5 Essential Things to Know About Car Trade-Ins

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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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Pardeep

20 years of experience
616 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Mustang - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - San Jose, California
He was great. Very familiar and knowledgeable when it came to my older mustang GT. Pleasure to work with and nice. Would love to have him work on the car again as I start repairing and replacing items on my list through your mechanics..
Ford F-150 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fremont, California
Very detailed inspection, very clear report, Pardeep saved us from a big mistake. Thanks. Would use Pardeep again.

Derrick

10 years of experience
33 reviews
Derrick
10 years of experience
Ford Edge - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Vallejo, California
On time, excellent communication & I was very comfortable asking him anything, efficient - instead of waiting for the car sales man made suggestions of what he could do in order to not lose time & get his inspection going. He showed me what he found & explained if he had any concern or why he was not concerned. It was another great experience with yourmechanic.com .
Mazda CX-5 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Berkeley, California
Derrick was early to our appointment and worked efficiently. He was also very pleasant and friendly. I highly recommend him!

Andy

3 years of experience
52 reviews
Andy
3 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fremont, California
Andy is highly competent. Very detailed and gave us comprehensive info on the car. Showed up on time and even waited for us for an hour. Feel terrible about it. Thanks Andy for all your help. Highly recommended.
Nissan Frontier - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - San Jose, California
Andy did a great job inspecting a truck I was thinking about buying. He worked thoroughly and provided me with the information I needed to make an informed decision about the purchase of the vehicle. Andy will be doing the brakes on my girlfriends car tomorrow and expect he'll do a great job with that task as well.

Anderson

26 years of experience
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Anderson
26 years of experience
Lincoln MKZ - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
Thanks for looking the Lincoln over. I live in Colorado. and needed it inspected before I purchase it. Would you buy this car if you were in the market for this type of vehicle? Thank you Gary Slaven

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