Oct. 26, 2012
How to Get the Best Trade in Value for Your Car written by Don Elfrink for BillCutterz Money Saving Blog.
Getting the best deal possible from a dealer is vital – cutting down the amount of money you have to finance will help ensure that you’re not overpaying in interest fees. One way to reduce that amount is to put down a sizable down payment. Another important option is to trade in your vehicle. Of course, you need to know how to ensure that you get the most money possible for your trade in, or you might find that you’re only getting a pittance. Here’s how to get the best trade in value for your car.
Have Realistic Expectations
Before you get your sights set on getting thousands of dollars for your trade in from a dealer, you need to know a thing or two. No matter what you drive, no matter what condition it might be in or how rare it is, you’re not going to get as much from a dealer as you will if you were to sell it yourself. It’s a simple fact, and you need to accept it. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a low-ball offer, but it does mean you need to be realistic.
Know Your Car’s Condition
Before you head to the dealership, get yourself a copy of the Kelly Blue Book and find out what your vehicle is actually worth. Be honest with yourself about the condition of your car and determine just what it might go for through a private sale. This will help a little bit when the dealer makes an offer. If your car is in great shape and the offer a very low amount, you know you have some wiggle room.
Remember that everything about the car sales process is negotiable, from the price you pay for your car to the amount you accept for the trade in. While you can’t expect to make a lot of money, you should be able to get a decent amount if your car is in good shape. If the dealer isn’t willing to offer a fair price, don’t be afraid to walk away. At best, this will show the dealer that you know your stuff and aren’t willing to be pressured and at worst, you’ll head down to another dealership and start the process over again.
Clean, Clean, Clean
One of the most important factors that determine your car’s value to a dealer is its condition. Take the time to have the vehicle professionally detailed before setting foot on the dealer’s lot. Make sure that it’s in solid condition – you might even consider replacing those worn out tires to add to it. Remember; dealers need cars with curb appeal because they have to turn around and sell them. Make it as appealing as possible and you’ll get more out of it.
One factor that affects a dealership’s offer for your trade in is how many of the same or similar models they already have on the lot. If you’re trying to trade in a car they already have three different versions of, chances are they’re not going to be very interested. Scope out the lot before you start the buying process and see if they already have a couple of vehicles like yours. If they do, find a different dealer. You should also try to determine the demand for vehicles like yours in the general area. Vehicles with low or no demand are just going to sit on the lot, and there’s no incentive for the dealer to make you a good offer on your trade in.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to get the most money for your trade in.
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