Trading In Your Car? Here’s What You Need To Know



Trading In Your Car? Here’s What You Need To Know

One of the major hurdles you may encounter while selling your car is the trade-in process. While dealers see your car as just another manageable unit, you have a personal connection. You want the trade-in to be fair and here is how you can make sure you get a fair trade-in value.

Start – But Don’t Stop – With Online Research

Are you confused about the ideal trade-in value for your car? All you need to do is some research. Online research is a good starting point. But remember that the value you find here is not final and can only act as a guideline. You will find numerous sites that offer different trade-in values for your car. What matters is the type of transaction and the condition of your car.

Be Realistic About Your Car’s Condition

Avoid exaggerating the condition of your car. Dealers expect a car to be well maintained and have records for service history. Having a complete service history may get you a better value for a trade-in, while no maintenance records will simply devalue your car. A trade-in can be successful if your car is in “excellent” condition. Sadly, it is estimated that only 3% of cars meet this criterion. What qualifies for “good” condition?

  • Shiny, recently waxed paint

  • Absence of interior odor, major scratches and dents

  • Clean seats and carpets with no stains

  • The leather or cloth is not torn

  • Tires are relatively new and have over 50 percent of the tread remaining

  • Up-to-date service history and no mechanical problems

Do you think you can say “yes” to all the above points? If not, your car is probably in ‘’fair’’ condition.

Owing Money On The Car

Do you owe money on the car you are planning to trade-in? If yes, then that balance is in no way connected to your car’s trade-in value. Most often, car owners owe more money than the car’s worth. The dealers will still accept your car but the amount offered may be less than the money you owe for the loan. You may have to pay the difference or carry over the outstanding amount into a new loan.

What The Dealers Are Trying To Do

Every dealership owner wants proper management of his/her money. The manager, therefore, tries to offer a fair trade-in price depending on what the dealership gains from purchasing your car. The popularity of the car’s brand, fuel economy and the local supply are some of the factors that are considered by the dealer. These factors influence your trade-in value significantly and are not necessarily included in the numbers you see on the web.

Have An Open Mind

There might be a stage in the trade-in process when you feel that the dealer is not offering you a fair value. This is when negotiations get stalled and frustration can set in. Talk to the dealer about how he/she offered that figure. Back up your talks with research data and have an open conversation with the dealer. This will help you get a good deal for your car.

Selling off a car as a trade-in can often leave you confused about what a fair price may be. Doing some good research will help you gain insight into the process and the amount you can expect. You will also need to understand the dealer’s perspective and have your car in fairly good condition.


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