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How Do You Trade In A Car? What You Should Know

Whether you’re looking to buy a new car or want to trade in an old car, trading your current vehicle is a good move. In this article, we’ll be looking at everything you need to know about a trade in. So keep reading.

What Is A Car Trade-In?

When you trade a car in, you’ll be selling it to the dealer. With the money you get from this deal, you will be able to purchase a new vehicle from the showroom.

That being said, this doesn’t happen exactly as you might expect it to. You may have bought your car through some sort of financing. Unfortunately, you may have never paid off the loan.

So, if you approach a dealer with a car that’s still being financed, he would pay off the loan on the vehicle. If the car is worth $7000 USD, and the loan is $4000, the remaining $3000 would go to you. As you can imagine, you won’t be able to buy a car with such a small sum. Instead, you’ll be able to use it on a down payment for a vehicle instead.

Now that we’ve discussed what trading in a car entails, let’s run through what you should do if you’re looking to take the leap.

Find Out Your Vehicle’s Value

The first thing you’ll need to know is the value of your car. This way, you won’t lose cash as you’ll be able to find a dealer who would provide you with the best possible price for it.

You may think this is difficult to do, and that you’d need to speak to experts. Lucky for you, they are easily available online. There is a range of sites that allow you to input information about your vehicle, enlightening you about its value. You can also consult experts online and get their advice.

As there are so many of these sites out there, you have to be careful. You could stumble on one that isn’t the most accurate and gives you a false price for your car. This could cause trouble as the dealers might be adamant about getting the overpriced value the site gives. So, you’ll have to see what others have said as this would help you find a site that’s more trustworthy.

Increase Its Value

Now that you know the value of your car, you should try to increase its value. This may seem hard to do, but it’s not. You can do this by getting it detailed, having its paint redone and refurbishing the upholstery.

Add New Tech

Adding tech would skyrocket your vehicle’s value more than anything else.

You could be apprehensive as you may think adding tech is expensive. It’s not as there are sites like, offering a guide for the best DVD players that don’t cost much.

You could buy the tech used. A trip to youtube would show you tutorials on how to shop for used tech in thrift stores and scrap yards, making you an expert scout, especially in things like AC units.

If you wanted to, you could wait it out and get a hold of the tech on Black Friday. You could easily snag a new GPS or sound system for 60% off.

Check If The Car Has Any Loans On It

If you took a loan on the car and didn’t pay it off, the dealer would pay the loan instead of giving you the money, as mentioned.

It’s important that you dig deep and find out if there are any debts to be paid. If there are and you don’t disclose this to the dealer, you will get into trouble as he could take you to court.

You could still trade-in your car if the vehicle is in more debt than for how much it’s worth. The negative amount would be added to the new vehicle you traded your old one for. Although this would result in you having a new car, you’d be stuck with a bigger loan to pay off.

Meet Several Dealers

The truth is, you won’t get the exact amount you’re looking for. The dealership would only give you a sum that is close to the value of your car. To get the best amount, speak to as many dealers as possible.

By doing this, you’ll be able to find someone that would offer you the best price. Although this may be a bit of a hassle, some dealers can be very stingy, offering you much less than what you’re looking for.

Digging online would help you as you’d see what others have said about the dealers in your area. This would let you know which dealers offer the best prices, especially if you go through forums for car owners in your area.

Be Ready To Negotiate

Even if you find someone that can get you the best possible price, you should be ready to negotiate with them as the sum they’re offering may still not be close to the value of your vehicle.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate as this is a very common practice and the dealer may have not given you his full price. He may be expecting you to negotiate with him and increase the final amount.

To get the upper hand at negotiating, go into the dealership as confidently as possible. This will not let you get shaken down.

Close The Deal And Evaluate Your Contract Carefully

With that done, you can close the deal. What’s important is that you go through your contract carefully. The dealer could make a few stipulations that could harm the ownership of your new vehicle. And although you agreed on a price, the contract may have a different sum mentioned on it.

If you’re not getting enough from the sale of your car to buy a vehicle, you may have to use the money to place a down payment. The contract should state how this would take place and how you’ll be able to pay the rest of the money owed.

So what did you think? The above are the many steps that take place in a car trade-in. If you follow the advice given, you’ll get the most bang for your buck. That being said, you shouldn’t be stubborn when you go into a trade-in as things don’t always go according to plan, so try to be flexible.


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Written by Marcus Richards

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