Fixed Asset Trade In

When a business purchases a new asset such as a motor vehicle, it is quite common to trade in or part exchange an old asset to satisfy part of the new asset purchase cost.

Suppose a business trades in an old motor vehicle which originally cost 17,000 and has accumulated depreciation of 11,000, and purchases a new vehicle costing 30,000 in return for cash of 25,000 and a trade in allowance of 5,000 on the old motor vehicle.

Assuming the transaction has commercial substance, first we need to calculate the loss on disposal of the old motor vehicle. Since it was exchanged for fair value of 5,000 and had a net book value of 6,000 (17,000 – 11,000), the loss on disposal must have been 1,000.

Fixed Asset Trade In Journal Entry

The fixed asset trade in transaction is shown in the accounting records with the following bookkeeping entries:

Fixed asset trade in journal
Account Debit Credit
Fixed assets 30,000 17,000
Accumulated depreciation 11,000
Loss on disposal 1,000
Cash 25,000
Total 42,000 42,000

Fixed Asset Trade In Bookkeeping Explained

The new motor vehicle (30,000) is brought into the business, and the business makes a loss (1,000) on disposal of the old vehicle.

The old vehicle (17,000-11,000), and the cash (25,000) leave the business and are used to pay for the new motor vehicle.

The Accounting Equation

The Accounting Equation, Assets = Liabilities + Capital means that the total assets of the business are always equal to the total liabilities of the business This is true at any time and applies to each transaction. For this transaction the Accounting equation is shown in the following table.

fixed asset trade in accounting equation

In this case the net book value (cost less accumulated depreciation) of the fixed assets increases by 24,000, which is the new vehicle (30,000) less the net book value of the old vehicle (17,000 – 11,000 = 6,000). In addition the asset of cash in reduced by 25,000 as cash is used in part payment of the new vehicle.

On the other side of the accounting equation, the loss on disposal of the old vehicle (1,000) reduces the net income of the business, which decreases the retained earnings and therefore the owners equity in the business.

Note: If the transaction lacked commercial substance only the gain on the cash element of the transaction can be recognized.

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Last modified November 21st, 2019 by Michael Brown

About the Author

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University.

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