Trade-ins are a great way to help you upgrade your vehicle, as well as help cover the down payment requirement that many bad credit lenders have. But what if your car has a lot of – or maybe too many – miles?

The Scoop With High-Mileage Cars

Trading In a High-Mileage CarThere's much debate on what a car’s basic life expectancy is, but it’s much higher now on many vehicles than it ever used to be. This is mainly because they’re making better cars that can last longer on the road.

If your vehicle has over 100,000 miles, no one really considers it a clunker anymore. Many drivers expect their car to last 200,000 miles or more – it’s not that rare nowadays. The average driver tacks on about 12,000 miles on their vehicle in a year, so with that in mind, the age of the car is also important when you’re looking at mileage and value.

While high-mileage vehicles are more common today, a high-mileage car is almost always not worth as much as a low-mileage vehicle. The less wear and tear on a car, the more it’s likely to be worth. Additionally, there are some makes and models that simply hold their value better than others.

There are a lot of factors that play into the trade-in value of your vehicle, along with the mileage, but even if you have a high-mileage car, regular maintenance and keeping it clean can go a long way when you’re looking to trade it in.

What’s Your Vehicle’s Cash Value?

Thanks to the internet, you can look up an estimated value of your vehicle without having to leave your house. Sites like Kelley Blue Book and NADAguides allow anyone to get an estimate of what their car is selling for currently, and what they might be able to expect when they trade it in at a dealership.

These sites are a great resource if you’re honest about your vehicle’s condition, and they can help you get a ballpark figure. The more truthful you are about your car’s mileage and its overall condition, the more likely you’ll get an estimate that reflects what a dealer might offer.

The key to trading in a vehicle is understanding that the actual cash value of your car is what a dealership is willing to offer you. This also means that you should drive around to the dealers in your area and see what they are offering – you don’t have to take the first offer.

Alternatively, you could look into selling your car yourself. If want to see if you can get more for your old car, why not compare what a dealer is offering with what you can get through a private sale. Our trusted partner also offers a program where you can sell your car, and you can get an instant offer online.

Increasing Your Car’s Value

Before you head to a dealership, it could really benefit your wallet if you simply clean and polish your car. A clean-looking vehicle with high mileage looks better than a high-mileage car with stains, rust spots, and scratches all over it.

If it looks like you didn’t take care of the exterior or interior of your vehicle, how does that reflect on the overall condition of the car? A dirty vehicle might not have been a well-maintenanced one, so give a good spit-and-polish.

However, it probably won’t be worth your time to do major repairs before you trade it in, since you may not make your money back. A dealer is likely to be able to repair the car for less than you can. Fixing minor scratches or minor repairs may be worth it overall, but don’t go spending too much on large repairs. That money may be better spent as a down payment along with the trade-in equity of your high-mileage vehicle.

Finding a Dealer to Trade In

You should be prepared to get lower offers if your vehicle has over 200,000 miles, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get the most you can by taking some time researching and making calls.

In some cases, depending on your car’s condition, your best bet in getting some cash out of your high-mileage vehicle may be junking or scrapping it if a dealership won’t take it. Scrap yard and junkyard offers can really vary, but you may be able to cash out of it anywhere between $100 to $500 if the car is a real clunker. Inventory also plays a part in what they might offer you, so call a few places before you settle on a location.

If you’re looking to trade in your vehicle to put toward your next auto loan, you’re not alone. Trading a car in is very common, and it can help you meet the down payment requirement if you’ve got less than perfect credit.

If you’re a bad credit borrower and you’ve been looking for a dealer that can work with your situation, let us help you out. Here at Auto Credit Express, we have connections with dealerships all over the U.S. that work with subprime lenders. To get matched to a bad credit dealer near you, fill out our free auto loan request form. It's secure and there’s no obligation to buy anything, so start today!