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To trade the truck, or not to trade the truck...that is the question!

I need some advice, friends.

I own a 2007 Toyota Tundra Crewmax, 5.7L V8, TRD with 4WD that I bought for my side landscaping company. Shortly after this, my partner also bought a big truck- and we use his more frequently for the business, and so I would like to get rid of my truck- to eliminate the pricey monthly payments and ‘downsize’.

I am interested in trading my truck in for a 2005 VW Passat Wagon 1.8T, with 4motion. The price on this used car is $15,995 and it has approx. 56,000 miles on it. I owe $25,523.10 on my truck, and Kelliy Blue Book gives my truck a trade in value of about $20,000-$22,000, and a ‘private party value’ of about $26,760.

How does this work? Is this a bad decision? I also have an additional 3K to put down on the Passat. Please help! Thanks, M You can also email me at

You are what’s known as “upside down.” You owe more than the truck is worth. Your only hope is to sell it for more than you owe on it, and go from there.

I used to be a VW guy, too, but no more. Personally, I think you should do some research on the reliability of Passats, especially with 4Motion, before you go any further.

IMHO best decision would be to rid yourself of the vehicle which may require you tapping into all or part of that $3000. The next think to consider is if $16k is debt you want to take on with no warranty. You may be well funded or not.

My close friends own a 2004 4motion 1.8t used since 18k miles to 70k now. I has had little issue for them.

See if you can sell it yourself before you buy another car. If you can sell it for at least what you owe, then it may make sense. Consider whether the business will expand enough in the next 4 or 5 years to keep both trucks. Sure, times are tough, but someone’s business is growing. It might be yours.

your current debt is $25,523.10, say you only get $20,000 for trade, so you’re stuck with additional $5,523.10 on top of the $15,995, for a total debt of $21,518.10. And honestly, you’d be lucky to get $10,000 for it since no one wants big 4x4 trucks, and the dealership can’t even give them away. So, for you to trade in your truck for the Passat, you’d have a loan for the Passat for $21,518.10, IF they gave you $20,000 for your ride.
Realistically, your loan would probably be $31,518.10 after all is said and done for that $15,995 Passat. However, they won’t show you that part, as they’ll just pad numbers here and there and give you a nice “low” monthly payment with either high interest rate or a long loan term

You lose about $7,000 on a three year old vehicle and more on yours. You have to work with each individual dealer. Sell but don’t trade if you can.

Actually there will always be a market for large 4x4 trucks, maybe just not in the circles you run in.
Farmers and all types of contractors still need to haul and tow for work, and there’s a large segment of people who tow boats and trailers of all kinds for recreation. If there’s no other way at work, or you have too much wrapped up in toys you just pay for the fuel and drive on.

Full size SUV’s? Probably not so much.

Personally, if I was in the landscape business,there’s no way I’d trade that pickup for the VW. The ONLY thing you gain is fuel mileage with the VW. The Toyota pickup will do a WHOLE lot the the VW won’t.

Those numbers are estimates. They vary from place to place and day to day. You can only use them as a starting point. When it comes right down to it your car is only worth what it is worth to you. Don’t get fixed on what someone else thinks it is worth.

As for this situation, it all comes down to what you want and what you can afford.

The only suggestion I can make, is a personal suggestion. Financing a car or truck for personal use should never come close to the cost of the car or truck. You are real now upside-down. That is your owe more than what the truck is worth. That is less of a problem when the truck is used in business as it is, hopefully, making money for you. I would suggest trying to come out of this owing less than you do now and paying off the loan faster than required so you can work towards really owning your own car and not paying those high interest payments.

Trade-In price takes into account the fact that in most cases dealers offer more for the old car than it is really worth to make the buyer think they are getting a great deal. On the other hand sometimes to do the opposite and offer less than it is worth, but then offer the new car for more. They do whatever they can to keep the transaction a mystery to the buyer.

I think another pertinent question here might be, what kind of truck did your partner get? Depending on the model, you could find yourself needing that Toyota truck again.

Another point is that gas is a whole lot less expensive than it used to be. The average price for gasoline is less than half what it was in July. How much money will you save annually on gas and how much will you lose by selling the truck now? You are playing off those dollar values in deciding if you save money with the VW.