Category Archives: Trading in a Car

trade-in vehicle with dealership

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Trade-In

If your car isn’t running the way it should, or if you have your eye on something shiny and new (to you!), then a trade-in is often your best bet. It is a big decision to trade in your current vehicle for a different one, but it is much simpler than a private sale. Trading your vehicle can also be a great way to lower your monthly payments on a different vehicle. 

Whether you are trading in your car or just selling to a dealership without purchasing another car there, pay attention to all the details. Getting a fair price for your old vehicle is important, but ultimately the dealer is the one who determines the value. 

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Trade-In

Before taking your vehicle to a dealership for a trade-in, the first step is to prepare your vehicle. Dealers will take their time to look at every aspect of your vehicle, inside and out. It’s their job to determine the value when you bring it in, so looks are very important in this case.

Here are a few tips to getting your vehicle prepped for a trade-in: 

Fix the Small Issues

You might feel silly paying to get the small things fixed when you’re just going to trade in your vehicle, but a small amount of money can make a big difference in its overall value. Check all the car’s lights, including interior bulbs and replace if needed. Check all fluid levels, such as coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid) and be sure to top them off. If your car has any small dings or scratches, there are DIY kits for repairing small imperfections. An oil change and tire alignment can help the vehicle run more smoothly.

Have the Important Paperwork

Gather all the important paperwork and documents for your vehicle. This includes the car’s title, service records, registration, and anything else a potential buyer may want to see. Cars that are well taken care of  with scheduled maintenance and well-kept records retain more of their value. If you do not have a physical record history, no worries – the dealership can pull one themselves! 

Have the Extras

Bring any extra sets of keys or accessories along with your vehicle. This may include:

  • Any additional floor mats if you swapped out the originals for new or all-weather mats.
  • Instruction manuals for the vehicle’s navigation or technology systems
  • Have the little accessories that accompany the vehicle. The dealer doesn’t give credit for those features if they are not with the vehicle at trade in. 

Do Your Own Inspection

Before taking your vehicle to the dealership, do your own inspection. Look for exterior dents and dings that can’t be buffed out with at-home products. Take your vehicle for a drive and pay attention to every little detail – any sound, rattle, or noise that seems out of place. If there are any issues with the way the car handles, any electrical problems, or even how the tires look, take note.

Wash and Detail

Clean the vehicle, inside and out. GIve it a thorough wash and a fresh coat of wax – some extra shine will give it a good first impression. On the interior, clean it from floor to ceiling. Take out all your personal belongings and vacuum it, steam the floor mats to remove any dirt, stains, and scents. If you do not want to clean it yourself, the price to pay for someone detailing your car may go a long way at the dealership. 

Do Your Homework

One of the biggest mistakes people make when going to trade in their car is not knowing what their current vehicle is worth. When you walk into a dealership, you should have a “price tag” in mind of what your vehicle is worth and how much you want for the trade in. This will provide a clear, honest transaction with the dealer. 

To do your homework, pretend you are a buyer and look up the vehicle you want to trade-in. Look at what other people are asking for your specific make and model, especially locally. This will give you a good understanding of the market and what you can most likely get for your trade-in. 

Understand The Dealer’s Perspective

Ultimately, the trade-in is left up to the dealer. Some people are confused as to why a dealer offers a lower trade-in price. However, there are factors that a dealer has to consider when looking at a trade-in and when determining the value. 

One of the major concerns is how quickly your trade-in will sell to a new buyer. Your vehicle will get inspected, walked around, and checked to see if the paint needs work, and to see if any damages have been done to it. Once they determine what repairs are necessary and the cost to get the vehicle in like-new condition, the dealer will offer a trade-in value for your vehicle.

To learn more about trading in your vehicle, contact the team at Trust Auto today. 

Advantages of Trading in Your Car

Should I be Trading in My Car?

The majority of drivers who purchase a car or truck usually own another vehicle that they would like to dispose of. They’re faced with an important decision: should I trade in my current vehicle to a dealership or should I try to sell it myself? Despite the attractive benefits of private selling, in most cases the obvious and most convenient decision is to simply trade your vehicle in and accept the dealers’ trade in allowance.

We’ll be discussing, the pros & cons of selling your car privately in our next article Is It Hard To Sell A Car Privately?

Sales Tax Savings with Trade-ins

One of the greatest benefits of the trade in format, comes with how sales tax on your new purchase is calculated. Across most of the country, when you trade in a car to purchase a new one, you will get some sort of sales tax credit based on the value of your trade. What exactly does this mean? States which allow a sales tax credit for a trade-in, calculate the tax you will have to pay on the final purchase based on the cost after the value of the trade is subtracted from the cost of the new vehicle. For example, if you are buying a new car for $20,000 and the dealership offers you $8,000 for your trade-in, you will pay sales tax only on the $12,000 difference! The existence of a bank lien payoff has no effect on the sales tax calculation. Whether the trade-in is owned free and clear with no bank lien, or the lien payoff is thousands more than the actual value of the vehicle, the sales tax savings will be the same. Any lien, or no lien, has no effect on the sales tax savings.

