If you're looking to buy or lease a new car, there's a good chance that you may also be trading in your existing ride. After all, trading in your old vehicle can save you the time and hassle of finding a private buyer, since trade-ins are handled directly with your dealership. If you're planning to trade in a car, however, there are some steps you'll want to take to ensure you get top dollar for your ride.
Arm Yourself With Research
Start by getting a better idea as to what your current car may be worth. While many factors can affect the value of your car (including its current condition and mileage), you can use a free online resource to get a general idea as to your car's trade-in value. Don't hesitate to print out a copy of your estimated trade-in value and bring it with you to your dealer; this will show them that you've done your research.
Bring in Documentation
If you've taken good care of your car over the years, it should be worth more than a similar vehicle that has not been well maintained. Bringing in proof of maintenance and repairs is a great way to show the dealership that you've stayed on top of your car's maintenance. If possible, bring copies of repair invoices, oil change receipts, and other maintenance documentation to your dealership before you trade in a car.
Take Care of Minor Repairs
If there are any minor and inexpensive repairs you can take care of before you trade your vehicle in, it may make sense to knock these off your to-do list. This may include making small paint touch-ups to your car's exterior if there are any scratches, as well as replacing that broken rearview mirror.
Check for Open Recalls
Last but certainly not least, check for any open recalls on your vehicle and have them repaired free of charge before you attempt to trade your car in. You can always stay on top of vehicle recalls by entering your make, model, and/or VIN on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's (NHTSA) website.
A little preparation and research can go a long way when it comes to optimizing the trade-in value of your car. And when you're able to get top-dollar for your trade, you can reduce the amount you may need to borrow when buying or leasing your new ride.
To learn more about trading in your car, reach out to a company like The Car Buying Concierge.