Planning to trade your car in for a new one? How you handle it matters when it comes to how much your car is worth in the eyes of an appraiser. With that in mind here are a few trade-in do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Trade-In Do’s and Don’ts
First and foremost, no matter how old or how many miles, make sure your trade-in is spotless when you take it in because first impressions are important. Dealers want to know you care about your car. Vaccum out the inside. Invest in some tire dressing. Everything you do will influence what the dealer is willing to pay. The bottom line is that dealers want clean cars, end of story.
Along those lines, don’t drive up in a car cluttered with your belongings.
Also, replace cracked windshield glass if you have insurance. Usually, the deductibles for this are low and it makes a better impression. But don’t sweat the small stuff. Dealers can fix minor damage and door dings for way less than you can. The same goes for worn tires.
It always helps, too, to bring your service records along so a dealer knows you’ve taken care of the vehicle. Gather up every service receipt you can find and put them in a folder in the front seat labeled maintenance records so the dealer’s trade-in appraiser can see them right away.
Finally, this may sound strange, but don’t bring in your trade-in vehicle with a full tank of gas. It’s a clear sign you’re just shopping and not ready to buy.
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