Be prepared to get low ball offer for your trade in. In a dealer’s eyes your trade is always “rough”. You will need to negotiate hard your trade value and not just rely on NADA trade values. Take what you can get and fight for what you want. Always be prepared to walk away. Here are a few tips on how to get the most money for your trade in.
Keep in mind that if your trade is paid off, you always have the options of selling it yourself and getting a little more for it. I always leave my trade in value discussion until after I have negotiated the purchase price of the vehicle I am considering that way the waters don’t get muddy and the lines are not blurry about the actual value of what you are buying and the credit you are getting for your trade. With all that said here are some other good tips on getting the most for your trade in.
Start prepping NOW to get the best offer on your trade in!
For starters, if you are considering trading in your current vehicle, perception is everything. A clean and well maintained car will always bring a better trade in value. This doesn’t mean go overboard and spend $300 on a full detail and buff it out. A good old fashion wash and vacuum will go a long way and maybe a nice wiped down of the dash, doors and interior trim. The dealer will look at your trade inside and out, they will likely be pretty quick about it. When it comes to a trade in car, a dirty car means a rough trade value, plain and simple. Remember perception is everything!
Get your preventive maintenance done to help get the best money for your trade
You wouldn’t want to buy something that needed serving, so don’t trade it in like that. If your trade in is due for and oil change or routine maintenance go ahead and get it done, including a new air filter. Believe it or not this is one of my first things I look at when inspecting a used car, the engine air filter. A dirty air filter shows that the maintenance was not fully performed. If you have tires that are unsafe or worn down to nothing, get them replaced, at the very minimal toss some used tires on. Dealers often expect to have to put a couple tires on and will factor that into their trade offer but there’s no need to give them any ammo to offer you any less than they already are.
If you are considering trading in a car that doesn’t run or needs to be towed in be ready for a VERY low value. Sometimes it’s worth getting it running so you can drive it in. Something that isn’t running is usually looked at as scrap. Perception is everything.
I think you all get my point about the perception of a trade in. Dealers are usually very picky about which trades they keep to resell and normally have other used car dealers come buy them on the cheap but they still want to make a few bucks on them. With all this said I am sure you get the point. You are not going to get as much as you want nor as much as NADA or KBB tells you but there are things you can do to maximize the most money for your trade in!
I do hope theses tips on how to get the most money for your trade in has help you. If it helps let me know, if you have something to add, let me know that too! If I can help you with your next vehicle purchase I am more than happy to just send me a message!