Trading in your old vehicle is a good bargaining chip to lower the cost of your new car purchase. Unless you still owe more than you own on your unpaid trade-in, it could profoundly save you money with no fuss on the entire process.
But you before you reap the positives in this transaction, you have to remember that a trade-in is a two-way street. You can’t really get what you want because, ultimately, you must meet the dealer halfway. And until you know what’s inside the head of the other party, it might be more difficult to gain the upper hand in the negotiation.
Put a Premium on Demand
Trade-ins are only truly useful in California, Texas, and Oklahoma new car sales when they’re marketable, says Hudiburg Nissan. If you put yourself in the dealer’s shoes, you would just buy and offer top-dollar on a vehicle you can resell with great markup quickly.
This is why you must, at least, know the demands of your trade-in — considering its model and age — in the used vehicle market. Unless you can show the dealership you’re aware it’s a hot commodity, you can’t really tell if the dealer is only undervaluing your old vehicle or not just to pay for it less.
Pay Attention to Details
Fault-finding is natural in this kind of trade. The dealer would try hard to identify every negative about your vehicle in hopes of gaining the position to price it low.
In this case, you shouldn’t give the dealership the ammunition to attack you. You shouldn’t necessarily spend a fortune just to restore it to its mint condition; however, sprucing it up to improve its “curb appeal” and depersonalizing it could have a greater impact than you imagine.
Prove Its Good Condition
At the end of the day, it’s all about performance. No matter how pretty your car on the outside, its value still heavily relies on its ability to run smoothly. One way to validate your claims that it’s in good condition is your maintenance records. A well-maintained vehicle has more rights to be priced higher than its poorly cared-of brethren.
The money you can get from a trade-in depends on the compromise you’d make with the dealer. If you know how the mind of the other party operates, then you’d be two steps ahead of the game.