Is trading in your car worth it?
We think it is! Of course we’d say that, because we want your pre-owned car. But seriously, though. Not only does trading in your vehicle let you skip the long drawn-out process of finding a private buyer, but there’s actually a lot you can do beforehand to increase your car’s trade-in value and get yourself a better deal. If you’re thinking about doing a trade-in, here’s what you need to know.
Be Prepared Before You Trade
The #1 best thing you can do is simple – know your car’s worth! Before you trade in your vehicle, take advantage of our Black Book® market value calculator. (You can find it right here!) Black Book® is the independent service that dealers use every day to price trades – be honest about your vehicle’s condition, and you’ll know exactly what you’re starting out with.
Once you’ve gotten your baseline trade offer online, you can use the same tool to figure out which repairs are worth doing to improve your car’s value. For instance, paying for a $50 paintless dent removal job can often add hundreds of dollars to your car’s calculated value.
Always clean your car thoroughly, inside and out, before trading it in. (See: how to remove bumper stickers without leaving a residue, how to clean cloth and leather car seats at home.)
Finally, make sure to bring all the maintenance records you have. Keeping a record so you can prove your car is up-to-date on maintenance will generally get you a better offer than bringing in a well-maintained car without complete records.