HOW TO GET THE BEST VALUE FOR YOUR TRADE-IN
are now about to buy a new car but you need to get rid of your old
car first. Will you sell it yourself or trade it in at a dealership?
Some car owners would do the latter because it is more convenient.
But you will get more money from your car if you sell it yourself.
That, however, will require more time and effort on your part.
With trade-in, dealers have to deduct the costs of repairing or
detailing your car before they resell it. But that doesn’t mean you
can’t get good money from this deal. Below is a quick guide to
getting the best value for your trade-in.
1) Get a ballpark figure.
How much is your car worth right now? This is the first thing you
should find out before trading in your car.
Pricing guides like
and Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) give good estimates.
But the actual value of your car can be thousands of dollars more or
less than the estimates. The value really depends on the age,
location and condition of your car. It can also be affected by the
time of year.
For instance, people would be out looking for a convertible for
summer road trips. All-wheel-drive vehicles are a need during winter
when people want their rides to have more traction on slippery
Dealerships can take your car in for a higher price when the demand
for it is high. That’s a good thing to know.
2) Prepare your car.
Cleaning, washing and repairing your car may not directly boost its
value. But first impressions last.
Do not, however, overdo it. Do some prep work on your car just to
make it presentable before dealers. But don’t spend too much on it.
Dealers can fix damages on your car or place
s for less than you can.
3) Talk to at least 3 dealerships.
Shop around for the best trade-in deal, just like when you bought
and took out a loan for that car. Contact at least three dealerships
in your area and find out how much they can give you for your car.
This is how you can keep real savings from the trade-in.
But you can’t go to just any dealership. The first dealerships you
should contact are those that sell the same nameplate that your car
has. For example, if your car is a Chevy, try trading it in at
Chevrolet dealerships first. Those dealers can offer you the best
value for your car because they won’t have to resell to it to
another dealer. The trade-in goes directly to their used car lot.
So begin by calling dealers in your area to tell them about your car
and find out whether they’ll be interested to see it.
You can also consider trading in your car at dealerships that sell
rival nameplates. You won’t get a very good deal here but it’s not
that bad. You can also stop by the car superstore, CarMax.
Here are a couple of tips on negotiating for the best price for your
- Always tell the trade-in guys that you were offered a higher
price by other dealerships. This way, they might either tell you
the maximum price they could offer or offer you a better price.
- Tell them that the car has been well maintained then try to
pitch a higher amount than what they have initially offered. Tell
them that you believe your car’s worth that price.
However, if your car is more than 5 years old or has over 75,000
miles, it’s better to sell it directly to independent used car
dealers. Otherwise, big dealerships might just give you an
unreasonably low price for your car so they can make more profit
when they resell it to smaller dealerships.