In the market for a new vehicle? By trading in your current vehicle, you can use its value towards your new vehicle purchase. This option is offered by most dealerships, with the goal of obtaining the best offer for your vehicle. It is a simple process, and we'll break down what you need to know before starting. The first step is estimating your vehicle's trade in value, which you can do by using the trade-in-value tool. Fill out a few questions about your vehicle and include the vehicle's options, mileage, a realistic condition level and your ZIP code for the most accurate value. 

A Man And Woman Determining The Trade In Value

How much is my car worth?

When trading in your car, your car's value is deducted from the new vehicle's price. Your local dealership will also appraise the vehicle and make you an offer. The offer generally goes towards the new car you're purchasing. You may be able to navigate the start of the trade-in process online without visiting the dealership by visiting NISSAN@HOME [[3355]] (available at participating dealers)

Customer Looking Into Interior Of Nissan Car

Why should you trade in your car?

Though parting with your car may be difficult, especially if you've had it for a long period of time, there are plenty of advantages of trading it into the dealership where you plan on purchasing a new car. 


Car shoppers often find the trade in process at the dealership efficient because dealerships take care of the paperwork for your current and new car in one visit. Car dealers will appraise your car and make you an offer that generally goes towards your new car purchase. If you accept the offer, the deal can be concluded by signing over your trade-in vehicle's title.

One-stop shop

By working with a single dealership, you can handle the entire trade-in and new vehicle purchase process in one location! All of your communication, new-vehicle shopping, and vehicle financing decisions can be completed simultaneously.

How to trade-in a car with a loan

If you owe money on your current car loan, you can still trade in your vehicle. Often dealerships will pay off the remaining loan balance on your trade-in and obtain the vehicle's title directly from the lender. Not sure what you still owe on your vehicle? If you financed your vehicle through NMAC, you can find your payoff amount and "good thru date" by logging-into your NMAC account and selecting "Get Payoff." If you have not set up an NMAC account, you can do so online here. All payoffs generated are valid for 10 days and include 10 days of interest. Compare the estimated value of your vehicle to the payoff amount in order to determine your equity.

Front View Of Man Smiling While Driving

What does it mean to have equity in your car?

If you’re trading in a car where money is still owed, you’ll find yourself in one of these situations. If you have positive equity in your vehicle, that value can be used as a down payment toward your new lease or purchase.

Positive equity

This occurs when you owe less than the market value of your car. For example, if your vehicle is worth $15,000 market value and you still owe $10,000, this puts you at a positive equity of $5,000. Having positive equity before trading in a vehicle is ideal.

Negative equity

If you owe more on your auto loan in comparison to the market value of your vehicle, that is referred to as negative equity. Negative equity does not go away when you trade-in your vehicle and can potentially be added to your future car payments. You can add the amount you owe when estimating your payments online or speak to your dealer to find out how your trade in will impact your finance package. 

How to get the most effective trade-in offer

There are various considerations when contemplating trading in your car which is why it's recommended to talk to your local dealership either online or in person. Dealerships, whether through online or in-person communication, provide the benefit of a one-stop shop.

Here are some tips to prepare you for your trade-in:

1. Estimate Trade-in Offer: Get an approximate trade-in value of your vehicle so that you have something to compare your offer to.

2. Clean Your Vehicle: First impressions can impact the appraisal value of your vehicle, so give your vehicle a thorough cleaning inside and out. 

3. Gather Vehicle History: Receipts showing proof of maintenance and repair work are important for showing that you have taken care of your car.

4. Bring Documents: When you decide to trade-in your vehicle at a dealership, bring your valid driver's license and insurance information with you.

5. Check Your Payoff Amount: If you are in an existing lease, check your payoff amount. If you have a current Nissan you can do this easily by logging into your NMAC account.

Should I trade-in my vehicle at a dealership?

Selling your vehicle privately is also an option, however requires more time and effort than working directly with a dealership. For example, selling privately may include, advertising the vehicle, arranging multiple test drives, negotiating a price, arranging payment and assisting the title transfer. 

Trading in your vehicle to a dealership is more convenient and provides a one-stop-shop from start to finish. A dealer may also be able to help provide finance options in the event that you have negative equity in the vehicle you're trading in.  

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