If you’ve decided to trade in your used car to help you afford a new one, there are a number of steps that you can take to help to you get the best deal from the car dealership. Here’s how to do it.
Stage Your Car
It is sometimes advised to take your car as it is to the dealer. They should be able to tell whether or not it’s in good shape. However, some people think a deep clean will reflect better on how well you have treated the car, potentially netting you more to spend on your new car, alongside your car finance.
Stage it. Take all the junk out of the car. Have it washed, waxed, and vacuumed, because the dealer will walk all around and determine the value based on what you bring in. Clean the engine too, so there’s no grime when the hood is popped.
Fix The Dings
Get any small, exterior dings fixed. You want to make the car look as new as possible. This only matters for cars with less than 50,000 miles on the clock, as vehicles with a high mileage usually go to auction, where the appearance matters less.
Have Receipts Ready
You should always keep records and receipts. When you want to trade your car, you can the dealer receipts for any purchases or repair work done on the car. If the dealer has any questions about the condition of an engine part, you can back yourself up with a receipt. Receipts show that you took care of the car.
Do Some Competitive Research
Another important thing to do before you take your car to the dealer is to do your homework. Visit a few different websites and check the value of cars similar to yours with the same milage. Keep an eye on eCommerce sites to see what your car would reach at auction. Print out this information. It’s likely that the first offer a dealer makes you will be low. You can counter-offer with a higher offer, with the paperwork to back that up.
Look For Promotions
Keep in mind that the offer a dealership gives you for a trade-in can be impacted by lots of different things, including how likely your car is to sell, and what other car they currently have in stock. Look out for a dealer who might offer special promotions with trade-ins, or visit towards the end of the month, when quotas need to be met. Get quotes from multiple dealers to get the best deal.
Going into the dealership with all your receipts and research on the market value of your car can help you get a price for your trade-in up front. You might be able to make a deal straight away. This gets any haggling out of the way, and allows you to focus on your main goal instead: finding the new car that you want to buy to replace your current one.