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Tips for Trading in your Vehicle

Tips for Trading in your Vehicle
 
Many car buyers are willing to trade in their old vehicle when they’re looking for a new one. However, there are plenty of consumers who aren’t aware of what a fair trade-in is, and what they should do beforehand to make their vehicle more attractive.  Let’s talk…
 
Research
 
One of the best things you can do for yourself before stepping into a dealership is to do some online research. There’s no excuse for not looking at similar vehicles beforehand to help gauge the market. This gives you a good price point to negotiate from.
 
While you’re doing your homework, find some clues as to overall demand for your particular vehicle. If people appear to be purchasing cars similar to yours online, you can probably expect to get better value than cars that others are not so keen on.  Supply and demand.
 
Clean 
 
Have your vehicle looking nice so it’s presentable to the dealer. First impressions count, a dealer may naturally assume that a vehicle that isn’t maintained inside and out may also have been neglected under the hood or in other not-so-easy to check areas. You should start by washing and waxing it beforehand and removing any personal belongings you may have in it. Don’t forget to double check that you didn’t forget anything, as many customers tend to lose important items such as umbrellas or sunglasses.
 
Remember to fix any damages to the car such as cracks or dents. It may seem like you’re just losing money, but if the damage is obvious, then fixing it up can be a smart move.
 
Finally, vacuum and remove any odours from the vehicle, especially if you smoke and/or own a pet that’s been inside the car. A bad smell can be a big turnoff for a dealer, and they will be less likely to make you an offer that you’ll be satisfied with.
 
Car cleaning before trading in your car
 
Time of Year
 
Unless you’re desperate for a new vehicle, try and trade-in when the weather is suitable for your car. Convertibles often sell best in the spring/summer, while big SUVs typically do better in the fall/winter. If the dealer is understocked, they’ll be sure to make you a solid offer for your vehicle.  Remember… supply-demand.
 
Be Honest
 
If you know there are problems with the vehicle, don’t try hiding them from the dealer. Not only is this wrong from a moral standpoint, but you’ll also annoy the dealer when they find out, which may result in a lower offer.  In fact, showing a dealer repair/maintenance receipts shows them you cared for the vehicle – see tip #2 about first impressions.
 
All dealerships access a vehicle’s history reports before they finalize any transaction, so there’s almost zero chance that you’ll be able to hide something from them.  Be up front, everyone prefers dealing with someone who is up front and honest with them.  We’re all human.
 
Documentation
 
Typically, the more files and papers you have to show the dealer, the better.  Maintenance records will prove you’ve taken good care of your vehicle, and that it’s not likely to break down in the near future. You’ll be able to command a higher price if your records show that your car was serviced on a regular basis.
 
 
Conclusion
 
Having a clean, sharp looking vehicle can benefit both you and the dealership. You’ll typically get more for your car as a result – and the dealer can acquire a vehicle that they can sell quickly. Win-win.