Trading in Your Car? Tips for Making Sure You Get a Good Trade-in Deal


Don’t get taken advantage of when trading in your car. Keep reading for trading in your car? tips for making sure you get a good trade-in deal.

48 percent of all vehicle purchases involve a trade-in.

When you decide to trade-in your car, the dealership becomes the buyer and you are the seller. With that in mind, you can understand that they will want to get the vehicle off your hands at the cheapest possible price.

Getting a good deal, therefore, will take a considerable amount of effort. One of the ways to accomplish this is by sprucing up the car to make it as attractive as you can.

There are also other tips that you can utilize to increase the value of your trade-in.

This article will discuss tips that will help you get a good trade-in deal without much hassle. Also, you may like to get to know the pros and cons of trading in a financed car. Also, you may like to get to know the pros and cons of trading in a financed car, and how dealerships handle your trade-in when you owe more.

Getting a Good Trade-In Deal

The first thing you have to put in mind is that sentimental value does not play a role in how much you get for your car. Therefore, no matter how much you love it, it is important to be realistic about its worth.

Consider the following tips when trading-in your car.

1. Do Your Research to Estimate its Value

As mentioned earlier, dealerships are always looking to buy the car from you as cheaply as possible. Therefore, by estimating your trade-in’s value beforehand, you will be in a better position to negotiate.

To help you with your research, visit online car-valuation companies to know how cars are valued.

Be sure to include all its special features while being mindful about its current condition. Researching it as if it was in perfect condition will not set realistic expectations if it has some problems.

You may also call around several dealerships and ask to speak with the used car manager. Explain your car’s details to them and ask for their opinion about what they think its value would be.

A tip here would be to call dealerships that specifically deal with your make of car. If it’s a Chevy, contact a Chevrolet dealer. Get a minimum of five bids so you can have a good idea of where your vehicle’s worth lies.

In spite of popular belief, most car dealers do not make supernormal profits off your used car. Usually, they make around $1000 to $2,500.

With that in mind, you can visit the used car section of websites such as Edmunds and CarClearanceDeals and search for your current vehicle.

Whichever price is listed, consider deducting about $2,500, and that will be a good estimate of what the car is worth.

Nonetheless, there are other factors that will play a role in determining it’s current worth other than its condition. These include the vehicle’s popularity as well as the current state of the car market.

However, by having a rough estimate of your car’s trade-in value, it will be much easier to know a good deal when you see one.

2. Clean it Up

As with everything else, first impressions are everything when trading-in your car. In fact, most appraisers and used-car managers begin deciding in their head what their bid is going to be as they approach the car.

This is because a vehicle’s outlook gives an impression of the level of care it receives. A dirty car, therefore, will not help your bargaining power. This is why it is important to keep your car in excellent condition.

  • As such, before you take the car for a trade-in, consider:
  • Detailing and waxing the car
  • Checking and cleaning the engine compartment
  • Emptying and cleaning the vehicle’s compartments
  • Changing the windshield wipers
  • Restoring foggy or blemished headlights
  • Replacing burnt out bulbs and lights
  • Replacing the car’s fluids with clean ones
  • Changing or tuning up the air filter
  • Getting rid of odors
  • Touching up the scratches
  • Even minor touch-ups can make a lot of difference. Do not overlook anything.

3. Solicit Quotes

Request for trade-in quotes from multiple dealerships. However, before you do this, it is essential to ensure that you have all the items and documents you require. These include:

  • The car’s pink slip
  • Current registration
  • Driver’s license
  • Keys
  • Auto loan payoff as well as account information if you have an auto loan.

To obtain the quotes, contact the dealerships and tell them that you are interested in buying a car there but want a fair price for your trade-in.

They might give you a trade-in estimate based on the description of your car’s condition. Nonetheless, most dealers will only give a firm trade-in quote for a vehicle they have personally inspected.

As such, you will need to schedule several meetings with various used-car managers so they can evaluate the vehicle.

4. Choose an Offer

Compare the various offers you will get from the used-car managers to see where you will get the best deal.

This is not as simple as it might sound since you will be offered various vehicles for your trade-in, regardless of the one you had in mind. Put that into consideration and be willing to be flexible.

5. Negotiate

There is no other way to put this, the salesperson is always trying to lowball you. Thus, even if you have done excellent research and you have the car looking as good as new, you need to know how to negotiate a good deal for yourself.

Therefore, even if you are interested in a particular offer, it would benefit you to act like you aren’t that keen. Tell the salesperson that you are just looking at what options you have.

This will force them to try and get you to sell, thus increasing your bargaining edge.

When you finally start negotiating, express yourself in a way that lets the salesperson know that you have done your homework and you know what your car is worth.

Also, do not forget to let them know about all the bells and whistles your car comes with.

Locking in a Good Trade-In Bargain

Selling your car can be an incredibly taxing process. This is why most people often settle for the first offers they get so as to avoid all the hassle.

However, sparing a few dollars and a sunny afternoon to do your research can allow you to save a pretty penny.

Consider utilizing the tips above to get a good trade-in deal.


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