Things To Know When Trading in Your Vehicle

March 17th, 2022 by

If you’re looking to exchange a used vehicle, one option you have is a trade-in. When you trade in a vehicle, your dealer will give you an offer for your vehicle, which you can apply to your new ride. While a trade-in can be a convenient way to get rid of an unwanted vehicle, there are a few things you should know before you accept an offer. At your North Coast Auto Mall in Bedford, we want to help you have a positive, worry-free trade-in experience. Read on for tips to know when trading in your vehicle. 

What Is Your Trade-in Worth?

Image via Flickr by stevendepolo

One of the first things you should know before trading in your used vehicle is what it’s worth. Knowing this can help you and your dealer determine a fair offer. You should gather as much information as you can about your vehicle’s make, model, mileage, and condition. Once you have this information, you can enter it into a free industry guide like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to determine the value of your vehicle. You can also use our quick and easy sell or trade tool to access the same appraisal option we’ll use to make your offer. 

At North Coast Auto Mall of Bedford, we offer top market value for trade-ins. By using one or more of these appraisal tools, we’re confident that you’ll see how fair our offers are. It’s always helpful to gather as much information as possible before trading in a vehicle, though, so we encourage you to do your research before making any decisions.

What Condition Is Your Vehicle In?

Before you trade in a vehicle, you might want to determine whether it’s in the best possible condition. When you research your vehicle’s trade-in value, you will enter information about its condition. Some extreme conditions, like having been in an accident, might affect the vehicle’s value, but there are other strategies you can take to improve the appearance and performance of your car before the trade.

You may want to wash your car and clean out the inside. This can create a positive first impression for your trade. You can also look for any small fixable scratches or dents. If your vehicle has technology options like navigation or Bluetooth connectivity, you can reset those to factory settings to eliminate any personal information. You can also replace any broken light bulbs. A professional detailer can help with any issues you can’t fix yourself.

When fixing and cleaning your car for trade, you should create and stick to a budget. While some minor fixes can improve your trade value, larger fixes like a broken air conditioner unit or new tires are better left for the dealership to handle. If you have any damage that your insurance will cover, be sure to take advantage of those fixes before trading in.

How Much Do You Owe on Your Vehicle?

When trading in your vehicle, you’ll also want to know if you owe anything on the vehicle. This can help you understand the structure of your offer. You can still trade in your vehicle if you owe money on it, but this will affect the number of your monthly payments if what you owe is more than the worth of the vehicle. For example, if you owe $15,000 and your vehicle is worth $10,000, you can cover that $5,000 difference with a down payment. You could also include the difference in your new vehicle’s loan.

If you owe less than your vehicle is worth, though, you have positive equity. You can use this positive equity to put a down payment on your new vehicle, which can lower your monthly payments. For example, if you owe $4,000 on a vehicle that’s worth $10,000, you can apply the extra $6,000 to your next ride. 

You can follow a very similar process to understand your trade if you leased your previous vehicle. If you don’t owe anything, you can proceed with your trade-in without worry. Knowing this information beforehand will help your trade-in run smoothly as you transition to your new vehicle.

Which Documents Will You Need?

To eliminate any stress as you trade in your vehicle, consider tracking down all necessary documents before beginning the process. If you own the vehicle, you’ll want to bring a document to show that you’re authorized to transfer ownership. You can do this with your car title or registration. If you’ve lost your title, though, you can request a replacement at your dealership. However, you will need your registration to request a replacement. You can also use the registration if you haven’t yet paid off the vehicle. 

If you have a loan, you’ll want to bring any information you have about it, including lender information, account numbers, and payment amounts. If the vehicle has received maintenance, bring any records you have of that service. This can go toward demonstrating the value of your ride.

Should You Trade In Your Vehicle?

If you want to get rid of a used vehicle, you can choose to sell it privately or trade it back to the dealership. One benefit of trading in is that the process can be more straightforward and less complicated. Rather than having to do the work of finding a buyer and finalizing the sale, you can quickly get a quality offer for your vehicle so that you can apply it to a new ride. 

If you do your research and follow the tips from this article, a trade-in can be a rewarding and pain-free experience. Even if you feel like you might get a better deal for your vehicle by selling it privately, one thing to consider is that a trade-in will eliminate the need to make major repairs, advertise the vehicle’s availability, and complete the paperwork necessary for a sale. When you decide whether to complete a trade-in, consider the time and money you can save by eliminating these steps. 

Whether you choose to trade in or sell, your North Coast Auto Mall wants you to have a positive experience and drive off with a vehicle you love. Contact us today to learn more about our trade-in opportunities and to begin your own trade-in process. We can’t wait to help you find a vehicle that matches your needs, budget, and lifestyle.

Posted in Financing, Leasing