Getting a brand new car is an exciting prospect for all car owners. Who doesn’t like the thought of driving away in a shiny new model? But for some people, stepping into a dealership can be daunting. Options seem endless and confusing, and negotiating can sometimes be stressful.
That been said, there is always this issue of what to do with your current car. It’s true that selling a used car yourself is often more profitable than a trade-in. But there are also advantages to trading that car to the dealer, including paying less in sales tax. By subtracting the trade-in amount from the new car price, “You would only pay sales tax on the difference that’s left,” says Lauren Fix, an automotive expert known as the Car Coach.
At this point we are assuming you already made a decision to trade your used car, there are a number steps you can take to help get you the best deal from the car dealership.
Highlighted below are 6 tips to help you get a fair deal if not the best in your Car Trading:
1. Stage your car
Some car experts advocate taking your car ‘as is’ to the dealer – they can tell if it’s in good shape regardless. But others believe a thorough cleaning reflects on how you treated the car overall, and can give you an extra edge.
“Stage it,” says Fix. “Get all the junk out of the vehicle. Have the car washed, waxed and vacuumed, because the dealer is going to walk around it and make a determination on its value when you bring it in.” Clean the engine, too.
2. Fix the dings
Get small, exterior dings fixed.
3. Have receipts handy
The first step should start when you initially acquire the car: keeping records and receipts. If so, when the day arrives to finally trade your vehicle, you can show the dealer receipts for all the purchases and repair work done on the car. If the dealer questions the condition of a certain engine part or area of the car, you can back up your side with a receipt.
4. Do some competitive research
Another important step to take before arriving at the dealer is to do your own part of the work. Visit multiple websites and check the value of similar vehicles with the same mileage while monitoring ecommerce sites to follow your car model’s auction price.
5. Look for promotions
Be aware that a dealership’s offer on your trade-in can be affected by several factors, including current inventory and the likelihood the car will sell. Look for dealers who may be offering special promotions with trade-ins, or visit at the end of the month when sales quotas need to be met. It’s always recommended to get quotes from competing dealerships to find the best deal.
Walking into the dealership with a folder of receipts and research on your car’s market value can help you establish a price for your trade-in up front.
6. Prepare to walk
Finally, if the deal doesn’t make you happy, don’t be afraid to walk away. Remember, “Never be pressured to sign on the bottom line.”
These trade-in tips can help you get a fair price for your old car.