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Fix Car Before Trade In
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Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?
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In recent years, the car market has been tough to navigate amid a shortage of inventory and rising prices. But in September, the average price of new cars fell slightly for the first time in five months. Used car prices have also stabilized, according to Kelley Blue Book.
If market changes have inspired you to trade in a new set of wheels on your car, don’t hit the dealership lot and miss out on a great deal. First, take steps to increase your vehicle’s trade-in value. These include researching your car’s current value, fixing mechanical problems and ensuring your car looks its best.
Knowing the value of your car is important, especially if you plan to trade it in. Do your research to find your car’s current trade-in value. You can use sources like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to get its current resale value, though you should be honest with yourself about your car’s repair and condition.
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Also, keep in mind that you will be buying less of your business.
“A lot of people think they’re going to get the highest value, but dealers need a margin, and they’re going to give you a lower price than the trade-in price listed on these sites,” says auto expert Lauren Fix.
The mechanical and physical condition of your car is a big driver of value. Therefore, it is best to tackle any problem that is relatively easy to solve.
In general, it’s worth considering small repairs that won’t cost much out of pocket and can increase your car’s resale value. This includes minor cosmetic repairs such as dents and replacing scratched or dead lights.
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Research the repairs that will increase your vehicle’s resale value and the costs associated with each repair to decide which will be the most affordable.
You should check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database for any vehicle recalls that affect your vehicle. Recalled parts can be repaired free of charge, and the extra effort can increase the value of your vehicle.
Keep repair and maintenance receipts and check that your documents are not out of date. These can prove to the seller or buyer that they own the car. Consider pulling a history report on your vehicle for the dealer to review when evaluating your trade-in.
Fix points out that a clean, well-maintained car is likely to fetch the highest trade-in value.
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He said, “Clean your car inside and out. “Detailing your car is like arranging a resale home.”
Zach Shefska, co-founder and CEO of Auto Advocate, says it’s important to “market” your car for business potential.
For example, you should get quotes from Carvana, CarMax, and other major used car dealers in your area before negotiating a deal with the dealership you want to buy from. You can use these figures along with other price studies to estimate your car’s reference value.
By negotiating a trade-in and individual purchase, you can ensure the best trade-in value and the best price for your new car purchase.
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Shefska advises buyers to be wary of sellers who try to combine two businesses into one. They do this because a trader has more opportunities to make a profit when working on two trades at the same time.
It’s also a good idea to get the exchange offer in writing. This protects you from the seller changing or withdrawing their offer for any reason. A formal offer is especially important if you buy more than one store and return to the same store later.
Trading in your car for another car may be better at certain times of the year than others, depending on the year, make and model of your car. Weather conditions and other factors can also play a role in the offer you receive.
Matthew Kircher, a financial adviser at Fairpoint Wealth Management, said he recently doubled his replacement value based on demand.
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He bought a new 2021 Toyota 4Runner and traded in an old Ford Escape in January 2021. He strategically planned the timing because he knew the ATVs would be needed during the winter and before the spring college semester.
“We look for the best time to trade in our used car to increase its value,” says Kircher. “We’ve also timed it to coincide with the best new car deals.”
The first two seasons of the year can also be a good time to trade in a car, as buyer demand is higher. Dealers need more cars in their lot to keep up with demand and offer higher prices for your business.
If you are still making payments on your car, especially if you owe more than your car is worth, trading in may not be the right choice. You can delay your next car purchase or sell it yourself to get a higher price. But if you trade it in, the negative equity won’t go away, and it might roll over to the next car loan.
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns against using the promised seller
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