Trading in your car can feel like a daunting task. The negotiating. The excuses. And on top of that, the price you want and the price the dealer is offering are rarely the same. It’s hard to really know what to look for when you bring your car in to be appraised. Stress no more. We’ve put together a few key tips for getting a better bid on your trade in. Hopefully once you read through what we have to say, you’ll get a better perspective on the industry and inside the minds of the folks appraising your car.
Visible Damage and Imperfections
The walk-around is the first impression of the vehicle. Any paint chips, dents, and tire or body damages are noted here. And we’ll be honest, that can add up. When you go to check the book value of your car online, it’s best to be brutally honest about the condition of your vehicle, so as not to get your hopes up too high, or sell yourself short. Make sure to get any minor scratches, curb rash, and dents repaired. Often times this is a relatively easy and cheap fix, and it’ll come back to reward you on the trade-in appraisal.
Sure, we all know that the dealer can repair any imperfections or do any maintenance for much cheaper than we can. But that can be costly to the dealer as well. Maintenance that is needed for a specific trade in can quickly become a money pit for the dealer. Keeping up-to-date on services that are needed could help you out in the long run when you go to trade in your vehicle.
An accident free history is a huge plus as well. This means limited risk when it comes to any future problems with the vehicle. That being said, that doesn’t mean a past accident is the end of your car’s value. Having it fixed professionally and restored with quality parts is key to keeping that value high.
Dealerships need to acquire your car and then sell it again as quickly as possible. The more relevant and in demand you car is, the better the deal. Small cars with 4 or 6 cylinders tend to be much more popular, in general. While dealerships often take all makes and models, you’re likely to get a better offer with a vehicle that makes sense for the market you are in. Seasons and trends all have an impact on the outcome of the market potential. So if you’re looking to trade in that convertible, you’re likely to get a better offer in the warmer months rather than in the dead of winter.
All-in-all, you have some options when it comes to your car’s value. By keeping up on services, repairing minor dents, and finding an advantageous time to trade, your car (and your wallet) will be in a better position when it comes time to trade in. Hopefully the next time you go to upgrade your vehicle, you can see your numbers going up.