The list of reasons you should trade your old car for a new one is miles long! Whether your current vehicle is no longer running as it used to, or you’re just in the mood to treat yourself to a newer ride, trading your current car to a dealer is a convenient option to save you money on your next upgrade. 

However, to get the best value for your trade-in, you’ll get your car in the best condition possible, research the value of your vehicle, and be ready to negotiate with the dealer for the best possible price. Here are some things you can do when preparing your car for a trade-in to help you get a maximized offer at the dealership.

Handing in Car Keys

Maximize Your Trade-In Offer by Tackling Minor Repairs

Taking care of smaller issues before trading in your car can help you get a better offer from the dealer. For example, consider replacing burnt-out headlights, taillights, or interior lights, and make sure all fluids are topped off, including washer fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and oil. If there is a  larger issue, it is best to leave that for the dealer to handle. 

Any major issues can have a negative impact on the value of your trade-in, but if you do need significant repairs. Dealers can perform repairs more cheaply than if you were to pay someone else and ultimately help you maximize the value of your trade-in.

Gather All Essential Documents and Accessories 

When trading in your car at a dealership, it’s important to bring all the necessary documentation with you. In addition to the car’s title, make sure you also bring any service records, the vehicle’s registration, and any other documentation that may interest potential buyers. You don’t need to worry about obtaining a vehicle history report like CARFAX®, as the dealer will typically pull one themselves. 

Be sure to bring any extra key fobs, navigation DVDs or SD cards, or other accessories that came with the car when you purchased it. If any of these items are missing, you won’t receive credit for them, which could negatively impact the value of your trade-in.

Looking Through Documents

Inspect Your Car Thoroughly

Before taking your car to trade it in, it’s essential to take a good look at its overall condition. Make a note of any scuffs and exterior damages that you cannot fix with a simple buffing. Then, bring your car out for a final ride and listen for unusual noises that could indicate more problems. 

You should notice even the most minor issues, such as needing new tires or a minor electrical problem. Being upfront about any issues with your car can help you avoid surprises during the trade-in process and ensure a smoother transaction. So, take the time to get to know your car’s quirks and issues before heading to the dealership.

Figure Out the Estimated Value of Your Car 

Knowing the approximate value of your car is vital when negotiating a trade-in deal with a dealership. After inspecting your car and noting any issues, use a reputable service like Kelley Blue Book or Black Book to determine its value based on its make, model, year, and trim. 

With this knowledge, you can confidently walk into the dealership and negotiate a fair price for your car. However, remember that your car’s value may also depend on its overall condition, mileage, and any other features it may have. So, present your car in the best possible light and use your gathered information to get the best deal possible.

Pointing Keys at a Car

Get Ready to Trade-in at Motor City

If you’re ready to trade in your car and upgrade to something new, Motor City LA is here to help. Our dealership is dedicated to providing top-notch customer service and ensuring you get the best deal possible. We’ll offer a fair price for your trade-in and help you find the perfect new or used car to meet your needs.

Whether you’re in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, or Lake Charles, we’re just a call, visit, or online appointment away. So, when you’re ready to upgrade your ride, come to our finance team for a stress-free and satisfying trade-in experience.

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