Everyone has a different opinion of when is the best time to trade in your car. Some drivers like to upgrade their vehicle every 50,000 miles. Others like to hold on to their vehicle to catch the later years when the depreciation costs are lower. Sometimes, you might have to sell or trade in a vehicle for practical reasons, like needing more seats, storage or performance. Also, you might want to trade in your vehicle if something goes wrong with it. Whatever the reason, trading in your vehicle can help towards paying for a new car. Following the steps below, you can ensure that you get a satisfactory value for your current car, putting some extra money in your pocket.
Clean Up The Car Nicely
When you go to trade in your car, the exterior and interior look of the car has a major influence on the valuation. Clean up your car by removing any small dents outside or stains on the inside. Make your vehicle look like a new quality car as much as possible. If you are not very good with a hose, soap and wax, you might want to consider getting a detailing job done. For $100-$200, a professional detailer could make your car look brand new. Of course, this clean up will help increase the trade in value.
Know The Value Of Your Car
Before going to trade-in your car, it pays to know the estimated value. It’s very easy to research the price of your vehicle online. You can simply check out used car marketplaces to see the selling rate. Or, you can get appraised trade in values from resources like the Kelley Blue Book. Based on your research, you should be able to come up with a target range for the price of your vehicle. This way, you have a baseline of negotiation. If someone gives you a lowball offer, you can always walk away because you have done your homework.
Shop Around At Multiple Dealers
Prepared with a good looking vehicle and a base range of value, talk to a number of dealerships. They can give you a trade in value for your car. Ask them to provide the offer in writing for your records. This will help you gain leverage if you decide to negotiate the trade in. You can always show if another competing dealership was willing to offer more for your vehicle. This is a good way to test the market for a higher trade in value. This is a smart tactic to get dealerships to increase your car’s trade in value by matching an offer of their competitors.
Have A Record Of Repairs
While talking to dealerships, you should have a record of all repairs done on the car. It should include important work that has been done to the vehicle. Additionally, it should transparently state if there is any damage to the vehicle. By sharing information upfront, you are more likely to get a better value for trading in a car with problems because they know you’re not trying to hide anything. If possible, maintain a clear record of car repairs and current damages that may need to be fixed.
Show The Dealer That You’re Serious
Additionally, you can get a great price for your trade in by telling the dealer that you are ready to make a deal. Keep in mind, dealers will make money on selling a new vehicle to you and selling your trade in too. If they see that you are a serious buyer and willing to trade in, they might be willing to give you more value to get the deal done. This is one way to get the best deal when shopping for a car. If you are able to make a clear offer for what you want, then it puts the pressure on the dealership to either accept or reject your counter offer.
These are some of the best ways to increase the value of your trade in car. While the process might take time to find the right new car and then also find a good offer for your old car, it can be worth it to maximize your car’s value. Make sure that your car looks nice, inside and out. Know what the actual value for your used car is. Get prices from a few different dealerships. Keep a clear log of repairs and damages. Finally, negotiate from a position of power, showing that you are serious and putting the dealer to a decision.