Trade-In Options for Your Used Car
Trading in a used car is one way to reduce payments on a new vehicle. However, whether negotiating with a dealer or a private party, it is crucial to understand pricing, and the risk of being sold short. The benefits of trading in can include convenience and the chance to drive away with an improved model. However, you can end up suffering from dealer undervaluing. In this context, research and negotiation are essential factors to consider for any trade in.
Before making a trade in, you need to thoroughly research the value of your car. A figure can be gained by researching online, and through automobile magazines and guides. You may also want to check on the prices being offered for other vehicles of the same type. Appraisals can be made for a fee, and are recommended if you want the most exact, and up to date valuation for your car. Having this information will make it easier to deal with sellers.
Making the Most of a Car
The value and attractiveness of any used car can be enhanced through some simple cleaning and maintenance routines. You can clean out a car yourself, paying particular attention to any built up grime or odours around the vehicle. Alternatively, you can hire a professional cleaner, who will also be able to restore most parts of a car. Maintenance is similarly important. A recent MOT and a service record can demonstrate value. Make sure though that a dealer or buyer recognises this effort as part of a trade. You should also be aware that optional extras you may have added, such as seat trimmings and music systems, may not be taken into consideration during a transaction.
Have all official documents to hand when completing or enquiring about a trade in. Dealers and private buyers may request these as essential parts of a trade in. Similarly, ensure that any insurance policies are either cancelled or transferred to a new vehicle. Keeping these records ordered will help speed up the overall process.
A trade in requires some flexibility when it comes to negotiation. It is in a dealer’s interest to try to exchange a car for the lowest value, while selling it on for a higher figure. Be thorough with your price checking, and refuse to go lower than a pre-decided minimum. You may also want to contact private sellers first to see if you can get a better deal by simply selling the car and using the profits on a new vehicle. This approach might be more time-consuming, but is sometimes the solution if you feel that an exchange does not benefit you.
On a more practical level, it is sometimes worth not revealing that you have a car to trade until the end of an initial negotiation. Doing so will prevent a dealer for placing an unrealistic figure on the difference between the exchanged and the new car. You can also wait for the value of a used car to rise, although this is often unlikely. In some cases, it is possible to gain a favourable tax deal on a trade in, where you only pay tax on the trade in value between the traded car and a new vehicle.
Serena is a passionate blogger specialising in the motor industry. She is currently working with cooperbmw.co.uk on providing online advice and guidance to new drivers and car buyers.