The ongoing shortage of stock means that used cars are in high demand and as a result their prices remain high. It’s undoubtedly a challenging time to buy a car — especially for frugal buyers — but with challenge come opportunities: A Cars.com survey found that consumers who have a vehicle to sell or trade in are likely to get more money than they expected for their old car. In fact, many reported getting thousands of dollars over what they expected for their trade-in in recent weeks.
Related: Now is a good time to sell your spare used car; This is why
Data from Cars.com and Accu-Trade also shows that the value of some used vehicles is rising faster than others. This is especially true for electric vehicles, popular nameplates, vans and sports cars. Read on to see which used vehicle values are rising the most and to determine if it’s time to sell or trade-in.
Dealers, consumers report rising trade-in values
According to the survey, 60% of dealers estimate that trade-in payouts have increased between 11% and 20% compared to two years ago, and more than 1 in 3 dealers report payouts in excess of 20%. Consumers see a similar trend: About two-thirds of car owners who traded in their vehicle received a higher-than-expected bid, about half of respondents received more than $1,000 over their expected trade-in amount, and 20% reported receiving $3,000 or more.
Top 10 cars with the fastest growing trade-in value
The following used vehicles from 2018-21 saw the highest increase in trade-in value from March to April 2022. Also included in the list are the average list prices of the vehicles among Cars.com dealers as of April. While list prices are a measure of the market value of the vehicles, it is worth noting that the prices quoted by the dealer differ from the negotiated prices that consumers will actually pay for the vehicle or the vehicle’s trade-in value.
1. Tesla Model 3: 12% increase in trade-in value; $49,500 median price
2. Kia Optima: 12%; $22.922
3. Toyota RAV4 Prime: 12%; $47,494
4. Tesla Model Y: 9%; $64,767
5. Toyota Corolla: 9%; $22.745
6. Ford Transit: 8%; $45,992
7. Kia Sportage: 8%; $25,827
8. Honda Civic: 8%; $25,369
9. Toyota Camry: 8%; $28,373
10. Chevrolet Bolt EV: 8%; $25,447
Electric and hybrid vehicles
Interest in electric and hybrid vehicles has skyrocketed as a result of the recent rise in gas prices, and the resale value for these categories is also rising. Pre-owned EVs such as the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y and Chevrolet Bolt EV, along with hybrids and plug-in hybrids such as Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota Prius and Toyota RAV4 Prime, saw the highest increase in resale value from March to April.
- Tesla Model 3: 12%
- Toyota RAV4 Prime: 12%
- Tesla Model Y: 9%
- Chevrolet Bolt EV: 8%
- Kia Niro: 7%
- Hyundai Ioniq: 6%
- Toyota Prius: 4%
In addition to EVs, the resale value of popular models is also rising rapidly. Despite the increasing popularity of large vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks, several compact and mid-sized sedans saw a significant increase in resale value. When it comes to average trade-in value by brand, Kia and Tesla lead the pack with a 7% increase month over month.
- Kia Optima: 12%
- Toyota Corolla: 9%
- Kia Sportage: 8%
- Honda Civic: 8%
- Toyota Camry: 8%
- Honda agreement: 7%
Large vans and sports cars
There were two additional vehicle categories that saw an upward trend in the resale value of used cars: vans and sports vehicles. In the first group, trade-in values for the Ford Transit increased by 8% and the Nissan NV by 7%. The Dodge Charger and Challenger reached 6% and 5%, respectively.
Do you need to sell your vehicle?
Before rushing to sell or trade in your car, consider your next steps. While it may be a good time to sell an extra car that’s been sitting in the driveway, if you need to replace your vehicle with a new one, you could run into some roadblocks: experts predict that inventory restrictions will last through 2022 and even could plague car buyers in 2023. Replacing your old car could cost significantly more in today’s environment, and the higher resale value may not offset the premium.
How to get the most money for your car
If you determine that selling or trading in your car is the route to take, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best offer, whether you’re planning to sell it privately or at a dealership. Because used vehicles are in high demand and supply is low, your vehicle could be worth more than you think. Estimate the market value of your vehicle with tools like Cars.com’s used car sales page and use your findings as leverage to negotiate the best trade-in offer.
Even if your vehicle has ended up among the most valuable used resale vehicles above, remember that the value of a car is determined by many factors in addition to make and model. The current condition of the car, mileage and accident history all play a role. To get the most money for your vehicle, it’s a good idea to prepare by cleaning the interior and exterior, making minor repairs, and collecting all necessary documents, as well as extras such as key rings.
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Related video: How to prepare your car for sale
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