How To Get The Most Out Of Your Trade-In

When it comes to trading in your car there are some genuine tools that can help you get the most for the purchase toward a new car. You don’t want to rush into a trade, so there are some things you should know and do to get a good, fair deal. From knowing the right time to making the best deal, we’ve got some great tips to help you get the most out of your trade-in and in a new or used car for less.

1. Negotiate The New Purchase And Car Trade-In Separately

The one thing that is most important in trading a car in is to not rush into any trade-in deal. Negotiation and patience can go a long way when getting the best deal. While some commercials advertise at least $3,000 for a used car that you haul in – that’s not really the case in the final sale. Your trade-in should be kept separate from the new car sale. That way you get the most for your trade in, as well as the best price for your new car and do not lose any money or end up upside down financially.

2. Research The Car Value

The best way to know what you can expect out of a trade-in is to check out www.cars.com and find the true value of your trade-in. Alternatively, you can check this website for similar cars being sold as used. Appraisals are free and easy with cars.com, and very handy when it comes to getting the most out of your trade-in. After you’ve compared the car using these resources, you will know the high-end and low-end sale value for your trade-in. When you go to trade your car, that’s when you hit them with the high end price and realistically start negotiations.

3. Clean Up Your Car

No one wants to buy a dirty car, and that goes for dealers. You’ll want to get your car detailed or detail it yourself. Be sure to vacuum, give a good shine with interior polish, and clean out all of the compartments. You should be sure to get rid of all smoke and pet odors, too. An ozone generator at a detail shop will do just the trick. Your car should look like a car that is on a dealership lot, so washing it inside and out is crucial to a good trade-in deal.

4. Pick The Perfect Time

The time of year can honestly help you optimize your trade-in value. For instance, a four-wheel drive vehicle or SUV is going to sale better in winter months vs. a convertible or sports car. If gas prices are at a high, people won’t be likely to buy and SUV so this can be a bad time to trade one in. Also, make sure you are in a good bargaining position as well. If you owe more on the car than you will get out of a trade, you won’t get a great deal.

5. Bring Your Car Records With You

A dealer will often give you a little more on the trade if you can prove you have kept your car maintenance and up to the best driving standards. That’s why it’s always a great idea to keep records of routine maintenance and upkeep on your car.

6. Don’t Play Games With Dealers

This goes both ways. Don’t just hand over your keys, driver’s license or registration. Carry a copy of the documents with you and don’t hand over your registration until you are in the finance office. It’s usually a good idea to call ahead and tell a dealer your high end trade price first, and see how they feel about it. If the answer is “No”, you’ll know to cross this delearship off your list and move on to the next.

7. Know Your State Sale Tax

Be sure to check your state tax advantage on car sales. You can save up to $1,000. Many states will allow you to pay the sales tax on the purchase price of the new vehicle minus what the dealer is giving you for your car trade-in. That’s the glory of keeping the two transactions separate in most states. This reduction can often be as high as 11 percent.

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