By the time you are ready to upgrade your ride, you might be excited to head to the dealership, toss them your keys, and drive away in a brand new car. However, if you don't spend a little time to prepare for the trade-in process, you might not get top dollar for that old vehicle. Here are two ways to get more money for your trade-in, so that you can get more for your investment:
1: Spend Some Time Cleaning
It might be hard for dealers to appreciate those leather seats or those updated floor mats if your car is littered with trash and debris. Unfortunately, if you have kids, your backseat might be covered in toys, cracker crumbs, and milk spills. If you arrive at the car dealership to discuss your trade-in, dealers will have to factor in the cost of detailing your ride — decreasing the trade-in value.
Fortunately, you can tip the scales in your favor by spending a little time cleaning out your car prior to deal-making day. As you clean, don't forget to remove fixed structures such as headrests, car seats, and floor mats. Thoroughly vacuum and shampoo the upholstery of your car, and don't forget to check the ceiling for splashes.
Cleaning out your car might seem like a small contribution, but it could help the dealer to determine the real worth of your ride.
2: Provide Car Records
If you want a surefire way to show a car dealer that you took good care of your car, don't forget to bring along your vehicle records. Here are a few things you should bring along and how they might improve your car's trade-in value:
- Repairs: When was the last time you had to have your car fixed? What was the extent of the injury? By providing records showing what you had repaired and when, you can show your auto dealer how many problems your car has had in recent years, and that you addressed problems in a timely manner.
- Maintenance: Don't forget to bring along maintenance records such as tire rotations, oil changes, and air filter purchases. If you can show that you babied your car, dealers might be more tempted to offer you top-dollar.
- Gas Logs: Gas mileage is a big deal to buyers these days, which is why dealers like to inspect prior gas usage logs. In addition to showing a track record of vehicular health, gas logs can be used to advertise better gas mileage rates for potential buyers.
By taking the time to get your used car trade-in ready for market, you might be able to enjoy a lower car payment on your new ride.