5 Tips to Remember When Trading In Your Car

We all get that itch to drive a new or newer vehicle. But before you start looking, start your research. Knowing what’s available, what you like, and how much it will cost you can help you prepare for a successful new car search. And if you’re considering a trade-in of your existing vehicle as part of the deal, it’s even more important to be prepared.

Here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. The Internet is Your Friend

    So many online tools are available to help you plan your new car purchase. If a trade-in is part of that purchase, check out online sources designed to help you know the value of your cars, such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. A quick online search can help you find these websites and many other resources to help you determine your car’s value.

    If you’re shopping for used or pre-owned cars, services like Carfax or US Vehicle Reports can provide information on a car’s history, specifically if it’s been in any accidents.

    And take advantage of dealerships that offer you search and pricing information online. This can help you enter a dealership knowing exactly what you want and what’s being offered. If you don’t mind driving, you can also search for available cars outside of your zip code—and you’re often able to negotiate a preliminary deal before you leave home.

  2. Know Your Trade-in Value

    Online sources can help you with an approximate value of your existing car. Still, many factors can affect the actual value, such as wear and tear, excessive mileage, previous accidents, etc. If you want a more precise amount of your car’s value, it may be worth paying for a professional appraisal. This could help put you in a better position when negotiating your new car price.

    It’s also important to remember that if you owe more on your car than you can get selling it or trading it in, it might be worth holding on to it for a little longer.

  3. Shop Around

    As mentioned above, many dealerships now let you do the bulk of your search online. You can see what inventory’s available, their listed price, what features are included, and what add-ons you might be interested in. When you show up and talk to the salesperson, you’ll know exactly what you want and what questions to ask.

  4. Know When to Sell

    Sometimes you just need a new car—now. But if you have the luxury of waiting, consider doing your trade-in during the fall. Many dealerships will try to clear out unsold inventory to make room for the new year models coming out before the end of the year. They might be more open to making a deal.

  5. Sell or Trade-in

    There’s always the possibility that you can get more selling your car outright than you will with a trade-in. It may take more work on your part, but it could be worth it. Be familiar with the fair-market value of your car. If you don’t think you’re being offered that in your trade-in, it may be worth selling your car independently and then using that money to put toward a new vehicle.

To discuss auto coverage on your existing or potentially new car, give Sea Mountain Insurance a call. We’re happy to answer your questions.