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Trade-In Values Are Falling in 2024 – Here’s What to Expect In the Months Ahead

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Last updated Jan 17, 2024

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a vehicle in 2024, you’ve most likely encountered an unfortunate truth in today’s market: trade-in values have taken a dive. But what’s driving this decline, and how does it affect your next vehicle purchase? Will trade-in values fall further in 2024? Let’s delve into the dynamics of trade-in values in 2024, exploring the causes behind this trend and what you can expect when you decide to trade in your vehicle.

The Decline in Trade-in Values

trade-in values in 2024

In 2024, trade-in values are trending downward, primarily due to a steady decline in used car values at wholesale auctions. Last year’s volatility in the wholesale used car market has led to an 11% drop in values within just two months towards the end of 2023. We’re seeing that trend carry over into 2024. Despite this decrease at the wholesale level, retail prices have remained stubbornly high, resisting substantial drops as dealers maintain higher price points. 

The used car dealers who make offers for trade-ins are nervous about two things: the slowing used car market, and high interest rates. Many dealers suffered huge losses on electric vehicle trade-ins in 2023 as values went into freefall. The same could be said about other vehicle segments, from vans to luxury SUVs. 

The used car market turmoil has resulted in trade-in values falling more dramatically compared to retail prices. 

👉 See this week’s used car market update

Insights from CarEdge’s Ray Shefska

CarEdge Co-founder Ray Shefska has some thoughts to share about trade-in values in 2024. Ray highlights that, despite the drops, trade-in values in 2024 are still far from what they used to be pre-pandemic. The automotive market is slowly inching towards a balance, but it’s a gradual process. “The car market remains out of balance due to the 16 million vehicles that were never built during the pandemic shortages. This shortfall will continue to impact the market throughout the decade, but we’re starting to see signs of improvement,” he noted.

What can you do to stay on top of the latest trends in trade-in values for your car? Get offers from online buyers with no strings attached! See real-time offers from online buyers with CarEdge.

What to Expect in 2024

According to Ray, 2024 is expected to bring back some normalcy in terms of market seasonality, which has been absent for a while. The early part of 2024 has already seen a dip in trade-in values, attributed to the post-December buying slump. 

However, this trend is likely to reverse during the tax refund season in spring, which typically sees an uptick in used car purchases. This increase in demand often leads to a temporary boost in trade-in values. 

“Post-tax season, I expect a slight decline in trade-in values in early summer, followed by a steady market until the year-end car buying season. Remember, depreciation is normal for every vehicle. What we’ve seen over the past few years was abnormal to say the least.”

Ray’s pulse on the market is rooted in over 40 years in the automotive industry. If anyone knows a thing or two about trade-in values, it’s Ray.

Historically, vehicle values take a 20% hit in the first year of ownership. It’s normal to lose around 40% of a car’s original value in the first five years.

The Takeaway

Navigating the auto trade-in market in 2024 requires an understanding of these new trends and their underlying causes. From the pandemic’s lasting impact to the return of market seasonality, various factors are shaping trade-in values this year. Whether you’re planning to trade in your vehicle soon or later in the year, staying informed about these trends can help you make a more strategic decision, ensuring you get the best value for your car in a shifting market. 

👉 Don’t forget to check your car’s trade-in values from online buyers (no spam, guaranteed!). Get your no-hassle offers here.

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