If you owe more on your old bank loan than the vehicle is worth, this is considered to be “upside down” or have negative equity in your old car. If your credit status is strong enough, the lender who is financing the second purchase might agree to refinance the negative equity, in addition to the new car loan. This refinancing arrangement is only available if you trade in your old vehicle.

Less Hassle Trading in Your Car

When the customer trades his old vehicle, all of the DMV tasks are handled by the dealer. The transfer of ownership, the assignment of title, the lien payoff, obtaining new plates and surrendering the old plates, are all handled by the dealer. If the trade in is sold privately, most of the DMV tasks must be handled by the customer.

Bottom Line

Trading in the old vehicle gives the owner the convenience, the sales tax savings and the freedom from any hassles after the sale. The only real issue remaining is whether the trade in allowance is fair. If the dealer really wants the trade, then the customer might ask for a larger trade allowance. As the trade in allowance goes up, the sales tax savings also goes up, and the amount financed on the new vehicle goes down.

The bottom line really depends on the reasonableness and fairness of the trade in allowance. If the trade allowance is way below the lien payoff to the bank, or simply far below the advertised prices, the customer must make a tough decision.

Whether you’re trading in your car to buy a new on or just looking to get rid of your current vehicle, Trust Auto makes it quick and easy. We utilize a multitude of reputable third-party data to establish the true market value of your car and get you a fast, free appraisal. Afterwards, we review your vehicle on-site and give you an offer through our transparent assessment process. When drivers trade in their old vehicle for a new one at Trust Auto, you can do so with the confidence of knowing that you will always get the fairest offer for your trade.

The Essential Guide To Trade In Your Car

Going into a dealership to trade in your car can be an anxious process. You can’t wait to find out the value of your car so you can move on to finding the perfect car! Well, no worries as Trust Auto is here to ease your mind and give you all the information you need.

The Essential Guide: How to Trade In Your Car 

  1. Research. You can Google and look on different websites to get an idea of what your car may be worth. While you’re researching keep in mind that the website isn’t actually looking at your car. It is giving you an estimate. Don’t get too excited. This is just for you to get an overall idea before heading in to get it looked at in person.
  2. Clean. Go in with your car cleaned. A nice, cleaned out car is a lot more appealing than one that is filled with junk. Many people ask about getting dings and other small things fixed on their car before having it looked at. While this may help enhance your value, if your car is over 50,000 miles we recommend not trying to fix everything beforehand. The dealership can easily fix whatever may be wrong with your vehicle and cars over 50,000 miles tend to go to auction.
  3. Be Honest. When you do get your car looked at, be honest about accidents and any other issues your vehicle has. This is important especially for the next person who will be driving the car.
  4. Promotion. Many dealerships run trade in specials so be on the lookout for any promotions going on near you.

We hope this was helpful in easing your mind. After you do your research and go into a dealership…

  • The appropriate person will take your car for a test drive and look over it in detail to see everything your car has to offer.
  • The mechanic on hand will have a look at your engine and do a more in depth look at what’s going on inside.
  • Lastly, the car will be appraised and you will officially have an accurate answer on what you can get for your car. Not all dealers will give you the same amount, but it will more than likely be around the same.

If you have any further questions on how to trade in your car, comment below! 

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How to Trade In Your Vehicle: The Dos and Don’ts

So you want to buy a new or used car.

But you currently own a car that you still owe on. Should you sell it yourself or trade it in? How can you negotiate the best deal? What do you need to negotiate a good trade?

Truthfully, if you sell your vehicle privately, chances are that you will get more money. But it takes a significant amount of work and will take much longer to find a buyer and settle on a deal than if you trade in your vehicle at a dealership.  

Trade-ins at a dealership typically result in less profit than if you sell privately because the dealership takes into account how much any repairs or reconditioning will cost in order to resell. Plus, you are taking a hit simply because of convenience. Let’s take a look to see how a trade-in at a dealership can be handled and some tips to get the most out of your experience.  

Tips for Trading In a Vehicle

1. Appraise Your Vehicle’s Worth

Before stepping foot into a dealership, do some research.  Be sure to know how much your car is worth, and know that there is a wide range of accepted trade-in values.  Using tools like Kelley Blue Book and Edmund’s Car Appraisal Tool will give you a good indication of what you can expect to get back from your vehicle during a trade-in. Print out your appraisal and take it with you when you go to shop for a new car.

It’s important that you are honest regarding your vehicle’s service history, the amenities your vehicle offers, and the current condition of your vehicle in order to get an accurate estimate. Very few cars are in “outstanding” condition and most fall within the “good” condition category. If you are really unsure, it’s better to undersell the condition – err on the side of caution.

2. Shop Around

Not every dealership is going to offer you the same amount for your trade-in, so it’s okay to shop around until you find a dealership that offers you a deal you are comfortable with.  This will all depend on the dealership’s current inventory, their need for pre-owned vehicles, and how likely they feel the car will resell. Auto industry professionals recommend taking your car to a dealership that does not sell your make or model (For example, taking your Ford to a Nissan dealership) because then you are not competing against other vehicles just like your own.

