What is the ACV – Actual Cash Value?

Used Car ACV

Understanding A.C.V

The “ACV” is the “Actual Cash Value” the dealer places on the  vehicle purchased either at auction or as a trade in. This simply means the car dealer could liquidate the vehicle for that amount. In other words, if dealer chooses not sell the customer’s trade-in as one of their pre-owned cars, they could wholesale it to another dealer and receive that cash value.

ACV is a live value that fluctuates with the market. For example if a Mustang convertible is purchased in the summer, when it is desirable, it will fetch more then if it is sold in the winter.

ACV vs. Trade Allowance

What exactly is the difference between A.C.V. and trade allowance or trade value then? If neither trade allowance or trade value represent what the dealer actually books the trade into inventory, then why do they even quote those figures? In many cases the dealer needs to quote a figure in terms of the trade that is acceptable to the customer. The customer might tell the dealer that unless they get $12,000 for the trade then there is no deal. In order to put the deal together, the dealer might give the customer the $12,000 as a trade value, but the A.C.V. might only be $9,500. That means there is a $2,500 deficit between the A.C.V. and the trade value which means there has to be a $2,500 concession on the new (or used) vehicle purchase. So even if the customers paper work said $12,000 as far as a trade value, the booked in value to the used car inventory is only $9,500. Another way to look at this is the $2,500 came off the new car price.

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section below. or contact us at Dealer Simplified

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