If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you can trade in your old car to use as a down payment. However, you should do some prep work before you start the process. The more prepared you are, the more money you could get for your trade-in.

Step 1: Know Your Trade-In’s Value

How to Prepare Yourself for the Trade-In ProcessThe first thing you need to do is find out how much your trade-in is worth. There are two ways you can do this: using online tools or getting it appraised. You should do both to get a clear idea of what to expect.

First, plug in your car's information on vehicle valuation websites such as Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides to see an estimate of its worth. Remember, you have to be honest about its condition for the most accurate estimates.

From there, you should get it appraised by a dealer. When you get your trade-in appraised, make sure you visit more than one dealership – including at least one that sells the type of vehicle you own, and also where you're considering buying your next car from.

This way, you can compare appraisals and pick the best deal, and the more you have to size up against each other, the better. Getting a vehicle appraised is the best, most accurate way of knowing how much your trade-in is truly worth since it's coming straight from a dealer that's offering to buy it from you.

Step 2: Clean and Fix Up Your Car

What we mean by this is to just tidy up your trade-in and make sure it’s in good shape. You don’t need to have it detailed, and you don’t need to fix major repairs if it’s going to cost a lot. In most cases, dealerships are able to make repairs more cheaply than you can, so don’t waste your time or money.

All you need to do is make sure your vehicle is cleaned inside and out. Vacuum, dust, and wash away any stains and small marks to make it look as good as possible. You can also look into fixing minor things like dents or scratches, or any other ways to improve its condition level without spending a lot of money.

Stuck on Step 1? We Can Help

When you have bad credit, finding a dealer that can work with you can be a challenge. While not every dealership is willing to work with borrowers with bad credit, our service is here to help you find one near you that does.

At Auto Credit Express, we specialize in connecting bad credit car buyers to local dealers that have the lending resources available to get them the financing they need. All you have to do to get started is fill out our free and easy auto loan request form, and we’ll do the searching for you.