Using your old car as leverage to buy a newer vehicle can be a smart financial move. When it comes to selling your vehicle, you have two options: trade in to buy a newer one, or sell it to a private party for cash. If you’re thinking about trading your car in, it’s good to know factors the dealers will use to assess its value. Here are three questions a dealership will ask you about your car, and how you can get more money on your trade.
What’s Your Mileage?
If you’ve held onto your car for a while, you probably have some serious miles on the odometer. This could affect the value of your vehicle, even if most of your miles are “highway miles.” Here’s the thing…when you trade in your car, a mile is still a mile, no matter where you’ve driven it.
So, how do you get your mileage to help your trade-in? Unfortunately, you can’t turn back the clock on miles. Instead, consider trading in your vehicle before it has too many miles on it. And if that’s not an option, make sure the other two factors on our list are in your favor.
What Condition is Your Car In?
Most dealerships consider the condition of your vehicle to be just as important as your mileage. An unreliable vehicle with 25,000 miles can have less value than a reliable vehicle with 75,000 miles.
To get an idea of the condition of your car, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has my vehicle been an in accident? Most dealerships prefer to buy vehicles that are void of body damage.
- Does my car run well? Vehicles with engine and/or transmission issues are harder to trade in.
- Is the inside of my car damaged or dirty?
- When was the last time I got an oil change?
Dealerships perform a multiple point inspection to identify any problems with your vehicle. The more problems they find, the less money they’ll give you on your trade. So, before you get to the dealership:
- Remove all personal items
- Know the value of your vehicle using Kelley Blue Book
- Clean and repair the inside, and outside of your car.
What Options Does Your Vehicle Have?
Customizing your vehicle is a great way to express yourself. However, when it comes to trade-in time, the dealership may give you less money for your customized vehicle. Your best solution is to remove all custom features and return your vehicle to its original condition. If you can’t remove those features, seek out dealerships that look for those types of vehicles or sell to a private party.
Before You Trade Your Car In, Do Your Research!
You have the option to sell your vehicle to a private party and possibly get more money than if you traded-in your vehicle to the dealer. Selling to a private party comes with its own issues, such as your safety, bad checks and the time required to get your car ready to be sold.
Save yourself time. Use our online valuation tool, so you understand the estimated value of your vehicle you are trading in.
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