Dealer encouraging a trade-up

I have a 2012 Elantra gls, bought in 2011. I’ve been getting letters from more than one dealer to trade in my car. I am not picky about the car I drive, just want something safe, affordable, reliable. I spoke to a dealer that said he would put me in a 2015 Elantra same level as I have for the trade in and $4300. I don’t really trust dealers and am wondering how he makes money on this deal. What am I missing? Is this deal as good as it seems? To get a new car with a new warranty for under $4k and the trade in seems like I would be paying $4k for driving the car for the past 3 1/2 years, is that a good deal? or the right way to look at it?

Did that include TTL? (tax, title, license)
I doubt that included the “processing fees”.

He wants to get you into the door and the pitch then will likely be different and cost more. I get emails and calls every month or so and graciously decline.

I bet Docnick is right. They’re probably just trying to reel in a fish (you)…

Does your car run good? Is it in decent shape? If so, why go deeper into debt or blow the money?

Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

It doesn’t include fees. I was at the dealer to get the tire sensor fixed (still under warranty) and talking in person he didn’t push anything else. I was kind of hoping for a cheaper model but he said that price was only for the Elantra. Is the 2015 Elantra not as good as the 2012?

They want your money, pure and simple, as other have said. To save your money, keep your car, take care of it, plan on getting a new one after this one is 10 years old or so, or when your needs change.

We all get those letters, doesn’t mean more than “you have a car”. I am still getting them for cars I have sold. If your car is doing its job and you like it, just keep driving.

I hate salesman, mainly because I am one. I see right thru them.
I sell construction, so it’s kindof a different game, but it’s still the same.
Furniture salesman are the worst.

I try really hard to avoid acting like them… stalkers…

double check
Does he mean LEASE ?
somehow they conveniently seem to leave out that word.

@ken green
"…a dealer that said he would put me in a 2015 Elantra…"

Ken, you work at a dealer and know how it goes. I think you could be onto something!


$4300 is about the difference between trade-in for your car and dealer invoice for an Elantra SE with automatic transmission. There is a $1000 rebate for anyone and a $1750 rebate if you finance through Hyundai. He is making at least $1000 on it, and possibly hinds more if the dealer doesn’t have to pay much to Hyundai for sitting too long on the lot. It could be a sale, but maybe a lease as others suggested. If I had a 3 year old car that is reliable I would keep it. But it’s your choice.

Dealers have been doing this for years. Back in 1958, the Ford dealer called my mother and said they would allow her $1200 for her 1952 Dodge on trade for a new 1958 Ford. At that time, the Dodge was worth about $500. My parents had never set foot into the Ford dealer. At that time, Ford had an ad in the newspaper for the lowest trimline Ford for $1850. Of course the trade-in for the Dodge was for the highest trimlline Fairlane with all the options–not the strippp entry level model. We get letters all the time from the. Toyota dealer with great trade in prices for either our 2003 4Runner or our 2011 Sienna. I just ignore them.

I can offer you a better deal than he can… keep the Elantra, keep it maintained, and you’ll have a nice car for an indefinite number o f years to come AT NO ADDITIONAL COST!!! Zero, zip, nada!! Now is that a deal or what!!

Ignore the letters, the phone calls, the emails. You’re in charge. Keep your car maintained and keep on enjoying it until YOU are ready for a new car. We all get these cards & letters too, everybody who bought a new car once does. Mine seem to have pretty much stopped now, ten years after I bought my last new car. I’m hoping they’ve lost track of me.

Yeah I get the advertising too but not with a quote. Subject to, subject to, subject to. . .evaluation of your car, fees, etc. It doesn’t have to be a bad deal though. New car dealers need to sell new cars one way or another. New car prices are flat, used car prices are up, plus if they get you in another one, they have your service for another three years or so. Nothing really wrong with the whole thing if the math works out for you. The last time we traded, the guy said our old car would be sold in a week so sometimes it make more sense for them to make a fast nickel instead of a slow dime. In the old days again (why am I talking about the old days so much?) the salesman would just drop by your house with a car to try out to see what ya think.

If you still owe on your current vehicle the extra will go to the loan.

These responses show that this is a longstanding dealer practice & it must make them money. If you are unsatisfied with the lack of features in your current vehicle, or the safety rating, or some other immutable aspect of the car that the newer model has overcome, then maybe consider this. For example, if you are always longing for leather seats and bluetooth and a sunroof & regretting not getting those features in your original vehicle AND you would get those in the new vehicle at a reasonable cost, then consider the deal. I wouldn’t recommend doing it just because you think the dealer is giving you a good deal.

To me it sounds like they are in effect (though not in name/documentation) trying to turn a purchased vehicle situation into a leased vehicle situation. You upgrade to a new car after 3-4 years, they get a chunk of additional income & a late model probably gently used car to resell at a premium markup,… that’s what it smells like to me.

It does sound like a pretty good deal. Might be worth it to make a visit and see if it is real or not. They may be having various incentives that make it possible. Or it might just be a ploy, in which case you’ll have spent an interesting couple of hours at least. Just b/c you go there doesn’t imply you have to make any deals.

The dealer I bought my car from in 2011 has been trying to get me to bring it back for the last 2 years now. They want to “move me up” to the Malibu. Sorry, not interested.

Don’t even set foot in the dealer showroom, not even for quick looksie

When you mention the “offer” . . . they’re really going to crank up the pressure

Why even subject yourself to the pressure in the first place?

You like your car just fine, and it’s got several good years ahead of it

That’s all there is to say, really


If I win Powerball tonight I’m “moving up” to a Bentley.
If I don’t, no fast-talkin’ wannabe sales record holder is gonna’ talk my into nothin’. I’m perfectly happy with what I have.