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When is the best time to buy a used car with a trodden? I am interested in a lexus 350. The 2016 models will be out in march. Should I wait? Present car has 168000 miles so not expecting much on a trade.

Hi Michael,

First off I am assuming that when you say "with a trodden" that you mean 'with a trade in" and when you refer to a Lexus 350 that you mean the RX 350 and not the IS 350 since its the RX 350 that has the internet car buying world eagerly waiting almost as breathlessly as the Ford Bronco enthusiasts were.

The answer is (oh no here comes his speech about trade ins again) that there is never a smart time to trade a car in and so maybe the best answer is "right after you sell your trade in yourself". For instance if you trade in your car with 168k miles at the local Lexus dealer then he will consider that to be a wholesale unit and so what you will get is wholesale value. If that trade in is a 2006 RX330 for example and its in good condition then what are you going to get ? $5,000 to $5,800? and if you were to sell that car on Craigslist yourself you could easily get $7,500 to $8,900? See the difference?

Since you are asking about the best time to make the best deal I am assuming that you care about money and 2-4K dollars is a meaningful sum to you ...I know it is to me. Besides once you take the trade in out of the equation then you have taken away one of the dealers best weapons against you to make alot of money on you. The other is financing (they can mark up the rate so make sure you have an approval and a rate from your local credit union in your pocket before you go shopping to take that weapon away) and the last one is the price versus what they paid for the car you are buying.

I would wait until around early May which is about the time the used car market starts to gather a head of steam rolling into summer and it will also get the new RX 350 (2016) buyers a chance to trade in their late model used RX's when they rush in to buy the new one with the ridiculously big and fast engine (V-8) plus give the dealer a chance to certify it which will qualify it for an extended factory powertrain warranty that will come with it. Maybe start trying top sell your trade in the first week of April and start looking around for your new used car at the same time.But whatever you do don't trade it in...thats money that is just gone and it doesn't have to be. Lastly after you find the car you want to buy then don't sit in the dealership all day negotiating the price ...after you drive the car then drive yourself home and complete your negotiations on the computer or by text or phone...never while you are sitting there drooling on the new car. If you want to beat the dealer ...or come as close as you can get on your car next car buy then I would be glad to hold your hand and walk you thru the process while it's happening ... all you have to do is ask.

Ask as many follow ups as you want I am with you on this until you are 100% satisfied and happy with the answer so you won't have to hesitate sending back that survey with perfect 10's and maximum bonus points


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Roger Alvey


I can answer any question about the car buying process. I am a recognized industry expert on all issues regarding auto finance, including sub prime and buy here pay here financing, I can answer questions about car lock out systems, GPS monitoring by your bank, and about auto recovery methods and defenses. I am a 20 yr car industry expert and can tell you what to look for in a used car, how to negotiate the deal, help with how to market your own car, and how to negotiate with the internet department of any car store. I can tell you every single way the dealer is set up to beat you and how to avoid those traps, I can discuss all aftermarket and extended service contract products you will be offered in the finance process, I have lectured extensively on "The Best Way to Buy a Car" to civic groups and university students. I am a credit expert and can tell you what the dealer and banks are looking for and the rate you can expect to pay. CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE AT


20 years industry experience in top management of dealerships and dealer groups. Recognized industry expert since 2004 in the Top 10 industry experts for The Gerson Lehrman Groups Auto Industry Council. I also do consulting work for Experts360, Atheneum Partners, Expert Connect and Coleman Research. I have been a franchise owner and understand all facets of the auto industry from the time the car leaves the factory until it leaves the lot with it's new owner. I have written training materials for both the prime and the subprime sales and finance process.

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