How to Get a Good Deal on Your Trade-In Car

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    New and used vehicles are not always the most affordable items, and smart shoppers are always looking for the best possible deal. You can save a bundle on a new-to-you car by trading in your current vehicle to a dealership.
    If you are looking to trade in your car for a new or used vehicle, there are few simple tips you can follow to get the best deal:

    Do Your Research on Trade-in Values

    Before you step foot into a dealership, you should know how much your vehicle is worth. Vehicle valuation providers, such as Kelley Blue Book, can provide you with a range of prices for your vehicle make, model, and model year based on overall vehicle condition (fair, good, very good, and excellent).
    Logically, a vehicle in better condition will have a higher trade-in value. Vehicle mileage will also impact your trade-in value. A higher-mileage vehicle will be valued at a lower price than a vehicle with fewer miles. Finally, your location can also impact your trade-in value. Some vehicles sell better in certain regions than others, such as trucks in the Midwest or compact cars in urban centers.

    Shop Around for the Best Deal

    When you're looking to trade in your vehicle, one of the smartest things you can do is shop around. Go to several dealerships and ask them for the trade-in value for your vehicle. If one dealer is offering a much lower price than the others, it may not be worth negotiating with them. And remember, the offer for your vehicle is just an offer and is negotiable.

    Clean and Detail Your Trade-in Car

    The better your trade-in car looks, the better the deal you will be offered. Spending under $200 for a detailing service can result in higher offers overall. If you are a smoker, the smell of cigarettes can linger in the vehicle even after a cleaning. This can strongly reduce your car's trade-in value. It is recommended to never smoke in your vehicle, especially if you are going to trade it in.

    Reduce the Impact of Aftermarket Parts

    If you purchased and installed any aftermarket parts on your vehicle, such as custom rims or trim accessories, or if your vehicle is painted a unique color, your overall trade-in value may be negatively impacted. While these additions can be expensive, selling a customized vehicle is more difficult for a dealership as they must locate the right buyer.
    Because of this, a dealership may be hesitant to purchase such a vehicle and may offer you a lower trade-in value than you anticipated. By replacing these parts with originals, you can ensure that your vehicle is more desirable to a larger customer base.

    Avoid Making Big Repairs

    While a clean car will likely receive a higher trade-in offer, most repairs may not be worth the investment. Fixing minor problems may not be enough to convince a dealer to pay you more money, and you may end up losing out in the long run. Most dealerships have a service department or connection with a repair shop and can get a better deal on repair work, so check with the dealership on the car's value with and without major repairs to see if it’s worth the effort and cost.

    Negotiate the Final Price

    Keep in mind that you will likely be offered a higher trade-in value if you are also purchasing a vehicle from the same dealership. If a dealership knows they are making money by selling a vehicle to you, they may be willing to negotiate a higher trade-in value and/or a lower purchase price on your new vehicle.
    Getting the best value on your trade-in car can be the difference between landing the new car of your dreams or having to settle for second best. Ensure you are getting the best trade-in value for your car by taking the time and energy to do the research.

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