How to prepare your car to trade in

How to Prepare Your Car to Trade In

Trading in your vehicle is generally a straightforward process. Still, there are several ways to get the most value possible out of the transaction.

Determine your car’s value

Determine your car’s valueThe first step is independently verifying the potential value of your vehicle. There are three primary ways to do this, and ideally, you should use a mix of all three to have the best understanding possible.

The first method is simply looking through websites and seeing how much similar vehicles are being listed for. Depending on what site you're reviewing, you may also find out what the final selling price was.

The second method is to use dealer-provided online services, some of which have direct offers completely online that only need to be verified in person. It is best to try and find multiple dealerships to do this with in order to get the most complete picture possible.

The final method is looking up a vehicle’s value in publicly available lists. Together, these three methods will give you an incredibly clear picture of what your vehicle is worth, including where you will likely get the most trade in value for it.

Repair imperfections

Repair imperfectionsBefore going to a dealer, you want to make sure your trade in is in its best condition. Inspect your vehicle inside and out, and fix any problems you can. While you may need the expertise of a mechanic for bigger issues, you can more easily address the little things like paint touch-ups and new bulbs. Each small problem fixed can add a little more value to your trade in.

Clean thoroughly

Clean thoroughlyCleaning your vehicle is not just a courtesy for the buyer, but it also gives you a chance to find any personal items you may have unknowingly lost in the less-trafficked areas of your car! While you don't need to do a full detail (although that never hurts), an exterior wash and a quick interior wipe down will make the vehicle much more presentable.

Cleaning will also reveal any other potential imperfections that you can fix before trading in.

Gather documentation

Without the right documentation, you can't trade your car in. The car’s title is the most important (and required) document for a transaction, but other papers can help shore up confidence with the dealer that you took good care of the car.

Maintenance history, parts receipts and registration are all documents that help show the state of a vehicle and how it was maintained. A good rule of thumb is that if a potential buyer would like to see a certain piece of documentation about the vehicle, you should always provide it, if possible.

Shop around

Shop aroundFinally, when going to get valuations, make sure to visit multiple dealerships for their offers. Different dealers can sometimes offer markedly different trade in valuations, so do your homework and look around to find the best deal you can.

Nothing is better than finally getting that trade in car off your shoulders...except maybe that feeling of driving off in a new one! At Mike Duman Auto Superstore, our vast inventory of used cars is the perfect place to find your next vehicle. Explore our online selections today.