If I trade year-old car, will I lose money?

Tara Baukus Melloq_v2.gifDear Driving for Dollars,
I bought a new car a year ago and put about $8,000 down. I've made all the payments, but I'm not happy with the car. If I trade it in for another car, is it a forgone conclusion that it will still cost me more than I care to pay?
-- M.

a_v2.gifDear M.,
Because the greatest depreciation happens in the first year, it's likely it will cost you to get rid of this car. Still, some cars hold their value better than others, and you may have gotten a great deal when you bought it. To know for sure, go to a third-party pricing site such as, Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides, and look up the value of your car for a trade-in and a private party sale, and see where you stand.

If you have a car question, e-mail it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories.

News alert Create a news alert for "auto"


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Get cost-cutting tips for buying, selling and maintaining your wheels. Delivered monthly.

Partner Center


Tara Baukus Mello

As VW investigates, consumers worry

Volkswagen sets up a new consumer information website for diesel owners, while many drivers worry that other automakers also have skirted EPA rules.  ... Read more

Connect with us