How to Maximize Your Vehicle's Trade-In
When shopping for a new vehicle, you may want to trade in your existing vehicle. Most major dealerships allow trade-ins. By trading in your existing vehicle, you'll receive a credit that you can apply towards the purchase of a new vehicle. Some dealerships, however, may give you different offers for your vehicle. To maximize your vehicle's trade-in value, consider the five following tips.
#1) Wash and Wax the Exterior
Your vehicle's aesthetics will affect its trade-in value. Like most buyers, dealerships typically offer more money for clean vehicles than dirty vehicles. Washing and waxing your vehicle's exterior will create a clean and shiny appearance that makes it more appealing to dealerships.
#2) Make Repairs
If your vehicle needs any repairs, go ahead and perform them. Maybe it has a radiator leak, or perhaps it has a worn gasket. Making the necessary repairs to your vehicle will increase its trade-in value. Even if you do the repairs yourself, you'll have to pay for the parts. With that said, it will usually pay off in the form of a higher trade-in value.
Of course, certain types of repairs may not be cost-effective. If your vehicle needs serious engine work, for instance, there's probably no point in repairing it. But for most minor repairs, performing them can increase your vehicle's trade-in value.
#3) Clean the Interior
Don't forget to clean the interior as well. Dealerships will typically inspect your vehicle's interior when making an offer. With a dirty interior, they may still offer to buy your vehicle -- but you can expect a lower trade-in value. Vacuuming and detailing your vehicle's interior, on the other hand, will maximize its trade-in value.
#4) Research Value
Before attempting to trade in your vehicle, you should research its value. There are several places where you can find the vehicle values. You can search for your make and model vehicle on Craigslist, for instance, to see how much similar vehicles are selling for. You can also use Kelly Blue Book. Kelly Blue Book offers tools and resources for finding accurate vehicle valuations.
#5) Negotiate Price Separately
When you're ready to trade in your vehicle, try to negotiate the price separately from that of the new vehicle which you intend to purchase. In other words, wait until you've received an offer from the dealership before inquiring about a new purchase. Negotiating the trade-in price separately will often allow you to get a higher offer from the dealership.