How Much Is My Truck Worth on Trade-In Within the Next 5 Years?

By Austin Kilham · September 26, 2022 · 6 minute read

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How Much Is My Truck Worth on Trade-In Within the Next 5 Years?

The trade-in value of a truck is the amount a dealer is willing to give you to put toward the purchase of a new vehicle. Cars depreciate in value the moment you drive them off the lot, so over time, trade-in values tend to decrease as well. They are also impacted by a variety of factors, such as make and model, age, condition, and mileage.

Here’s a look at what your truck might be worth over the first five years of ownership, and the factors that impact that value.

Average Trade-In Value of a Truck After 5 Years of Ownership

The trade-in value of a truck is based on its market value, which is the amount a person is willing to pay based on the truck’s make, model, age, condition, etc. However, when saving up for a new car, it’s important to realize that what a dealer might offer for a trade-in is likely less than the market value. That’s because when the dealer eventually sells your vehicle, they will need to turn a profit. And their profit will be the difference between market value and trade-in value.

Cars, trucks, and other vehicles depreciate, meaning their market value decreases each year. Luckily for truck owners, trucks tend to depreciate more slowly than cars and SUVs.

Average five-year depreciation for compact pick-up trucks is 21.4%, according to a 2021 study by iSeeCars. Average five-year depreciation for full-size pick-ups is 31.8%. Compare that to an average five-year depreciation rate of 36.3% for small cars, and 39.9% for midsize SUVs.

Depreciation is also an important factor to understand when leasing a vehicle, as your lease payment will cover the cost of depreciation to the lessor.

Supply chain issues, component shortgages, and increased demand for vehicles has driven up the price of new and used cars and trucks in recent years. This has had an impact on how fast vehicles depreciate. In 2021, the average five-year depreciation was 40.1%, compared to 49.1% in 2020.

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Factors That Impact Truck Value Over Time

As we mentioned above, the moment your car leaves the lot, it starts to lose value. (For that reason, savvy consumers often believe it’s better to buy a used car over a new one.) What happens to the car will have a big impact on value as well, from wear and tear to how much it’s driven and its accident history. As a result, depreciation and trade-in values will vary from vehicle to vehicle.

Age and Condition

Age and condition are two of the biggest factors that will affect your truck’s trade-in value. The older a vehicle is, the less value it tends to maintain (unless it’s a desirable vintage vehicle). The reason: It’s assumed that the older a car is, the more it will have been driven and the more wear and tear it will have experienced.

All sorts of factors big and small can go into determining condition, from dents and scratches to major repairs made after an accident. Only cars in pristine condition will fetch top market values and trade-in prices.

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How much a truck has been driven will also have an impact on trade-in value. The more you drive your truck, the more wear and tear you may be putting on the engine and other parts. As a result, trucks with lower numbers on their odometers tend to fetch higher trade-in values.

Make and Model

A truck’s make and model refer to the company that makes the vehicle and the specific product, respectively. For example, Ford is a make while the F-150 is a model of truck. Some makes and models are more popular than others, which can increase trade-in value. This may be for a variety of reasons. For example, some may get better gas mileage or have roomier interiors that make them more appealing to used truck buyers.

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Trim Level

The trim level of a vehicle refers to the optional features it has. For example, higher trim levels may offer more equipment or luxury materials, such as leather seats. Automotive technology, such as back-up cameras and navigation systems are in high demand. Higher trim levels can translate into higher trade-in values.

Accident History

Even if a car shows no outward signs of damage after an accident, vehicles that have been involved in a major accident or a natural disaster, such as a flood, will usually fetch lower trade-in values.

According to experts, any accident will remove $500 from the value of a car, on average, while a major accident can cost as much as $2,100 in lost value.

Local Market Demand

Where you resell your truck can have an affect on its market value. For example, if you live in an urban area, there may be less local demand for trucks than if you live in a suburban or rural location.

Geography can have other impacts on the value of your truck. For example, a truck that’s been through a number of harsh northeast winters might be in worse condition than one from a warmer, dryer climate.

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Increase Your Truck’s Trade-In Value

Bring your truck up to the best condition to increase its trade-in value. Repair whatever damage you can, such as scratches, chips in the windshield, or minor engine repairs. Have your truck cleaned and detailed before an appraisal by a dealer.

It’s worth noting that your credit score will also impact the deal you get on your new car. That’s because a higher credit score gets buyers a lower interest rate on car loans.

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Monitor Your Vehicle’s Value With SoFi

How much a truck is worth is calculated based on many factors, including make, model, age, mileage, and condition. The trade-in value will be less than the market value. Understanding your vehicle’s potential trade-in value is an important consideration when budgeting and saving for the purchase of a new or used truck. If you think you may trade it in for a newer model in the future, research vehicles that are likely to hold their value better.

Monitor your vehicle’s resale value with Auto Tracker in SoFi. The money tracker app can help you better understand your net worth and determine when it’s a good time to sell. SoFi has all sorts of great tools like that, from the budget planner app to investment portfolio summaries.

New from SoFi: Track the value of your car using Auto Tracker.


What is the trade-in value of a truck?

The trade-in value of a truck is how much money a dealer is willing to give you toward the purchase of a new vehicle in exchange for your old one.

Because dealers want to turn a profit when they resell your vehicle, trade-in values tend to be lower than fair market values.

How is trade-in value calculated?

Your truck’s trade-in value is based on a variety of factors, including make, model, age, mileage, and condition of the vehicle. Your truck’s value will depreciate every year, until it no longer has a resale value.

How do I find the fair trade value of my car?

A number of online tools can help you find the fair trade-in value of your car. For example, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds offer very good online tools. Enter your vehicle identification number, license plate number, or the year, make, model, and mileage of your truck to get an idea of what it may be worth.

Photo credit: iStock/freemixer

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