As you shop for dependable used cars near you, you might find some of the used cars you’ve fallen in love with are a bit out of your price range. However, a solution you may not have thought of is not too far away. If you currently own a vehicle, you have an asset that will help with your down payment and possibly make the price of your dream car within reach. You can sell or trade your used car to a nearby car dealership and use your spoils to help with your next car, truck, or SUV. You might be thinking, “Wait, how do I go about trading my car to a car dealership?” Well, let’s take a look at four steps to trade your used car.
Get a free estimate from used car price guides
There are several places you can go online to get an estimate of the value of your car. You can easily start with used car price guides like KBB and NADA, which will give you an estimate of what your car is worth in your area. The estimates will give you an idea the amount of money you can expect for your car when selling to a private buyer, selling to a dealer, or trading your car in. Use this trade-in value as a reference point for your research. You can take this number and shop for used cars.
It’s never a bad idea to expect to get the lower end of the online estimate so that you’re not overshooting the value of your vehicle and ending up with a price gap that you can’t afford to make up. Then, if you do get a higher trade-in value it’s a pleasant surprise!
Know what you owe
Something that goes along with learning the trade-in or selling value of your current vehicle is how much you owe on the remainder of your current car loan. If you bought your car outright and don’t owe anything on it, that’s great! You know you’ll get the maximum value out of your trade-in. Although, if you do still have an amount remaining on your loan, find out what the payoff amount is so that you can understand how that relates to your potential trade-in value.
However, if the amount you owe is greater than the trade-in value of your vehicle, don’t be discouraged, you still have options. You can work with the finance center at a used car dealership near you to work out any of a number of options that include loan remainder transfer or loan forgiveness. Keep in mind, this could potentially have a negative impact on your budget.
Shop around for dealership trade-in quotes
Like shopping to buy used cars, you can shop for the best trade-in value. Be sure to get a quote from multiple dealerships to find out exactly what your vehicle is worth. The first quote you get might be the best price, but you won’t know that unless you gather quotes from a few places. It’s important to keep your researched price in mind so that you know if you’re getting a fair price in the end.
Negotiate your price
Once you have found a price that’s closest to what you’ve researched, but maybe it’s not quite where you wanted it to be, there’s nothing wrong with negotiating a fair trade-in value. Remember, a useful tool to have when negotiating is to show that you’re willing to walk away from the deal. Don’t let a nearby dealership think that you’re desperate or need to make the deal today. Showing that you’re willing to walk away can work in your favor and possibly increase the trade-in value you receive in the end.
Follow these four easy steps and you’ll be on your way to trading your used car for something shiny and new in no time.