Most of us use our current vehicle as a down payment towards a new, or new to us, vehicle. With that in mind, you should start car shopping by arming yourself with the value of your ride here. Once you know what your down payment could be, you’re ready to start shopping! Here are some insider tips to maximize the value of your vehicle when trading it in at a dealership:
- Clean your vehicle! When showing up for a trade-in, make sure that your vehicle is clean inside and out. Show you have nothing to hide. The dealer will still detail the vehicle for resale, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
- Complete any minor repairs before you arrive. This shows you’ve maintained the vehicle and saves the dealer from subtracting value from your ride. If your vehicle requires any small maintenance costing only a few hundred dollars, you’re sure to make that $ back in extra trade value.
- Know what your vehicle is worth! Before going in for a trade, do some research. Get an approximate value for your ride here. Additionally, check resale sites like Kijiji, dealerships and Autotrader. The dealer will be offering a wholesale price for your vehicle as they still need to resell your vehicle and make some money. So expect to settle for a little less than if you were going to sell your vehicle privately. It varies greatly, but expect 10-25% lower than advertised prices. A word of caution, just because someone is asking $x for a vehicle, doesn’t mean that’s what they’ll get for it.
- Bring your maintenance records with you. If you’re ‘that type’ that has kept every single receipt, congratulations it paid off! Proving that you followed a maintenance schedule shows you took good care of your vehicle over its lifetime which will add extra value! Didn’t keep every receipt? No problem, bring what you have with you. The dealers will always run a CarProof report. When you submit a request the value of your ride here you could also request a copy of the CarProof for free! And free is good.
- Trading in your ride will reduce the tax that you pay on your purchase. If you are looking at buying a vehicle for $20,000, and can receive $5,000 on trade, you are now only paying tax on the $15,000! This is an additional savings of $650!
When you are trading in a vehicle, put yourself in the driver’s seat and go in armed to get the maximum value for your ride !!