When deciding to purchase a new or new-to-you car, many consumers depend on the trade-in value of their current vehicle to help pay for the new vehicle. It can be disappointing to be informed that your car is not worth what you had anticipated.
Education is the best tool when purchasing a new vehicle and when trading in your older vehicle. When consumers understand the evaluation process of the trade-in from a dealer’s perspective, it will help them get more value from their used car.
It Pays to Maintain
Ensuring that your vehicle has been properly serviced at all of the recommended intervals published by the manufacturer of the vehicle can significantly increase the value of your trade-in.
Not only maintaining the vehicle, but also having a detailed record of service history on-hand when you make your trade can raise the value as well.
Appearance and cleanliness are critical parts of the evaluation process, so have the vehicle washed and the interior vacuumed and polished. If the vehicle appears thoroughly clean, you can get more money for your vehicle.
It’s also important to make sure the body of the vehicle is in good shape, If there are any dents, dings or scratches larger than the size of a standard credit card on the exterior of the vehicle, then they should be repaired prior to trading it in to increase the value.
Education is Key
A mistake that some consumers may make is not knowing the value of their vehicle at trade-in time. Without knowing the value, negotiation is pointless, and the dealer may not see the reasoning for the price a customer has decided the vehicle is worth.
Using third-party valuation sites can be helpful, but you as the consumer must be objective. Selecting “excellent condition” when the car may just be in “good condition” doesn’t give you an accurate estimate, and disappointment will soon follow when you’re not offered the amount you think you deserve. If unsure of the actual condition and quality of your car, try to look at it as if it doesn’t belong to you and read the descriptions given by the third-party sites.
It’s also easy to choose to value the vehicle at ‘retail value,’ but if you’re trading in a vehicle that most accurate value to look for are the ‘trade-in’ and ‘wholesale’ values.
The windshield and tires of your vehicle can be a significant factor when it comes to determining the value of your car as well. Make sure that your tires are in good condition and there are no cracks in your windshield.
Last Bit of Housekeeping
It is important to bring two sets of keys for the vehicle, the manuals that it came with and the floor mats. These all increase the value and convenience for the next person that purchases your vehicle.
Purchasing a new car can be a big decision and investment, so make it worth your while by taking care of the car you currently own, knowing that you will one day trade it in for a new one.
The used car appraisers at Buckeye Honda and Buckeye Toyota of Lancaster have over 50 years of combined experience evaluating trade-ins and giving customers a fair-deal. If you are interested in what your vehicle is worth, bring it by and let us take a look at it. We can provide you with a condition report and a cash price offer to purchase on the spot.