6 Things to Avoid When Trading In Your Car

Auto financing can be tricky and trading in your old car can sometimes make the process even more complicated. It is important to make sure you have everything you need before going into a dealership. However, it is also equally important to be aware of the following things that you should avoid doing when you are wanting to trade-in your vehicle for a new one.

1. Overestimating or Underestimating Your Car’s Value

Going into trade negotiations for your vehicle can be challenging, and overestimating the value of your vehicle won’t help you get a fair price. But you also don’t want to trade in your car for much less than it is worth either. Be familiar with how much your car can realistically sell for and be willing to negotiate. You can find fair prices for your vehicle on appraisal sites such as Kelley Blue Book.

2. Not Cleaning Your Car

Dealers want to see a clean car that they will not need to spend more money on cleaning. If they have to clean the vehicle themselves, then they will almost always attempt to offer less money. Before trading in, always make sure that your car looks clean and smells as clean as possible. This can significantly increase the value offered by the dealership.

3. Over-fixing Your Car

It is beneficial to spend some time sprucing up your car before beginning trade negotiations, but be sure to set a budget for small fix-ups. Perform simple maintenance and cheap cosmetic fixes (like fixing scratches), but remember that you don’t want to spend so much money that you end up losing money on the trade.

4. Forgetting Important Documents

Trading in a vehicle requires you to have your title and other important documents such as maintenance records with you at the dealership. Maintenance records can help to support your claims about whatever prior damage the car has had and the repairs it has undergone. When looking at your car’s title, be sure you know whose name the car is under. If multiple people are listed on the title, everyone will need to be present at the trade-in. If your spouse signed the title and they are not there to trade in the vehicle with you then you will not be able to make the trade.

5. Not Having All Accessories

Trading in your vehicle means you are trading in everything that goes with it as well. You will want to make sure the original owner’s manual and any extra keys are in the vehicle when you arrive at the dealership. Dealers like used cars that still have all the accessories and may even give you a better deal on your trade.

6. Not Knowing Car History

Car history is important when buying a used car, and it will be doubly important to dealers as they attempt to make a profit from selling your old vehicle. Being familiar with your vehicle’s history will help you during trade negotiations. If you are not the first owner of your vehicle, be aware of any problems that may have been caused by previous owners. A dealer will not like finding problems with the vehicle that cannot be explained.