You can make a few errors when trading in a car that could end up costing you so you are going to want to avoid these common mistakes. Let's dive into some of these issues.
Not Having an Idea of Your Trade-In's Value
You are going to want to research your vehicle's value before bringing it in. It's the only way you can determine if you're being offered a fair trade-in price.
There are several online tools you can use to get an approximate value. You can check out Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and its trade-in range or Edmunds' trade-in True Market Value (TMV) appraisal tool. You can even print these results and take them with you to the dealership.
Just note that these appraisal values are just averages for your area. This means that some people are offered more and others are offered less. What you are actually offered at a dealership is going to vary depending on several factors.
Overestimating Your Car's Worth
People are often sentimentally attached to their vehicles. After all, most of us spend an awful lot of time in our cars. However, this also leads many to believe that their car is worth more than it actually is.
Again, what a dealership will actually offer you for your trade-in is going to vary. There are several factors at play that dealers have to sift through before making an offer. Some of these include how likely it is for a car to sell and evaluating its condition level.
Speaking to that last point, most owners tend to overstate their car's condition level. For example, KBB has four condition categories: Fair, Good, Very Good and Excellent. Only 3% of all cars that they value fall into the "Excellent" category. So be honest and realistic when assessing your car's condition.
Putting Too Much Money into Cleaning and Repair Efforts
Many consumers will invest money into their vehicles prior to trading them in. The thinking is that the car will be worth more if you fix it up. The problem is that these efforts rarely pay off because dealers can fix vehicle flaws for less than you can.
That's not to say that you shouldn't make an effort. It will still help to make a good first impression by getting your car washed and cleaning out the interior. It just means that you don't need to pay up for a detailing or an expensive mechanical fix.
Not Getting More than One Offer
The best way to make sure you are getting a competitive offer on your trade-in is to get multiple offers. Getting multiple appraisals is wise because the price you're offered can vary.
The trade-in value a dealership offers will vary from dealer to dealer. It all depends on their current inventory, how confident they are in their ability to sell the trade-in, and other factors.
So, it's best to get an offer from a few different dealerships in your area. If two offers you receive are similar, it will probably make the most sense to accept the one from the dealer where you intend to buy your next car.
Bad Credit Auto Financing Help
Now that you know some of the common mistakes to avoid when trading in a car, your attention might turn to actually getting approved for auto financing. If you are dealing with bad credit, it can be tough to find a dealership who can work with your situation.
However, Auto Credit Express has made this process easy and hassle-free. We match applicants dealing with credit issues to a dealership near them that specializes in working with all credit types.
We can help you next if you simply complete our simple and secure online application. It's free to apply, our process is fast, and it puts you under no obligation, so you have nothing to lose.