Selling your old vehicle to a dealer has several benefits; they assume complete responsibility and you can even apply the trade-in amount towards the down payment on your next vehicle, reducing the amount you need to finance. Although some aspects of your vehicle are uncontrollable, like the mileage or age, there are several things you can do to maximize the value of your trade-in.
First Impressions Count
Don't bring your vehicle into the dealership covered in dirt and grime; it's doesn't give off a first good impression. Instead, get your vehicle professionally washed by spending a little money or make it a DIY project. Make sure the body, bumper and windows are polished and the door frames, wheel wells and trunk edges are spotless. Add a little extra touch by waxing the exterior and restoring the shine.
Recondition the Interior
The inside of your vehicle is just as important as the outside. Make sure it's presentable by cleaning the interior; this will indicate signs of care and commitment. Get rid of unnecessary items and unwanted crumbs by vacuuming the upholstery (making sure you get between the crevasses) and the floor mats. Remove dust and dirt with a micro-fibre cloth and spray along the dash and surfaces. Again, you can spend a little money to get the inside detailed by a professional to make sure those tough stains are gone.
Fix Minor Dents
Help increase the value of your trade-in by repairing minor damages. Slight dents and dings can be repaired by a paintless dent repair professional whereas scratches can be buffered out or repainted. If there is extensive damage that is too costly to repair, get a written estimate of the cost and use it towards your negotiation.
Fix Minor Problems
Set a small budget to fix minor, affordable problems before your trade-in appraisal. This could result in hundreds of dollars towards the total value of your vehicle. Items such as broken light bulbs, windshield cracks or chips, a battery replacement for the key fob, etc. is an easy fix and should be repaired beforehand. Other serious damages should be noted for the dealer to take care of.
Consider your Tires
Before your trade-in appraisal; make sure your existing tires are in good condition. If there is absolutely no tread remaining and overall look run-down, it's a good idea to buy an inexpensive set. By doing so, you can put this purchase towards negotiations with the dealer. Not only should you be aware of how much tread is left, you should also be checking your tires for any "curb rash". Curb rash is when your wheel scrapes against the edge of the curb, resulting in cosmetic damage. Lastly, your tires should be clean; get rid of any dust or dirt to upkeep the vehicle's appearance.
Provide your Service Records
Presenting your service records during an appraisal will show the dealer you've taken good care of your vehicle and serviced it through a credible source. Easily print out your records if you've taken it to a dealership for its routine maintenance. If you have any extended warranties, notify the dealer during your appraisal; it may be transferable and add value.
Although there are varying reasons as to why a dealership may offer a particular amount when a trade-in appraisal is conducted, following these six easy steps may help you get a greater deal. Set a good impression and establish your vehicle integrity high by offering the dealer a well-cared for trade-in.