Getting the Most Value Out of Your Trade-in
By: Good2GoPublished: March 23, 2015
For one reason or another, it’s time to trade in your vehicle. Whether you drive a clunker or a luxury sedan, it’s probably important to you that you get the most value out of your trade-in. Following these simple steps will get you the most cash for your vehicle.
Be Honest with Yourself
She’s served you well. From late night fast food runs to out-of-state road trips, your car has been your trusted partner. You may even be one of those people that name their car and give it a personality. We’re not judging you, but this close relationship often leads to delusions of grandeur. Chances are your 1989 Mercury Cougar doesn’t actually run like new. Start by analyzing the true condition of your vehicle. Be realistic. Car dealers are going to be looking at your car with a fresh set of eyes and will notice some things you may overlook.
Begin by writing down your vehicle’s specs. Start with simple things like make, model, year, mileage, and engine. Then move on to the car’s additional features. Does it have a CD player, power windows, or leather seats? Looking over your original sales document might be a valuable resource for this part of the process.
Start digging through that pile of unorganized papers in that unmarked box in the back corner of the basement no one dare venture to. You’re going to need some of that paperwork if you plan on trading in your car, specifically the title, registration papers, and service receipts. Service records are a great way to show that the vehicle has been properly maintained. Consistent oil changes and annual tune-ups are good indicators of the car’s true condition. If you can’t find these receipts give your mechanic a call. They should have these receipts on file.
Since we were kids we’ve been told looks don’t matter. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Unfortunately the age-old saying doesn’t apply to cars. Luckily, there are several cosmetic things you can do to get the most value out of your trade-in. If you’re the frugal type and don’t feel like hiring professionals, don’t fret, most of these are quick DIY projects.
- Replace brake and headlight lamps – This super cheap fix requires only a screwdriver and the parts themselves. And maybe a beer if so inclined. It’s also a good time to clean your headlight covers, so at night your headlights are as bright as the day you bought the car.
- Fix any dents or scratches – Often one of the first things a buyer will look for is dents and scratches. Today there are tons of professional dent removers that will remove dings for less than $100, which is a much cheaper alternative to body shops. There are cheap DIY kits available as well if you’ve got the skills.
- Replace cracked windshield – Whether it’s chipped or cracked it may be advantageous for you to replace your windshield. Buyers are known to drastically reduce a car’s value based on the condition of the windshield.
- Ensure all components are in working order – Make sure windows go up and down, radios turn on, and gauges work properly.
- Replace tires with worn treads – It’s important that your tires don’t look worn to shreds. If they are in poor condition and you don’t feel like breaking the bank, it might be best to throw on some used tires with good treads.
- Clean inside and out – A car wash and quick vacuuming can go a long way. It’s also great punishment for your rebellious teenager.
If you’re reselling your car back to a dealer it’s important not to seem desperate. Do not remove all personal artifacts before going to the dealer. This will set off an alarm in the buyer’s head that you plan on leaving without the car, which might cause them to lower their offering price.
Come Up With an Asking Price
Once you’ve collected all the paperwork, looked through service receipts, and did your part in increasing your car’s value, it’s time to come up with an asking price. Assess your situation. Do you need to get rid of the vehicle right this moment, or can you wait until you get the perfect offer? Use Kelley Blue Book as a guide to determine a starting point. You may want to place your asking price higher or lower than this estimate based on your situation. Don’t forget to give yourself some wiggle room in case negotiating intensifies!
You’ve Traded in Your Clunker
You’ve traded in your old car for a newer ride and it’s time to renew your auto insurance policy. Here at Good2Go Auto Insurance our goal is to get folks like you on the road legal for less! We offer cheap car insurance and what’s more, you can save up to 40% by simply qualifying for our driver, policy, and vehicle discounts. Concerned you won’t qualify? Don’t be! We specialize in insuring high-risk drivers for less.
Find out how you can get cheap auto insurance with a low, low down payment. Get your free quote today at Good2Go.com.