Getting my trade in ready

I am finally going to replace my 1995 Ford Explorer that has 180,000 miles. I plan to offer this old truck as a trade in to the dealer. Will I get a high enough trade in offer if I replace the cracked windshield to make it worth the cost of replacing it?

Not worth it. Sell it as is.

I agree, with 180K the dealer is going to offer you some “book” value regardless of condition and send it to an auction. You will also have trouble telling how much they are really offering you, because the “trade in” value will be confused with the sale price of the new car.

If you really want to know what they are offering, get your best deal without the trade and them ask them what they will give you for the explorer. If you want to maximize you price, sell it privately, but that may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Agreed. You might not even get what a new windshield would cost. I doubt there is a high need for a 12- 13 yo car with 180000 miles. What would you buy one at an auction for? That is what the dealership will offer you. Any higher and they are making it up with the sale price. However, I doubt it is worth your time to sell it privately as well.


I agree with the other posts. Negotiate the price of your new vehicle without mentioning the trade-in. Twice, when I went to a dealer to buy a car, the cost of the car I was buying was less straight out than if I traded my old car. The first time was in 1973 when I was replacing my 1965 Rambler with a Ford Maverick Grabber. The advertised price of the Maverick was $2495. I asked about what the difference would be if I traded my Rambler. The price came down to $2200. I frowned and the sales manager came over, glanced out the window at my old car and said, “You can buy my car with your trade for $2200 or buy it without trade-in for $2000, but don’t leave your old car here”. Back in December of 1995 I found a nice 1993 Oldmobile 88 with 14,000 miles on the odometer. The dealer quoted me a price of $14,995. I mentioned that I had a 1978 Cutlass to trade in. His response: “14,500 with your trade-in, $14,200 straight out”. In effect, I would have had to have paid each dealer to take the trade-in. I sold the Rambler for $250. I still have the 1978 Oldmobile that still runs 12 years later. Dealers don’t want cars beyond a certain age because these cars don’t have a “loan value”. In your case, you may be able to sell your Explorer for a couple hundred dollars and come out ahead.

Remember, when you trade in a car, two transactions take place. First, you are buying a car from the dealer and he wants the best price possible. Second, you are selling a car to the dealer and he wants to buy it at the lowest price possible if he even wants it at all.

Negotiate the best deal you can on your new vehicle. Then sell your old one privately, after replacing the windshield, touching up scratches, and cleaning it up so it looks and smells good. Put some Armor All on the tires. I’ve always sold old vehicles privately and gotttne top dollar for item. Your dealer does not reallywant your old Explorer, as Craif says, these cars are wholesaled off.

Nearly all car dealers unless they sell really old vehicles will simply wholesale the vehicle or possibly junk it. Take it in and don’t expect much. I would negotiate your vehicle first and then finally ask about trade-in to get the “real” value.

You won’t get anything from a dealer that will make it worthwhile. A buyer might give you a thousand or two for it and the dealer will knock off at least $2500 without a trade or he’s crazy or greedy. Try for more than $2500.