How to Get the Maximum Trade-in Value for Your Used Car

How to Get the Maximum Tradein Value for Your Used Vehicle

There comes a point in every car owner’s life where you realize your current car is no longer suitable for your needs, and it’s time to trade it in for a different model. This could be for any number of reasons such as:

You need a larger car as your family grows.

  • You’re entering the workforce and would like a car that suits a working professional.
  • You’re an empty-nester who is ready to downsize.
  • You would like a car that offers better technology, functionality, fuel-efficiency or some other convenience.
  • Your warranty is near its expiration.
  • You’re simply ready for a change.

Whatever the reason, most owners wonder what they can do to maximize the trade-in value of their car. Fortunately, there are a great many resources and tips to help you do so. Here are some of our tips:

  1. From the start, invest in a car with excellent retained value. Both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds offer yearly reports on cars that have good resale value and less depreciation over time.
  2. Maintain your vehicle. A properly-maintained car will typically have fewer problems over time, making it more appealing to the next owner or dealership that will be responsible for it.
  3. Keep your maintenance records. Keep documentation of all the services you have had on your car. Our general manager, Bruce, once appraised a car for $1,500 higher because the owner presented him with proof of vehicle maintenance and services.
  4. Keep your car clean. Keeping your car clean, both outside and inside, might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the way trade-in vehicles arrive on our lot. We’ve seen everything left in cars from clothes, food, and food containers to sticky steering wheels!  Bottom line, the less the dealership or next party has to do to recondition your car, the less money they have to invest in it, which makes the trade-in value of your car higher. According to Bruce, a cleaned and detailed car can enhance the value by as much as $1,000!
  5. Do your research. Parties that are interested in your trade-in, such as a private buyer or a dealership, will have researched your car’s worth and will review a Carfax (a history report of your car). As the seller, you too, should be aware of this information. You especially want to make sure there is nothing showing up in the Carfax results that are errors. All the more reason to keep your vehicle’s service and maintenance documentation!

Finally, there is an excellent infographic (below) that expertly outlines numerous tips to help you increase your car’s trade-in value, as well as understanding which repairs (should your car require any), are worth doing yourself or are better-suited for professionals.

Do you have any other questions or advice you would like to share on maximizing trade-in value? Feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter. If you are thinking about trading in your current car, consider coming to our dealership for an appraisal. Please visit our website to see details such as location, hours of operation, and contacting us about setting up a meeting!

14 Ways To Maximize The Value of Your Car Before Selling – An infographic by the team at Old Junk Car