If your car is in decent shape, trading it in to a dealership might be more beneficial than trying to sell it on your own. You could end up getting more money that you could use to upgrade to a newer vehicle.
But, maximizing your car’s trade-in value is important if you want to use the cash from your sale for your dream car. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a gearhead or even know much about the mechanics of your car to get the most value out of it.
Let’s cover a few tips you can use to increase your car’s trade-in value for a dealership, and what you should look for in your new ride.
Clean It Up
A little cleaning goes a long way when it comes to boosting your car’s value. A dealership isn’t going to be excited about a messy interior or exterior. It means more work for their service and detailing department, and they won’t hesitate to dock the value of your car because of it.
Make sure you “clean up” any maintenance issues ahead of time, too. Resolve any issues you know about and consider taking your car to a mechanic to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems you haven’t noticed. It might be a bit of an investment, but you’ll end up getting that money back (and more) when you go to the dealership to trade it in.
Most people trade in their vehicles when they’re ready to buy a new one. A good rule of thumb is to shop around at different dealerships ahead of time to determine who has the make and model you’re interested in as a replacement. Most dealerships will give you a good price on the car you want if you trade in your older model with them.
But, that’s only a starting point. Doing your research and shopping around for a good deal means:
- Trading it with a dealership that sells the same brand
- Looking for “loyalty” incentives or rewards
- Cross-shopping dealers
- Looking online for deals
There are plenty of stereotypes out there regarding car dealerships. Some people believe they aren’t always “up front” about what they can offer you. That’s not always true, but there are some bad apples in the bunch. By checking out different dealerships in your area and doing your research online, you’ll have a better idea of what your car is worth and who is willing to give you the most when you trade it in.
Getting the Car You Want
Once you’ve worked out a deal and traded in your car, it’s time to make the upgrade you’ve been dreaming about.
While picking out a fun car with all the bells and whistles can be tempting, consider choosing a make and model that will keep as much value as possible over the years. Many of today’s new cars have safety features that will help you to save money while keeping you and your family secure, including:
- Animal detection
- Biometric vehicle access
- Car-to-car communication
- Driver health monitoring
- Override systems
Not only will these features make your car more enjoyable to drive, but they’re the kind of things people look for when shopping for a vehicle. Once you eventually trade it in, you’ll end up getting a higher offer on it, so consider the practicality of your new vehicle as an investment in the future.
Most importantly, a new car should fit your needs in ways your trade-in didn’t. Consider your lifestyle, your budget, and how long you plan on keeping it when you’re buying something new. By taking good care of a new vehicle, you can continue the positive cycle of trading it in at its maximum value. As a result, you’ll be able to keep enjoying top-notch cars without blowing your budget for the rest of your life.