5 Essential Things to Know About Car Trade-Ins

Whether it’s time for an upgrade or your old ride just doesn’t meet your family’s needs, you may be considering trading in your car for a new one. Before you jump right in and hand over the keys, there are few essential things you need to know about car trade-ins so you make the best decision.

Loans Matter

If you are still making payments on the car you want to trade in, you need to know you’ll still be responsible for them even after the trade. In most cases, the dealer will pay off the remaining balance and roll it into the cost of your new vehicle, but always make sure you know whether this is the case before you sign paperwork.

Trade-In Value

You should always consult Kelley Blue Book or NADA to get an estimate of what your car is actually worth before you head to the car lot. This will help you know if the dealer is trying to give you a fair price, or simply putting more money into their pockets. The dealer’s goal is to pay the lowest price possible so that when it sells it will be for increased profits, so knowledge is power in these situations.

Before You Go

Make sure you prepare your car before you take it in for a potential trade. Make sure it is clean inside and out, and that you try to get rid of any noticeable odors. Cars in better condition will generally net a higher trade-in value, and a clean one always looks better than one with trash in the floorboards.

Shop Around

You should never accept the first offer you’re given for your car trade-in. Go to three or four lots and see which one is willing to offer the most before you agree to a deal. However, if one is significantly higher than another, make sure you pay attention to how the vehicles on the lot are priced – they may be inflated well beyond what they are worth, which is why the dealer offers so much for trade-ins.

Selling Might Be More Profitable

You should also keep in mind that selling your old car may result in higher profits. Just remember that you’ll have to take the time to create an ad, meet with potential buyers and handle the paperwork. If you can’t find a dealer in your area willing to give you anything close to what your trade-in is worth, selling on your own might be the better option.

If you’re trading your car in for a new one, make sure to consult YourMechanic about a pre-purchase inspection before you buy to ensure there are no hidden issues.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1842 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Smooth experience, was able to communicate succinctly and arrived early to the appointment. Thoroughly completed the 50-point check and gave me his professional opinion. His report on the vehicle reflected knowledge on the vehicle, along with giving me his own estimate on the pricing. Definitely helped me with my purchase.
Audi A4 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Corona, California
Chris was great. He was early to the appointment, very communicative (responsive almost immediately for text and calls). He did a pre-purchase inspection for me on a car, and I was not able to attend the inspection. He was extremely honest with his feedback regarding both the car and the quality of the sale in general. I'm not a "car-person" and I felt like I could ask him anything and everything and not worry about coming across as stupid. I felt much better about my purchase after he was able to look at the car and give me his report.

Anderson

26 years of experience
65 reviews
Anderson
26 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
Anderson was great! I was unsure about my purchase because of the year and the condition. Anderson's inspection really put everything into perspective. Thank you!
Land Rover LR4 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Little Neck, New York
Anderson is amazing! A previous mechanic was no-call/no-show through this site when I was at the dealership, so I was skeptical of the service. However, but I'm glad I gave it another go and Anderson came through the next day! HUGE thanks to him for arriving early, being thorough, and most importantly, communicating with me as I was not able to be in-person for the inspection. Thank you, Anderson!

Jason

14 years of experience
215 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Dodge Charger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Carteret, New Jersey
Jason came on time, explained the procedure and immediately started the pre-purchase inspection on my 2012 Dodge Charger. Very thorough, very knowledgeable! I’ll be using YourMechanic for the suggested maintenance and repairs.
Nissan Rogue - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Linden, New Jersey
I truly appreciate Jason’s professionalism and the fact that he was quite detailed in his inspection of my vehicle. As a result, I now feel much more confident in my purchase and will utilize Jason’s services in the future.

Pierre

8 years of experience
109 reviews
Pierre
8 years of experience
Subaru Impreza - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Revere, Massachusetts
My husband and I had Pierre take a look at a car for us before we bought it. He was super communicative with us, letting us know that he was running behind and would be a little late. When he did the inspection the guys at dealership were very impressed by Pierre and his thoroughness. After his inspection he gave us a full list of what he found and his professional opinion on the vehicle. Pierre's assessment gave us the confidence to purchase the car.
Hyundai Elantra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Arlington, Massachusetts
Was running a bit late but called well ahead to let me know. Extremely professional, would recommend to anybody in the area. 10/10

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