getting the most money for your trade-in car

Three Ways to Get the Most Money for Your Trade-In

If you are considering buying a new car, you might also be looking into trading in your current vehicle. While some vehicle owners believe private sales are better because it will result in a better sale price, trading in a vehicle offers far less hassle and less risk of costly errors. According to Consumer Reports, most people prefer to trade their vehicle in because it is easier than selling it themselves. All the paperwork, signing and financing is done in one place.

If you want to get great value out of your car without the drawn-out process of selling it yourself, it just makes sense to trade in your vehicle. Here are some ways to make the most out of your trade in.

Don’t Trade in Your Car and Shop for a New Car at the Same Time

Trading in your car is a great option for those shopping for a new or even used car, but you want to start with knowing your trade in value before going out to explore your options on a purchase.

Approach the trade in process the same way you would approach buying a new car; get several quotes before making a decision. Going to a dealership and asking for a trade in valuation well before telling them you are interested in purchasing a vehicle will take the focus off the new car purchase and emphasize the value of what you already have. It also allows you to compare estimates with other sources and negotiate with dealerships using those other offers as leverage.

Do Trade in Value Research

Do some research online as if you are looking to buy the exact model that you are trading in. What are they selling for currently? And what are the conditions of those models on the market? Knowing this information can help you compare the trade in estimates you’re receiving.

Gather all the information that you will need to calculate your own trade in vehicle’s value based on the:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Year
  • Mileage

Kelly Blue Book, AutoTrader, and Edmunds provide tools that allow you to calculate the value of your car so that you can compare it with a list of similar vehicles.

This step is crucial in determining what’s a fair offer from dealers and help you negotiate your trade in value. While the trade-in offers you receive wont exactly match the full sale price you estimate, it can help you understand where you stand in a pre-owned purchase. The amount that you trade your vehicle in for is kind of like a discount on the vehicle you eventually purchase.

Does Your Trade-in Vehicle Need a Tune up and a Shine?

If the vehicle needs work done, it will always be valued less. Big ticket items like new brakes, tires or transmission issues can cost you. Even minor inconveniences might have dealers raising eyebrows. If you did not bring the car to them in good condition they might wonder, “What else could be wrong with it?”

This is a concern for dealers when they are determining trade-in valuation. Their goal is to make a profit, and they can do that best when they can resell a traded-in vehicle that has less than 100,000 miles. If your vehicle has over 100,000 miles, they are likely to auction it, in which case you could be getting less for trade in value.

That is why it is also important to bring proof of any servicing and maintenance that you have had done on the vehicle over the years, including things like oil changes and tire rotations. A record of good care will help bolster your trade in’s valuation, regardless of mileage.

Make sure the vehicle looks presentable. Cleanliness helps dealers clearly see the value of the vehicle. Don’t put more money into the vehicle with upgrades; just make sure it is cleaned and vacuumed so it looks its best when you start shopping it around.

Ready to Trade Your Car In?

Take your vehicle into a dealership that you can trust. Easterns Automotive is always looking for trade in vehicles or pre-owned vehicles to buy, and we are happy to help our customers trade, shop and purchase a vehicle their way. We have eight locations serving Washington, DC, Baltimore and the greater Maryland and Virginia areas.

If you are ready to trade your vehicle in, bring it to one of our dealership locations and we will give you the fairest price possible. We wouldn’t be surprised if you also came across the perfect vehicle for your new purchase as well.

If you have questions about the value of your current car, truck or SUV, call us at (888) 650-4775.


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