Truth About Trade-Ins
FIVE TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF SELLING YOUR CAR
If you plan to use your old car as a trade-in on a new car purchase, here are a few things you should consider before you start the process.
1. THE PROS AND CONS OF TRADE-IN
Trade-in value is generally lower than the amount you could receive from a private party because the dealer must fully recondition the vehicle, advertise and negotiate the sale of the car. Even so, the one-stop shopping convenience of buying a new car and trading in the old one at the dealership appeals to many people. In addition to convenience, there are other benefits – no advertisements to place, no test drives to arrange, no strangers to meet and no legal battles to fight in case of a dispute with the buyer. In most states, when your car is taken as a trade-in, you only pay sales tax on the difference between its trade-in value and the price of the new car, which helps close the gap between selling the car yourself and accepting the dealer’s trade offer.
2. KEEP AN EYE ON THE ODOMETER
If you’re planning to sell or trade-in your car, you’ll get the most money if you trade or sell the vehicle before it hits significant mileage milestones. Most bumper-to-bumper factory warranties expire at 36,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first. A car’s first major service visit usually comes in the range of 30,000 to 40,000 miles. Putting your car up for sale a few thousand miles before the 36,000 mark or the first major service visit will net you the most in trade. By 60,000 miles, a car may need a new timing belt, and will almost certainly need tires and brakes so you can save money by selling or trading-in well before this work is required. Twenty years ago, a car with 100,000 miles was considered on borrowed time. But today’s cars are more reliable, so today’s 100,000 mile car may still be in its prime. Still, at 100,000 miles, there is a significant drop in a car’s value so plan to sell while it has fewer than 95,000 miles to ensure a return on your investment.
3. RESEARCH THE VALUE
There are numerous online tools that can help determine the value of your vehicle including Edmunds, AutoTrader, The National Automobile Dealers Association, Black Book and Kelly Blue Book. 75% of people who buy a new or used car in the U.S. consult Kelly Blue Book to gather information about the value of their specific trade. You can get an idea of your car’s value by going to the Kelly Blue Book website (KBB.com) and answering the prompts. Be prepared to make a realistic assessment of your car’s condition. When you get the results, you will notice that there are three prices based on condition – excellent, good or poor. Be realistic – unless the dealer could put your vehicle directly on the lot or showroom floor, it’s not in excellent condition. Many dealers use Black Book as an insiders guide to trade value. Black Book is not readily available to consumers because it is considered a tool for the dealer, but you may want to ask your selling dealer to provide you the Black Book trade value so you can have a complete picture of your vehicle’s value. Take the ballpark estimate provided by whichever online tool you use to the dealer so you’ll know how much you should expect in trade-in value.
4. GIVE YOUR CAR SOME CURB APPEAL
Your car needs to make a positive first impression. Get rid of smoke or pet odors. If the smells are severe, take it to a dealer or detail shop and ask for an ozone generator treatment to remove unpleasant smells. To help the dealer visualize the car on the lot, remove your personal items, wash it and vacuum the inside. If your carpet is stained, rent a carpet cleaner with hand attachments or consider buying an inexpensive portable machine. You can add to your car’s positive impression by replacing burnt out light bulbs, changing the oil, topping off the fluids and filling the tires. While small, these repairs can add value to the trade.
5. GATHER YOUR RECORDS
Another way to give the dealer confidence that you’ve taken good care of your vehicle is to provide a copy of any maintenance records you’ve kept. This includes fluid changes, tire rotations, paint or body repairs, engine repairs and any other related maintenance documents. If you’ve kept up with the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals, these documents are important as they demonstrate a proactive approach to keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape. While nearly all dealers will run a CARFAX report to reveal important information about your vehicle’s history, the report may not include every event. Providing well-organized copies of your maintenance records can help increase the value of your trade.
A WORD FROM THE SPONSOR
Cable Dahmer Chevrolet has been serving the automotive needs of Kansas City since 1963. Nearly six decades of experience has given us invaluable expertise, which we put to your advantage. People are tired of stress, pressure, and sneaky sales tactics. Instead, they are looking for a trusted advocate to guide them through one of the largest buying decisions of their lives.
You can count on the Cable Dahmer team to teach you what you need to know to buy or service your vehicle. We hire competent, honest, friendly professionals who care about building a lifelong relationship with our customers. Your new or used vehicle comes with a long list of added benefits that only Cable Dahmer offers:
- “No Worries” Exchange
- COMPLEMENTARY Loaner
- Free Lifetime Nitrogen Tire Refill
- Free Scratch & Dent Repaired for Free
- GUARANTEED Fast Service
- First Dent & Scratch Repaired Free
- Free Annual Missouri State Inspection
- LIFETIME WARRANTY
- A DIFFERENT KIND OF CAR COMPANY!
Your complete satisfaction is our number one priority. Experience the Cable-Dahmer Difference and you’ll know why we’re leading the pack in customer loyalty.