Trade-In Essentials: How To Get The Best Deal For Your Used Car

Trading in your car for a newer model is convenient, fast and, hopefully, a smooth process. But you don’t always get good value. This guide will show you how to get the most out of a trade-in, and reduce the risks.

Triumph Herald 1200 cabriolet

Set A Budget

Have a budget for your new car in mind before trading in your old one. Although trade-ins can offset the costs, you may be disappointed by the valuation of your old vehicle. The reason is simple. Dealers are business people, and like all business people, they like to offer the lowest price possible.

If you have a budget in mind first, then anything your car makes can be seen as a bonus. You can then use this to pay off your tax and insurance, or maybe pay for some upgrades.

Know Your Car

The value of your car is based on a number of conditions. The make, model, year and miles traveled will all go towards an initial valuation. Then a dealer will look at its condition and adjust accordingly.

It is essential that you have a rough idea of what the car is worth before approaching a dealer. They will offer you a price far lower than it is worth, and it is up to you to raise your own bar. You cannot do this without knowing what you are talking about, so make sure you do your research thoroughly.

Consider Repairs

Simple repairs can add value to your resale price, but you need to work out if it will be worth it in the long run. A paint job, for example, can make your car look great on the outside but it is expensive to have done, and a resale may not cover those costs.

Covering over scratches, attending to minor dents, and even washing and waxing – inside and out – can work better for you.

Find A Dealer

Ask friends and family if they have good experiences with a particular auto trader. Word of mouth is always the best way of getting recommendations.

Bear in mind that if you want a particular make of car, you aren’t always restricted by what they will accept as a trade-in. Smith Chevy Land, for example, will let you trade any make of car to put towards a Chevrolet. You can find out how this process works and see more at

Never Take Your First Offer

You want to build up a list of prices, so shop around for the best value. Get official quotes so that you can show the next dealer what somebody else has offered.

Some dealers will throw in extras on top of a discounted new model, so bear in mind that you will need to work out the value of those before making your decision.

To Finish

Dealers only want to pay the lowest possible amount, but they also want your business. You should be able to get a fair price for your vehicle, but only if you put in the effort beforehand.

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