The Do’s And Don’ts Of Trading In Your Car

One of the biggest benefits of trading in your car is being able to purchase a new car for a lower price. This works because the trade-in value of your old car will be subtracted from the price of the new car. For example, if you want to own a new car priced at USD$ 25,000 and a dealer bought your old car for USD$ 8,000, you only have to pay USD$ 17,000 for the new car.

However, for you to make the most out of the process, you need to follow certain dos and don’ts. These are important to ensure that you get the best value for your old vehicle and the process of trading in becomes as flawless as possible. 

If you’re planning to trade in your car soon, keep in mind the following dos and don’ts:

1. Do Strive To Make A First Impression

The maxim that says, ”First impression lasts,” remains true when trading in your vehicle as the appearance of your vehicle can significantly affect a dealer’s offer. Even if your car was brought earlier this year, if it looks unkempt or poorly maintained, don’t expect to get the best offer.

Before visiting the only dealers to appraise your vehicle, ensure that your vehicle looks good. Send your vehicle to a reliable car wash to thoroughly clean the interiors and exteriors. Also, make sure that the glass of your vehicle is spotless.

2. Don’t Lose Sight Of Your Car’s Market Value

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with offers given by dealers, especially if you want to own a brand new car as soon as possible. However, you should never let emotions get in the way when you trade-in your vehicle. Talking to dealers even without knowing the market value of your vehicle will make it very challenging for you to determine which offers are reasonable. 

Never lose sight of your car’s market value when trading it in. You should take the time to research the value of your old vehicle by looking at the prices of similar models. This information will help you determine which dealer offers the best trade-in price for your vehicle. 

3. Do Make Minor Fixes

Does your car have small dents or chipped paint in certain areas?  Does the air filter require a replacement?  Is the window visor damaged?  If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, exert effort to do some minor repairs. These problems can be fixed using basic tools within minutes.

Making minor fixes will guarantee a better price as dealers can easily resell your vehicle. Vehicles with little to zero issues are always appealing to buyers, which means that dealers can easily make profits from your trade-in vehicle. 

Trading In Your Car
Young couple shaking hands after a successful car buying

4. Don’t Forget To Compare Options

Different dealerships will offer different prices on your trade-in vehicle, and saying ‘yes’ to the first dealership you come across with will prevent you from scoring the best deal. How can you appraise your vehicle for the best price possible if you already gave in to the first dealer?

When trading in your vehicle, prioritize comparing at least three different options. This can mean visiting several dealerships in your area to determine which one offers the best price for your vehicle. Sure, this might be time-consuming and daunting, but the reward—being able to buy your dream car without putting a hole in your pocket—will be worth it. 

5. Do Bring All Necessary Papers With You

The process of trading in your vehicle can become very stressful if you show up to the dealership without any document. Some dealerships won’t even accept trade-in vehicles if you can’t show proof that you legally obtained the vehicle and that you actually own the vehicle.

You can expedite the process of trading in your vehicle by preparing all of the necessary documents in advance. Generally, you need to bring the certificate of title (if you don’t have it, the dealership will provide instructions on how to replace it), the current registration, and the keys and manual of the vehicle. 

6. Don’t Over-Customize

Making your car look good is important when trading it in, but you should never go overboard. Over-customizing your vehicle, namely adding suspension, window tinting, and speakers, will only lose the marketability of your vehicle. As a result, dealers will value your vehicle for less. 

People have different preferences on their cars, and over-customizing yours will make it very challenging for dealers to resell it. For example, if you add super black tints on your vehicle before trading it in, individuals who often drive at night might not find your vehicle suitable to their lifestyles. 

A car that appeals to a smaller audience will require more effort from the dealers to resell and earn profits. This is the reason why they’ll likely appraise your vehicle for a smaller price. 

It’s Easy When You Know How- Trading In Your Car

Trading in your car can provide several benefits, but only if you follow the dos and don’ts. Visiting dealers without following any of the tips mentioned in this article will prevent you from getting the best offer. You’ll end up hurting your bank account as you purchase a new car.

If this is your first time to trade in your vehicle, use all of the information presented here as your guide. The more you know about the process, the easier it’ll be for you to score the best deals on your old car and finally drive a brand new car!

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