Trade-In Strategies: Getting the Most Out of Your Old Car

Did you know that you can reduce your new car sales tax by trading in your old vehicle? You also reduce your financing needs, reducing the interest you pay over the life of your loan and your monthly payment amount. Finally, your trade-in can reduce your required down payment. Therefore, these are some tips for getting the most out of your trade-in.

Wash, Polish, and Detail Your Vehicle

If you plan to trade your existing vehicle in for a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM for sale, you should make your vehicle look and smell its best. Therefore, spend some time washing your car. Then, polish your vehicle to remove oxidation and scratches and make the paint and lights look great. Add wax to protect the paint.

Remember to wash both the inside and outside of your vehicle’s windows. Vacuum your car. Then, remove any stains on the upholstery. Have your vents cleaned, treat your leather, and wash your steering wheel, doors and handles thoroughly.

Gather Your Paperwork

You should have records of all your vehicle maintenance. Gather these records and any outstanding service contracts. Collect the names of the mechanics who worked on your car. You can also pull your vehicle history report.

Fix Any Known Problems

It doesn’t cost a lot to fix dents, dings, and scratches on your vehicle. Replace any lights that are burned out. Also, look for recalls and get them fixed. If you have any minor mechanical problems, get them fixed. If the vehicle has any major issues, disclose these to the dealership when you negotiate your trade-in value.

Research Your Car’s Value

You should understand the value of your trade-in. Consult Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and other resources to determine your car’s value. Look at current sales based on the condition of your car. Remember that your trade-in value will be lower than your direct sales value.

Compare Available for Trade-In Values

Different dealerships may offer different values for your trade-in. They may have different promotions or deals going at various points during the year. Shop around so you get a competitive trade-in value. You can also check online purchasers, such as Carvana or CarMax.

Negotiate Your Trade-In Separate From Your Purchase

Before you trade in your car, gather quotes from other local dealerships and online buyers. Use these figures to get the best value. Also, negotiate this value separately from your new car purchase. Do not combine these two transactions into a single deal. Then, get the offer in writing.

Choose Your Timing Carefully

At some points during the year, your vehicle will be worth more money. For example, dealerships tend to reduce costs for new vehicles so they can get stock of the following year’s models, which means that they may offer more for your trade-in. In addition, if you have a convertible, you will likely get more during the late spring and summer than during the winter. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, consider trying to trade it in during the late fall or early winter months.

Prepare for Your New Vehicle Purchase

Do the work. Spend a little time and money making your vehicle look and run its best. Then, you can make that new vehicle more affordable.