4 Ways To Increase Your Car's Trade-In Value

Buying a new car is exciting, but one part of the process often presents people with difficulties: the trade-in. Many car shoppers are confused by the trade-in process because they think that dealers will offer them a low figure, but the article below can help you become better informed. With our list of tips for trade-ins, you can get the most money possible for an old car before you buy a newer model.

Wash it Up…

Regardless of your car's make, model or year, you can increase your trade-in value just by cleaning it up. Before trading it in, spend a bit of time (and money) getting it cleaned up. Vacuum the interior thoroughly, wash the wheels, shine the tires and do everything you can to make it presentable; if you're not sure how to clean your car thoroughly, consider taking it to a professional detailer.

…But Don't Completely Clean it Out

It may seem counterintuitive, but it's not a smart move to arrive at the dealership with the trade-in vehicle completely cleaned of personal belongings and papers. The dealer will want to test-drive your car, and they'll note that it's empty. This may give them an advantage during negotiations, because it shows them that you are ready to move on to your next vehicle. Take our advice: Even if you're anxious to buy a new car, don't let the dealer know it. Leave a few of your belongings in the car, so you can tell the dealer that you're "still thinking about" your decision.

Get Dents Repaired

A car dealer can use minor dents as a way of explaining away a lowball offer. To avoid receiving a low offer for your trade-in, you should get minor dings fixed before going to the dealership. Repairs are not as costly as you may think; many companies can do a "paintless" repair for significantly less than a body shop would charge, making it a quick and inexpensive way to increase a car's trade-in value.

Make Minor Fixes

Although you might have learned to tolerate a stuck window or a sagging headliner, a prospective buyer won't want a car with such nagging issues. Minor problems can drive your trade-in value down, because the dealer will have to pay to repair them before putting the car up for sale. Our tip: Set aside a small amount of money to address obvious issues before trading in your car. For instance, headliner repair can convince the dealer that you've maintained your car properly.

The car buying process can be intimidating, especially if you're negotiating with a dealer on a trade-in. To boost the car's value, clean it up, fix minor dents and scratches, and take care of minor mechanical or functional issues. You may see it as an unnecessary expense and a hassle, but your wallet will thank you when you're done. Contact a local dealer, like J & J Auto Sales, to find out what your old car is worth.