You try and put your best foot forward in most situations life throws your way. The same concept applies when considering to trade your car into a dealership for the purchase of a new one. There are a few tips and tricks that you might want to remember when this scenario presents itself to you, to ensure you get as much out of the trade as you can.


First and foremost, deliver a clean car to the dealership when attempting to trade it in on a new car. If you car is full of garbage or has dirty seats and sticky messes, it’s not likely to impress the dealership much. In fact, if they see your car in this state, they might wonder what else you’ve neglected in terms of caring for the vehicle. Consider bringing the vehicle to a detail shop for a deep cleaning. This will probably set you back a couple of hundred dollars, but the return on your investment could be more than double in trade-in dollars.


The dealership will look at the car’s mechanical parts to make sure there are no major problems that would need to be addressed before it can be sold to another buyer. If you want to know what they might find ahead of time, consider bringing the car into a neighborhood mechanic for a quick inspection. If you don’t have a regular mechanic, you can find one in your community at Having an inspection will also arm you with knowledge just in case the dealership tries to claim any major problems to force down the value of your trade.


Finally, when negotiating the trade price that you will accept for your car, never tell the dealership how much you owe on it if you are still paying on the vehicle. It’s wise to call your banking institution or finance company before you head to the dealership so that you know this number. The best outcome would be to negotiate a trade in price above what you owe so that some of that overage can be applied to the purchase price of your new car. At the very least, you want to try and negotiate a price that will pay off whatever you owe on the vehicle so that you can start fresh with a new financing agreement and don’t owe more on your new loan than your new car is even worth.

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