How to Maximize Your Trade-In Value

May 5th, 2021 by

Trading in your current vehicle is an excellent, effective way to get your next vehicle at a reduced price. Most car dealerships offer options for vehicle trade-ins. When you trade-in your current vehicle, all you have to do is fill out some paperwork and drop your vehicle off at your local car dealership. The dealership will appraise the vehicle for its trade-in value, make you an offer, and knock the value of the traded-in vehicle off the purchase price of the new vehicle you want to buy. 

Negotiation is common when trading in your vehicle. You are not required to accept the first offer a car dealership makes on your vehicle. There are many simple steps you can take to heighten your leverage for negotiations and maximize the trade-in value of your vehicle. 

  1. Increase Curb Appeal 

Car dealerships value dirty and scratched vehicles much less than they value clean vehicles that look nice and new inside and out. Increasing the curb appeal of your current vehicle before you attempt to trade it in can go a long way when it comes to maximizing the trade-in value of your vehicle. 

You should consider getting your vehicle detailed and having its exterior and interior thoroughly and professionally cleaned before attempting to trade it in at a car dealership. It might seem silly to spruce up the appearance of a vehicle that you’re planning to trade-in for a new model in the near future, but taking the time and making the effort to improve the curb appeal of your vehicle can pay off when it comes time to trade in your current model. 

  1. Visit Multiple Dealerships 

Do not accept the first offer you get from a car dealership representative—even if it seems like a fair offer. Instead, visit multiple dealerships—ideally, you should visit at least three dealerships before accepting an offer—and get quotes from all of the dealerships you visit. 

This tactic of visiting multiple dealerships allows you to see if certain dealerships offer you more for your vehicle than others. Also, getting quotes from multiple dealerships allows you to leverage higher quotes at other dealerships to potentially get a higher offer for your trade-in vehicle.

  1. Get Estimates for Repairs 

If your car is in need of any repairs or part replacements, the car dealership where you trade it in will deduct the cost of those repairs from the value of your trade-in vehicle. 

However, many dealerships overestimate the cost of certain repairs and offer you less money than your vehicle is really worth. Before you head to a local car dealership to attempt to trade in your current vehicle, get professional estimates on the repairs that need to be performed on your car. Present these estimates to the car dealership where you want to trade in your car if they offer you too little for your vehicle because it needs repairs. 

  1. Do Your Own Research 

If you have no idea how much your current vehicle is worth, you won’t have very much leverage when it comes to negotiating with representatives from car dealerships in order to secure the highest trade-in price for your vehicle. 

Before you go to a car dealership to negotiate to trade in your vehicle, check online pricing guides and online retailers for used vehicles to determine approximately how much your vehicle is worth. If a car dealership offers you too little, you can cite these sources to show the dealership representative that you are knowledgeable about your vehicle and its true value. 

  1. Be Ready to Negotiate 

It is common for many drivers to feel too shy or self-conscious to attempt to negotiate the value of their trade-in vehicle. Don’t let any fears or hesitations you may have about haggling get in the way of you getting the best possible price for your trade-in vehicle from a car dealership. 

Negotiating the value of your trade-in vehicle is expected by car dealerships. Do not feel pressured to accept a car dealership representative’s first offer, even if they seem annoyed by your attempts to haggle. If you are armed with the right knowledge about your vehicle and its approximate value, you will feel much more confident about negotiating with representatives from car dealerships instead of backing down the first time you receive an offer. Value your trade today!

Posted in Tips