone-CallWithin this same category you probably get another 50+ calls from companies who want a cut from selling the car FOR you or want to put it on their website and even people who want to sell you a completely different service that has nothing to do with you selling your car. By putting your contact information out on those websites you open yourself up to having your number being pulled up on all sorts of call lists that are intended for marketing purposes (even if you put on your ad not to contact you with unsolicited advertisement).

Stage 2: The purchase of your newer vehicle

This is where things get exciting, you get to finally take a look at vehicles you see yourself driving. Here you actually gain your time and money back again because once you have found a valuation for your vehicle that you are happy with, the transaction is incredibly fast. You can easily drop your vehicle off and be driving out with your newer one that same day. Keep in mind that because you are doing everything through one dealer they are more likely to give you some nice bonuses on your newer car and better deals on your financing and interest rates. Think more long term than immediate gratification and you will see the benefits.

new car Audi-Q7

To find out the trade-in value of your vehicle and your financing options fill out a short application here.

Where do I begin?

Research is the most important thing while thinking about trading in. And yes, even though research does take a little bit of time, it won’t take nearly as much as trying to do this all on your own. At this point you might be asking yourself, well: Where do I start my research? How do I approach a trade-in situation? Who are the dealers who will give me top dollar for my car?

The honest truth is that there is no straight answer for any of these questions but what I can do for you is provide you with some quick tips and guidelines that have helped me find the best trade-in deals in Canada. For the sake of this article let’s assume that you will be financing to own or leasing your newer vehicle, these are the cases where you get the most value out of your car and will often find the best deals.

How do I know if the deal that has been presented to me is actually a good deal?

In your mind you need to separate the sale of your car and the purchase of the new vehicle.

The first thing you want to take a look at is the appraisal of your vehicle. Now when an appraiser is evaluating your vehicle these are the things that will affect the value of your car: Age, make and model, trim, options and conditions. A great tool you can use is The Canadian Black Book Value. I am not saying that a dealer will present an offer that is in line with what this tool says but it does give a general idea.

The second thing to look at is what the dealer is actually offering you for the new vehicle your about to purchase. Is it lower than you expected? Did they make you a financing offer that is in line with what your financial capabilities are?

After you evaluate these separately you can look at the deal holistically and determine if it is a deal that is going to be worth your investment.

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What “perks” can I get on a trade-in?

  1. “Top Dollar” on your vehicle. What does that mean? While I can’t give you a number, I find that 95% of people that are presented this amount as a trade-in are happy with the offer.
  2. Cashback! Most people are opting for using their vehicles as the down payment for their newer one but some of us need some cash today and that’s why we are selling. There are dealerships in every province that are willing to offer some sort of cashback deal on your vehicle. Depending on the value of the vehicle it might be anywhere from 20%-100% of the vehicle’s worth. As CASH!
  3. $0 down on your newer vehicle and interest rates starting at 0%.
  4. Monthly payments as low as $200 per month.

Now none of this is to say that you should go with the first deal that is presented to you, but it is definitely something worth looking into.


If you are interested in getting a quote on what the trade-in value of your vehicle is and what sort of financing you are eligible for you can apply here. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes and you can usually get a call back within a couple of hours.


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