So, you’ve found your dream car. It’s at the car dealership waiting for you to drive it away. All that’s left now is to get a quote for your used vehicle and bring it in so you can make your deal and sign the papers. Trading in your car is the quickest and easiest way to get out of your old vehicle, but there are some things you can do to get the highest dollar amount possible.
Take Care of Any Known Mechanical Issues
If you know about a mechanical problem with your current vehicle, get it fixed before bringing it to the car dealership. Your car’s mechanical and physical condition are the drivers of its value. Start with any easy fixes and work your way up from there.
If you have any warning lights illuminated on the dash, such as the check engine light, have it checked to see what the issue is. It’s also a good idea to check if your car has any active recalls. If you find that it does, bring it to a local car dealership and have it fixed. If you don’t do this before it’s time to trade it in, the dealership might factor in the time they have to take to fix it into the amount they offer for it.
Make Sure Your Car Looks as Good As it Possibly Can
Give your vehicle a good once over. Clean it inside and out, including the carpets, cupholders, and the upholstery. A clean car makes a much better first impression than a dirty one, and first impressions are important, even for vehicles.
Give the entire interior a thorough vacuuming, get rid of all your stuff, making sure to check the glove compartment, the center console, and under the seats. Give the upholstery a good once over too. If you find any stains, get some cleaner and take the time to get them out.
Once the inside’s clean, wash the outside, and even apply a coat of wax to make it shine.
Get Your Documentation in Order
If you don’t already have your documents in order, this is the time to do it. The best way to get the most for your trade-in is to keep good records of maintenance and repairs throughout the time you have it. If you do this, when it’s time to trade it in, you can prove you took good care of it. Cars that have been regularly maintained will retain more of their value.
Other documents you’ll want to have include the car title, current registration, and loan information if you’re still making payments.
The trade-in value of your old vehicle directly results in instant savings on your new car. It can lower your monthly payments or give you the flexibility to upgrade to a higher trim or higher-end vehicle. It doesn’t take very long to clean it and fix minor issues, and the time is well spent because you’ll see it in your offer from the car dealership.
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