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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about trading in my Passat so I went to a couple of dealers just to feel out the waters a little bit. I was quite surprised that they both offered significantly below wholesale value. The car has high miles but is in excellent condition and was dealer serviced all its life. Here are the stats:

2000 V6 4mo GLS Variant, tiptronic, leather, heated seats, power moonroof, Monsoon, cd changer. 125,000 miles.

I called my local bank and they quoted the following values:
$11,375 (trade-in)
$14,025 (retail)

The first dealer quoted $5500 :shock: and then bumped it up to $6000. The next one quoted $7000. Of course they both said it was because of the miles but the bank prices already include a mileage deduction. They indicated that it was the best they could do because there just is no market for high mileage European cars. :suspicio:

Has anyone else had to deal with this bull#[email protected]*? I'm not looking to get full retail, but something close to trade-in value should be reasonable.
 

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The dealers will rape you when it comes to trade in value. It is where they make the most money. Did you tell them you want to buy something, or just ask them for an estimate?

Unless you're in a hurry to sell your car, try to sell in privately first. You can expect to get a reasonable and acceptable price for it. Plus, people buying from you know they are saving a lot of money.

Did you try some online estimates. Like edmunds.com? Go to edmunds and get a pricing report. Actually, your local bank was right on the money. edmunds estimates said trade in is about $11,648. Private party is $13,373 and dealer retail $15,259.
 

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dealer estimate

You're definately being slammed by the dealer.

I work for a Chrysler and Jeep dealer in Massachusetts, but I have access to auction listings for used cars in the area. Given the high miles, there is definately a concern there, and as an off-brand dealer, someone like us wouldn't be eager to take in that car.

In average condition, my first guess was $9,000. When I looked at the auction listings and our guides, it said $12,000. So I was definately off.

Then again, it depends on what kind of working condition its in. As a dealer, I would start at $12,000, and then make reasonable deductions for various irregularities with it (low tire wear, any unusual engine noise or transmission hesitation, wear on the paint and rims, etc etc).

Value of a used car is more subjective than people want to believe. If that dealer thinks they can wholesale it for $10,000 and steal it for $6000, then they're making just under $4000 on your trade (less auction fees and the cost to get the car there).

Value will depend on location, condition, what you're buying, if its on or off-brand, if its a full moon on the 3rd Sunday of the month, etc etc. Getting it washed and waxed beforehand can sometimes help with the appraiser's (ie: ME) first impression a little. Everything helps. Hope this helps you a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info guys. I was pretty sure that they were trying take me to the cleaners.

I checked some of the car sites (NADA, Cars.com, Intellichoice) and they all came in the same range. When I mentioned this, the dealer said that those sites don't take into account the local markets. He said our area (New England) has lower values due to wear & tear from bad roads, harsh winters, etc. Meanwhile, I'm thinking ok, maybe 5-10% less not 50% less!! That's when I called the bank and they confirmed the online sites.

I'm not sure if it's worth trying to deal with these guys or just sell it myself. There are plenty of people out there who wouldn't think twice about the miles as long as the car has been cared for.
 

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I asked this once for my car and said it had 115,000K on it and they said that they wouldn't even trade it in because it was over 100,000K...WTF is that true? :???: :p
 

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Dealer's don't go by KBB values any more. They use Galves book values now, at least in the NYC metro area. I know this because I am in the process of selling my car and may end up trading my car at the dealer if I don't get a private sale. I have a 2001.5 Passat GLX (v6) with only 31k miles (5-speed manual.) Dealer offered me 13,500. I had to haggle a bit to get $14k (and that was only because I was buying a new car from them. I bought it for $28k.) Best bet - sell it yourself to a private party. You should be able to realize a little premium over the trade-in value. But be reasonable and you'll receive a lot more offers.
 

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Curry said:
I asked this once for my car and said it had 115,000K on it and they said that they wouldn't even trade it in because it was over 100,000K...WTF is that true? :???: :p
well, it depends on where you're doing it at. dealers that i've seen tend to keep a used car selection that consists of lower mileage late model cars. of course, i'm sure they'll buy it if they think they can make a profit selling it in an auction.
 

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That's a nice car, but with 125K miles, there's no way it's going to be worth that much. No dealer is going to put a car with that many miles on their lot, so they have to send it off to auction. If you can find the going price at recent auctions in your area, you can find what the dealer's top end will be.
 
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