How to Get the Most Value for Your Trade-in

When the question of trading in your car comes up, you’ll want to know how to get the best price for it. What you get will be determined by its condition and age as much as anything. But is it a good idea to trade-in your old car when you are buying the new one? Or will you get more money by selling privately.

Many car-dealing guides claim that you will get more money selling your old car privately, but money may not be the only thing to consider. That advantage of trading in your car is that you won’t have the expense and trouble of placing ads, making appointments and dealing with buyers, many of whom have no real desire to purchase. You can get rid of the old car at the same time you pick up the new one, and it may get you a better deal or lower payments. In fact, you may even pay less sales tax where there is a trade-in, depending on the laws of your state.

To get the trade-in price of your car, go to Edmunds.com and click on the TMV (true market value)’Used Car Appraiser’. Type in all required information for a specific trade-in value. This might differ from what the dealers offer you, which can vary due to anything from the manager’s mood to his inventory or the time of the month.

To boost the value of your trade-in, go to several dealers and tell them that the sale of the new car will depend on the trade-in price they offer. Let them know they are not the only people you are seeing. If this seems like too much trouble, remember it is less effort than advertising and showing it to a long procession of private buyers.

It goes without saying that you should present your trade-in in the best possible light that you can. Go to the trouble to wash and polish it, inside and out. Get rid of all the rubbish from the floor; make little repairs that don’t cost a lot. This will tell the dealer that you have looked after the car for the time that you’ve had it. Realize that most dealers don’t make a great deal of profit on trade-ins. Another point to consider is that if the dealer already has four or five cars in his yard the same make, model and color of yours, he won’t be overly enthusiastic about getting another one, so will not want to give you top dollar for yours. In that case, you might want to check out another dealership

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