Common Practices that Lower Your Car’s Trade-In Value

If you aim to trade in your old car at the best possible price tag, avoid committing these common practices.

By TheCarzingTeam March 8, 2019 | Trade-Ins


Are you planning to trade-in your old car so you can reduce the cost of buying a new one? This is a practical and wise path to take. There is no sense in keeping the vehicle if it would just incur additional costs—namely parking and continued maintenance.

If trading in a car is a task that you are not really familiar with, you can take comfort from knowing that you can certainly learn from the mistakes of others. Here are some of the most common practices of car sellers that result in lowering their used vehicles’ trade-in or selling value:

Giving the salespeople the upper hand in negotiations

The negotiation process is a part of a trading-in transaction that you should master if you aim to obtain the best trade-in or sales value. That is why you should be particularly strategic when handling it. It is not ideal to discuss your trade-in prior to the finalization of your new car purchase with the same dealer. It will be safer to say that you have not yet decided about trading in your old car if they ask so; they will not make more profits from you by lowering the used car’s trade-in value or increasing your new car purchase cost.

“It is not ideal to discuss your trade-in prior to the finalization of your new car purchase with the same dealer.”

Not bringing a calculator during trade-in transaction

It is easy to get intimidated by numbers, especially if there is a lot that you need to deal with during a transaction. You have to be familiar with the offer price for your trade-in, purchase price of buying a new car, interest rates for financing, and the number of payments for amortization. You have to compute some numbers on your own to be sure. While at it, don’t forget to have your own calculator throughout the process.

Not doing research about the value

Your old clunker could still be worth more than what your dealer is offering you. At times like this, you would be in a better position if you have an idea about what your old vehicle’s value is. Therefore, it is always advisable to do your homework before going to the dealership for a trade-in. Fortunately, there are now online sites that facilitate estimation of selling prices of used cars.

“Your old clunker could still be worth more than how much your dealer is offering you.”

Not going to the negotiation more prepared

If you want to insist on the value of your old car being higher than the offered price, it is best to back your assertion with information from another appraiser. Getting this additional opinion could give you a more accurate valuation of your old vehicle. Doing so will definitely help in obtaining a better price tag for your trade-in.

Spending money for repairs before the trade in

At this point, there is no sense in fixing some issues that are currently in your old car. Making the car look gorgeous will not help because the dealership knows exactly how to look at the value, beyond all the repaint and fixing tasks you applied to it. Beware because such investments may not be returned to you during the trade-in transaction.

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