It is easier to trade in your car at a dealership than to sell it on your own. If you are still paying the loan you took to buy your current vehicle, the trading-in process becomes even more important. The trading in process is simple, but you need to perform some tweaks to get the best dollar for your car.
1. Fix Any Mechanical Problems
The value of your car is determined by the car’s physical and mechanical conditions. Granted, you need to fix any mechanical issues you know, especially those that affect the efficiency of your car. Start with the warning lights on the dash as these might drive the value down. Next, check if there are any recalls on your car model. If there are, bring the car to a dealership and have the issues addressed. Failure to fix these issues will cause the dealership to consider the time and resources it will take to fix the car when deciding the value of the car.
2. Get Quotes From Different Dealerships
Do not settle for the first deal you come across even if it sounds good. Shopping around allows you to compare prices and see where you get the most value. As you shop around, you are able to check out different new or new-to-you models for your car upgrade. Check out deals from all local dealers and then make your decision based on how these dealers value your current car and the price of the new car that you are about to buy.
3. Negotiate for Each Car Separately
It is common for dealerships to offer you a good deal on your current car, but hike the price of the new car. They do this by offering a single deal for the two cars so that you only give them some money without understanding the values of the two cars. Use an online car value calculator to estimate the value of the two cars. This will help you negotiate better when you get to the dealership. Negotiate the price of the two cars separately and then work out the difference in prices. If a dealer tries to combine the two transactions, then you know they have a better chance of making more profit.
4. Detail Your Car for the Trade-In
Just like you would stage a home for sale, your car needs to be in its best shape for the trade-in. The dealership will want to see your car clean and well-maintained. Start by cleaning the interior and then the exterior of the car and then detail it so that it looks taken care of. You also need to check if you have any receipts that show you have been taking your car for repairs and maintenance. Bring these receipts during the trade-in as they are proof of the care your car has received.
5. Time the Trade-In Based on Demand
There are times of the year when you get the best deals and others when the value of your car will be low – this will depend on the demand for certain vehicles. The weather and the season determine which cars are in demand. For instance, most people are going for all-wheel-drive SUVs during winter.
As such, you can trade-in your SUV at such a time and get the value your car deserves. You should also consider the best time to buy a car so that you can enjoy great deals on your new car. This means that you have to be patient with the trade-in.
6. Install Some Accessories and Features that Add Value
You can add a few accessories that make your car look and perform better before the trade-in. For instance, you can upgrade the seat cloth if the current one looks old and worn out. You can also go for the features, such as a forward-collision warning system if you drive an older model that doesn’t have the feature. This and other safety features make your car safer and also add value. Check out other features and upgrades you can make to offer more value to you and raise the trade-in value.
The dealership wants a car that looks well-maintained and performs efficiently. As such, inspect your car thoroughly and fix aspects of the car that would make you not buy it if you were the dealership.