Trading Your Car For A Good Price: What You Should Know

With a slow down in car production, there’s a demand for used cars that should push prices up for those who are ready to sell. That’s a good reason to shop your car around and try to sell it now.


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In this article, you’ll find out why there aren’t many car deals in specials, and you’ll find out how to ensure you get the best deal when selling your car. Here’s what you need to know before you cash out your vehicle investment.

Specials or Scams?

There’s a lot of talk about car trade in specials, but there aren’t many out there. In fact, if someone is advertising that their dealership pays more for cars, it is highly unlikely. You’ll notice that truly reputable dealers simply say they will give you a good price or a fair price. If a buyer is promising the best deal, it’s probably all talk.

Furthermore, if that offer is coming to you from an online source, you need to remember that there are many online offers by companies who will resell your car to other businesses. This means it will essentially get resold two or three times before it is sold to a buyer. As you can imagine, this leaves little incentive to give you a good price for your used car.

Dealerships or Car Lots?

A typical car lot owner doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room on pricing. The small dealership, in other words, is not your best bet for a better price. A huge corporate used car dealership is probably not a good fit either. Their staff will be looking at profit margins and won’t pay a penny more than their formula says to pay.

So, you will first want to identify car dealerships that take trade-ins that don’t expect you to buy a new car. If you are unsure, check with dealerships to see if they are buying vehicles. You want to ask the staff if they offer different amounts to those who buy from them and those who don’t buy from them. That’s a red flag. Your car should be worth the same amount whether you are selling out or trading up.

The Sure Deal

There are many online tools out there offering a sure deal on your car. They say you’ll get a cash offer, and they want you to act now! The truth is that all online tools are not the same.

You should only use an online tool that is operated independently from the dealership. Preferably it would be run by NADA, Black Book, or Kelley Blue Book. You want a valuation based on real data, and that’s the way to get it. For instance, there is an online tool offered by a Phoenix Lexus dealer, but Kelley Blue Book makes the valuation without interference or input from the dealership staff. The dealership will honor the offer unless they disagree about the vehicle’s condition. The seller can then accept or decline any change in the offer. That’s as close as a person can get to securing a deal before going to the dealership.

Negotiating a Better Deal

In some cases, just to get vehicles, dealerships work with customers in order to make a deal happen. You are most likely to get a good deal if your vehicle is in perfect condition. There are no wrecks or big repairs in the past. There are no red flags such as recalls that have damaged the reputation of your model year and brand.

Another way to get a good deal is to have a car in high demand. A one-owner car fetches a high price, and dealers should pay more to get it. A low-mileage car is another reason that a car should get a better price. Used trucks sometimes fetch a good price because they can be resold for higher prices.

Finally, there are certain cars that have very high resale values. Is your car one of them? Research and find out before you start wheeling and dealing. What else can you research? Is your car highly prized in its class? Has it won awards? Shown proven durability in JD Power studies? The more you know, the more you may be able to demand for your vehicle.

More Strategies for a Higher Price

If you have a special vehicle, maybe you can offer it to a dealership that doesn’t have enough of that type of ride. Many dealerships are on the hunt for good used trucks and pristine off-road SUVs. You can take a look at different inventories and see if you can spot a hole.

Dealerships may offer more for trade-ins based on what they need in their inventories. For this reason, selling your vehicle to the dealership that sells that brand is another way to edge your offer up, especially if your vehicle is in really good condition. So, you’d sell a used Lexus to a Lexus dealer and a used Ford to a Ford dealer, etc.

The Importance of Maintenance and Cleanliness

A car with a perfect maintenance and repair record that is also extremely clean and odor-free should also ensure the highest possible price. This means you should do everything in your power to make the car seem new again. There are different inexpensive products that you can use to restore the exterior and interior.

Furthermore, if there are problems, such as an engine leak, it will be worth spending a little money to make sure that is fixed. An engine light definitely needs to be addressed if you want a good price. On the other hand, it is probably not worth buying new tires.

Now that you know more, start researching your car’s worth. Be prepared in every way you can to argue for the maximum cash offer. Remember you can get several offers before you settle on one.

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