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How to Get the Most Money for Your Trade In

So you have had enough of your latest car. For whatever reason you want to buy a new car but your old one is still worth something but you are afraid that the dealer won’t offer a fair amount for your trade in. Set your worries aside, there are some things you can do to change that. Below are some simple and easy steps you can take to increase the value of your trade in.

Wash Top to Bottom

Whenever you sell your car, you can get more by simply washing it, a good, thorough clean is certain to help increase trade in value. Even if you have to spend a little money cleaning up your car, it is worth doing as also is spending a little time. When you clean your car you should wash the wheels, vacuum the entire interior, put on tire shine and other products that make your car as cleanly and pleasing to the eye as possible.

Leave your Stuff in the Car

Arriving at a dealership with an empty car is not the best idea, your personal items and papers should all still be there when the dealer takes your ride for a test drive. An empty car tells the dealer that you are eager to unload your old car and gives them the upper hand during the negotiating process. Whether you are ready or not, keep the dealer guessing so that it is easier for you to say that you are still thinking about your options.

Fix all Dents

Dealers look for and use scratches and dents as an excuse to lower the offering price. Your car will be worth more if you get rid of little things such as these before trading in and fixing dents and dings are not that expensive. Many companies will fix minor paintless body damage for fifty dollars or less which is certain to increase the value of your trade in. Scratches on the other hand are more difficult and can sometimes even require an expensive paintjob, in such cases its best to leave the scratches be. However if a simple buffing does the trick, give it a shot.

Small Repairs

Little things such as a window that doesn’t roll down and work properly or a loose ceiling cloth are things that buyers don’t want. If there is a CD stuck in your car stereo, your trade in value is certain to be effected. Fix all the small things that need fixing without spending big bucks so that the dealer does not factor in what they would have to pay for them. Fixing small, obvious problems can go a long way in increasing the value of your trade in and shows the dealer that your car has been properly cared for and maintained.

Curb Rash

At one time or another everyone has scratched their own and perhaps even someone else’s vehicle. One way that vehicles get scratched is when your wheel scrapes the edge of the curb. “Curb Rash” is very cheap to fix and there are businesses that only fix curb rash scratches, dealerships often will not sell a car that has scratched wheels and the cost of fixing curb rash by dealers decreases trade in value.


Lastly, you may want to consider putting new tires on your trade in. Even while this is generally not a suggested course of action, in some cases it may be necessary. If the tires’ thread is gone, for example, the dealer will use the fact against you in negotiating a lower price. If your car’s tires are severely worn you don’t have to buy an expensive new set of tire to increase your trade in’s value, putting a cheaper set of new tires may be worth doing prior to negotiating.


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