If you’re looking to trade in your car or truck to get an upgrade, get out from debt, or even just get rid of an old car, then you’re likely a little anxious about the offer you’ll get when you drive your old car onto the lot of your local car dealership. Today, we’ll tell you a few tips and tricks for maximizing your trade-in.
If you have a major issue with the car, know that the dealership will probably find it. Worse still, they may not even tell you that they found the issue or even look at it thoroughly, but instead give a worst-case scenario guess at the estimated repair cost – that guess can cost you huge against your trade-in value. If you have, or even just suspect you have, a major issue with your car, you don’t necessarily have to fix it, but you should at least know exactly what it would cost to fix it (elsewhere) so that you can tell the dealer what is wrong when they do find something, avoiding the worst-case scenario guess. While many will tell you to play dumb when they ask if you know anything about the issue, that logic could actually cost you in the long run.
Even if the dealer has a pretty good idea of what kind of condition the vehicle is in from taking a quick look under the hood, they still have a bias toward how your vehicle was likely maintained (and therefore what is just waiting to go wrong) based on the minor details of the transaction. Crazy as it may sound, dealers judge a vehicle’s condition first by you, then by its appearance, and, finally, by the presumed running condition. Everything from what you wear to how you carry yourself and the cleanliness of the vehicle can have a dramatic effect on your trade value because, even at a dealership, you are selling the vehicle to an innately subjective person. While you don’t have to wear a full suit, doing your hair and putting on an air of confidence can get you far more money than anxiously awaiting what they have to say.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Hopefully you’ve kept on your vehicle’s maintenance, but even if you haven’t been an absolute saint, you should put on an air of confidence that the vehicle has been kept running its best throughout the time you’ve owned it. The best way to do this is by keeping the car clean. No, we don’t mean springing for the 15 dollar car wash just before taking it to the dealership (although this is better than nothing), but rather keeping up on interior and exterior cleanliness throughout the vehicle’s life. Before bringing it in, you should make sure that most of the dealer’s work is done for them, including a recent oil change, wash, wax, and a tidy interior. Don’t sweat what you can’t control or that stain that just won’t come out, but do what you can with what you’ve got. A dirty car screams of forgetfulness and that raises red flags about the condition of the maintenance and repairs you’ve sought out.
Fix the Windshield
At West Texas Windshields, we talk all the time about how easy it is to repair or replace a windshield through car insurance, but dealerships don’t enjoy the same luxury. While your insurance company may cover some or all of your repair or replacement costs, even a small chip can cost you huge in trade-in value, as the dealership has to spring for those repairs out of pocket. That means that a repair that could have been free to you will cost you hundreds in reduced trade-in value. Additionally, dealers know that insurance companies pay for chip and crack repair, so they can only assume that you don’t even do the the bare minimum to maintain your car, which means they’re going to look for problems a little harder and expect to pay less. If you do nothing else, at least get your windshield repaired before showing up to trade in the vehicle, because the cost of forgetting will likely leave you wishing you had.
Contact Us Today
If you’re thinking about trading in your vehicle soon, the last thing you want is to regret not getting your windshield fixed today. Not only are you putting yourself at risk for less money on your trade-in, but you could decide to wait on trading it in altogether, which we know you’ll be frustrated with when the impulse for an upgrade comes on strong. Don’t worry about the inconvenience, we’ll come to you anywhere in the San Angelo and general West Texas area and do our best to work it out with your insurance.