3. Season Appropriate Trade-In

As crazy as it sounds, make sure you are trading in your vehicle during the correct season.  For instance, trying to trade-in a convertible during the winter will get you less money during the winter months than an all-wheel drive vehicle.  Following automotive trends and news can help you determine when the best time of year is to trade-in your vehicle, and can also help steer you in the right direction regarding where to take your car for a trade-in.  Car trends change weekly, so going to the dealership at just the right time could affect the value of your vehicle.

4. “Curb Appeal” is Real

Don’t take a filthy vehicle to trade-in.  The best advice is to detail, detail, detail! From top to bottom, make sure your vehicle is best aesthetic condition.  This will show a dealership that the vehicle has been well maintained and may get your a higher estimated value. Getting a fresh coat of wax, shiny tires and rims, and making sure your interior is spic-n-span clean make your trade-in vehicle much more appealing than a vehicle that has a dull exterior and crumbs all over the backseat.  

5. Have All the Right Documentation

Save yourself time and a lot of stress if you show up to a dealership with all your vehicle’s documentation.  Make sure you have your title if you own the vehicle outright, or if you still owe, bring all the loan documentation. This ensures you are responsible for the vehicle and have the legal authority to trade it in.  Also bring any and all maintenance documents you have from your vehicle’s service history – this can help your trade-in value by describing all the service that has been done to your vehicle. Have the documents that came with your vehicle on hand when you go to negotiate your trade-in.  This includes the user manual, any buyer contracts, and original information about the vehicle. This will all help the value of your vehicle and make the process much smoother.

 

Common Trade-In Mistakes

Overestimating Your Vehicle’s Worth

It’s common to have some sentimentality when it comes to your vehicle.  Perhaps it was the first car you ever bought. Or the vehicle that you took cross country after graduation where you started a new job.  Or maybe it’s the car that drove you to the hospital to have your first child. Regardless of the personal value the vehicle has to you, to a dealership, it’s just another vehicle. Overestimating the value of your vehicle will only hurt your chances of getting the best possible amount for a trade-in.  

Dumping Money into Repairs

Spending a ton of money on repairs prior to trading your vehicle in may SEEM like a good idea, but in reality, you will lose money in the process. Dealerships have access to make the same repairs at much cheaper costs, so whereas the trade-in value may be slightly less than a KBB estimate, it’ll save you money from making unnecessary repairs.  

Failure to Negotiate

Without negotiating your trade-in, you risk losing a good amount of money.  Go into a negotiation with an idea of how much you want for your trade-in and what you’re willing to bend on.  If you are not offered something within your range, then shop around and go to a different dealership. If you are unable to negotiate a price that you are happy with, try negotiating a deal for benefits like oil changes and other maintenance services.

 

Pros and Cons for Trading in a Vehicle

Trade-ins are fairly common. The process is quick and it is quite possibly the easiest way to get your old car off your hands. However, some people choose to sell the car privately and avoid bargaining with a dealer. But before dismissing the idea of trading in a vehicle, let’s look at some of the advantages of going that route and risks you can potentially avoid by selling a vehicle privately.

Advantages of Trading in a Vehicle

It’s quick and convenient

When you sell a vehicle privately, it can take a lot of time – you have to meet with potential buyers, weed out the good and bad leads, and the process of transferring of the title and ownership. When you trade-in your vehicle, the dealership handles transferring everything and you can get rid of your car in a day or two.

It reduces the price of your new car

The trade-in value of your old car goes towards the price of your new vehicle, lowering the amount that needs to be financed. If you own the car outright, not only will your financing be lower, but you’ll also get a tax break on your new vehicle since the dealership was able to knock off thousands off the sale price.  For example, if your purchase a vehicle for $20,000 and your trade-in was worth $6,000, you’ll only need financing and pay taxes on $14,000.

You only have to deal with the dealership

If you don’t have time to market the vehicle for yourself, trading in your vehicle is the easiest option, since you only have to deal with one person – the dealership! All you need to do is show up, negotiate the deal, and you’re one step closer to buying a new car. There may be benefits to working with a dealer.

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Disadvantages of Trading in a Vehicle

You may get less money for the car

When you trade-in your vehicle, the most money you can hope to get get from the dealership is the car’s wholesale value. Before you go to a dealership, be sure know the value of your vehicle by using Kelley Blue Book or NADA evaluations. This will prevent you from accepting just any offer and having the dealership buy the car from you for a lot less than it’s true value.

You limit where you can buy a new car

If you get a vehicle appraised and traded-in at one dealership, they may require you to purchase your next car from them.  If the dealership doesn’t have the car that you want to purchase, then you can’t trade-in your car.

The dealership may not want it

This was common in 2008 during the surge in gas prices – dealers didn’t want trucks and SUVs because they weren’t popular with the public.  Dealerships don’t like to gamble of vehicles that won’t make them a profit. Another reason the dealership may not want your trade-in vehicle is because they have multiple vehicles like that on their lot.