How do I Get the Most for my Trade In?

A great way to relieve some of the financial strain when buying a new car is to have a well-researched, and well-maintained trade-in that is ready to go when you start looking. So, how do you ensure that you are getting top dollar for your trade-in? Here are five tips to start thinking about now when it comes to getting the most value out of your trade-in.

  1. Know the value of your car.
    • This one is pretty simple. Do your homework - check sources like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to figure out the current sale value of your car. Keep in mind that your car's value will be affected by condition and past repairs.
  2. Take care of your car!
    • Speaking of maintenance and repairs…keeping your car up to date on routine maintenance and using trusted mechanics to complete repairs will help your car hold its value. Consider making small repairs that don’t break the bank, but increase the resale value - dents, scratches, etc. Be sure to keep track of any work that you have done as this will help prove that you took care of the car.
  3. Clean your car inside and out.
    • Consider what a fresh set of eyes might see when they look at your car. Does it look like the previous owner cared about the condition of the car? It might even be worth it to pay to have your vehicle detailed.
  4. Shop around for quotes.
    • Try to get as many competitive quotes as possible rather than settling on the one number you hear from the dealership. Check with sites like Carvana to round out your research.
  5. Time your Trade-in.
    • Certain times of year are better to sell your car depending on its features and the buyer demand. SUVs with AWD will likely sell better in the winter, and convertibles in the summer. Also keep in mind that there is greater buyer demand in the beginning months of the year, so a greater need for volume from dealerships.

Even if you’re not ready to trade-in your vehicle now, this is the time to start thinking about how to get the best value when you are ready to make a change.