How To Trade In Your Car

How To Trade In Your Car

If you want to save more on your next car purchase, a trade-in is definitely the way to go. Trade-ins require less paperwork and they are simple enough for new car buyers. When you trade in your old car, its value will be deducted from the sale price of the new vehicle. Below are the four main steps in a trade-in:

Find the Estimated Trade-In Value

Get some help from popular online car appraisal sites to get the estimated trade in value of your old car. These resources provide a reliable estimated pricing range so you know what to expect in the trade-in process. You’ll need to provide information about your car’s conditions, mileage, model, and make.

Try to appraise the value from multiple online resources, including trusted pricing guides like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book. Sometimes, these tools may ask you for some additional information. For these, provide the real conditions of your car and the ZIP code of your area to get an accurate trade-in price.

Get the Trade-In Estimate From Dealerships

You can ask for the trade-in estimate from the nearest dealerships as well. Before approaching them, prepare the necessary documents and your car for a proper appraisal. If your car needs repairs, get them done before inspection. The dealership will reduce repair cost from the trade-in value if you don’t repair your car before the sale.

Typically, they have a used car department with one or two car appraisers that provide accurate price quotes. Provide them with all the documents related to the title, auto loan, registration, and insurance of the vehicle. For a physical examination, avoid the weekends when the rush is high and the waiting periods are longer. Set up an appointment beforehand to save your time and get the best inspection.

Negotiate for Maximum Value

Once you get the appraisal for the vehicle’s trade-in value, you may take the offers available at the dealership or negotiate further. No matter what you choose, always make sure that the sale price and trade-in price should be aligned with the values you found on the online pricing guides. Normally, the trade-in price is a credit deducted from the negotiated or final sale price of the new vehicle.

As a buyer, you should aim to get the lowest final price in the process. Do not forget to consider the private party price of your vehicle, which may be higher than the trade-in value. In this case, you may get more by selling your car yourself instead of opting for a trade-in.

Finalize the Deal

After negotiating on all fronts, it’s time to seal the deal at the best price possible. The process is simple if you own the car outright. The trade-in value gets deducted from the sale price and balance is paid with cash or auto loan.

If the trade-in happens to be higher than the sale price of the new car, you can ask the dealership to give you this amount in writing. In some cases, the trade-in value can be greater than the balance amount of an existing auto loan. In this case, the difference will be credited to the sale price of the new car.

With all these steps, you can make the most of your car’s trade-in.