If you're getting ready to buy a new car, and you're going to be using a trade-in as part of your down payment, make sure you get the most money for your old car. Car dealerships use several different criteria when determining the value of your trade-in, which means that you have some wiggle room to negotiate a better offer. Here are three simple steps you can take to make sure you get the most for your trade-in.
Take Care of the Minor Details
You don't want to spend a lot of money getting your car ready for trade-in. However, you do want to make sure that the minor details are taken care of. If you know that your brake lights aren't working or that your wiper blades need to be replaced, take care of those issues before you head to the dealership. Keep the receipts in your glove compartment so that you can show what you've taken care of. It's also a good idea to top off all of your fluids, including oil, transmission fluid, and wiper fluid. These are areas that the dealership will look at when assessing the value of your car.
Make Sure It's Clean
If it's been a few weeks since you washed your car, take the time to give it a thorough cleaning—inside and out. Pay close attention to the details, including the tires, lights, and windows. Don't forget to clean the inside too. Clean the floor mats. Vacuum the entire car, including the upholstery. Be sure to remove all of the trash and debris from inside the car. It's also a good idea to invest in an air freshener, especially one that provides that new car smell. This is particularly important if you smoke in the car.
Provide Maintenance Records
The dealership will want to know that your car was maintained properly. Before you head to the dealership, take the time to gather all of your service orders and receipts. If you don't have receipts for all of your maintenance, obtain copies from your mechanic. Most service centers keep detailed records of the service you receive. Detailed maintenance records will increase the value of your trade-in.
If you're going to be using a trade-in as part of your down payment, make sure you're ready to get the best deal possible. The tips provided here will help you maximize the value of your trade-in. Be sure to let your car dealer know that you'll be bringing in a trade. Once you know the value of your trade-in, you'll be able to get a better picture of the type of car you'll be able to afford. For more information about trade-ins and what you can do to get the best value, talk to a dealer like Best Buy Auto Inc.