Getting the Most for Your Trade-in

Written by: Mike Valles

Buying the car you want could dazzle your eyes enough that you really do not pay attention to how much you are going to get for your trade-in. Dealers hope to quickly give you a figure you’ll agree with, but you need to be aware that they are probably going to try and get some of their money back by giving you as little as they can for it. By being prepared, you can come away with a deal that will give you the most for your trade-in.

Before trying to get what it’s worth, remember that you do need to give enough leeway to a dealer so that they can clean it up and still make a profit on your trade-in. This means that they are not going to give you what it is actually worth, so you will need to be willing to take a couple hundred less.

Determine the Value of Your Trade-in

You can easily determine the value of your trade-in online by looking at the Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds, says AutoTempest.com. See what others are selling the same kind of car for, and take into consideration any differences in the condition and special options your car has that would make the price more or less. You also want to be sure to find a similar car in your area, because prices vary based on the area.

Cars.com says you need to know that a dealer will often make a greater profit on a used car than on a new one. However, to get even more, you may want to sell it at another dealer, or consider buying your new car at the same kind of car dealer as your used car (trade-in a Chevy at a Chevy dealer, etc.) – where you could probably get more for it.

Keep Your Transactions Separate

When you have a trade-in, Kiplinger.com suggests that you keep each part of the transaction separate. They suggest that you do not even mention the trade-in until you have secured a good deal on the car you are buying. This step will prevent them from charging a higher interest rate or from offering a lower trade-in value. Also, be sure to get the price of your new car in writing before you begin to discuss the trade-in and what you will get for it.

Make Sure It Looks Good on the Outside

A dealer knows that people will largely decide whether or not to buy a car based on its appearance. This means that you can get more money for your used car if it is clean and looks good when they first see it. If it needs any repairs, ConsumerReports.com suggests that you get actual estimates from mechanics to take with you to prove that the repairs are not apt to cost as much as the dealer will tell you that it will cost. A used car dealer is apt to give you more for your car than a new car dealer will.

With a little work and haggling, you can get the most for your trade-in. There is no need to simply try to unload it as fast as you can. Take a little time and get more for it, and you’ll be glad you did.


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Getting the Most for Your Trade-in

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