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How to Get the Most from Your Vehicle Trade In

So you’ve finally decided to get rid of that old clunker and upgrade your ride. Before you can drive away in your shiny new set of wheels, though, you need to get rid of your old car. Maybe you need some extra cash to put toward the new car, or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling the old car yourself. Either way, you’ve decided a trade-in is the way to go.

While you probably don’t expect to get top dollar for your trade from the dealership, you can increase the amount a dealer like Arrigo Automotive offers by taking some simple steps before you head out to buy.

Appearances count

Your old car might be in like-new mechanical condition, but if it looks like a trash heap on wheels, your trade-in offer is going to reflect that. Take the time to clean the car thoroughly, both inside and out. Clean out all of your personal items, vacuum the seats and carpets (and shampoo if necessary) and wipe down the hard surfaces. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a detailing service – you’ll get all of that money back in your trade-in offer.

Fix the little things

Before a dealer resells your old car, they will probably invest in some minor repairs – and they will factor the cost of those repairs into the offer they give you. So invest a little cash and do it for them. Get new wiper blades, replace the burned out tail light, replace the worn out tire. Again, you’ll make the money back in the trade.

Organize your maintenance records

Any buyer of the car is going to want to know that it was maintained. Show that the car has had all of the recommended maintenance by neatly organizing all of the maintenance records from the time you owned the car in the glove box. Showing that you have diligently cared for the vehicle can increase your offer.

Be honest

Is there something wrong with the car? Tell the dealer up front. They are going to find it anyway, but if the rest of the vehicle is in good shape, and you show your integrity, they may only reduce their offer by the amount it will cost them to fix the problem, which will always be lower than what you will pay.

Of course, you should always negotiate the price of your new car before the trade in. Don’t even discuss selling the dealer your old car until you have agreed upon a price for the new vehicle. You should also do some research ahead of time to determine how much your old car is worth and how much you can expect for a trade, to avoid disappointment and frustration when you get to the dealership.

Taking these little steps can mean the difference of several hundred to several thousand dollars on your trade – and soon your old car will be nothing but a distant memory.