How To Negotiate Trade In Value – Senior Consumer Advice Editor and Content StrategistRonald Montoya has worked in the automotive industry since 2008. He has written over a thousand auto related articles and bought and sold over 100 vehicles in his career. Ronald is senior consumer advisory editor and content strategist at the company and has also contributed to the Associated Press. He has also appeared on several auto buying topics on ABC, NBC and NPR. He got his start in the automotive industry by taking a part-time job at a car dealership working in the service and accounting department.

You are about to buy a new or used car. The car you are currently driving is in good condition and may have value. Are you selling or trading?

How To Negotiate Trade In Value

How To Negotiate Trade In Value

If you want the most money possible for your vehicle, it’s better to sell it yourself. Prospective buyers aren’t as well-educated in car appraisals as the pros, and they don’t always try to get every detail out of a car for resale, so you’ll probably get more money. However, this process takes time and involves dealing with strangers and perhaps more effort than many are willing to invest. According to the data, in 2019, about 45% of all car purchases included a trade-in.

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Trade-in offers are typically lower than what you would get at private party sales because the dealership has to factor in the costs of refurbishing the vehicle and making a profit when they resell it. The plus for car buyers is that trading in a car can be very convenient, much more so than finding a private buyer. By following these tips, you can get the most out of your car trade-in.

Trade-in offers are typically lower than what you would get at private party sales because the dealership has to factor in the costs of refurbishing the vehicle and making a profit when they resell it.

To determine if you are being offered a reasonable price for your trade-in car, you first need to know how much your car is worth. (People sometimes call a car’s “Kelley Blue Book” value.) We recommend that you use the car valuation tool and follow the steps to enter your vehicle information. It’s important to carefully consider all of the car’s options and be honest about its condition. Remember that only a small percentage of cars are in truly “excellent” condition. Most well-maintained vehicles are considered to be in “clean” condition. When in doubt about your condition level, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

On the results page, you should focus on the exchange value number. That’s pretty much what you can expect from a dealership. Email this diagram to yourself so you have it handy when you visit car dealerships.

How To Negotiate Car Prices

The value of used cars is constantly changing. allows you to track the value of your vehicle over time so you can decide when to sell or trade it in.

The goal now is to get an actual offer. We recommend that you request an instant quote from: . All you have to do is enter your vehicle’s details and you’ll receive a trade-in offer valid for seven days. Use this offer as a starting point for negotiations, or if you’re happy with the offer, you can take it to a participating dealership and skip the next steps below.

If you still owe on the loan and the appraised value of the vehicle is not enough to pay it off, that means you are “upside down” and have to pay the difference out of pocket. If you are not ready to pay the difference in your car loan, trading in the vehicle at a dealership may be a better option. However, remember that if you roll this balance into a new loan, you will start a negative equity cycle that is difficult to break out of.

How To Negotiate Trade In Value

Another method is to call the used car manager at your local dealership to set up an appointment to have your vehicle appraised. Timing is critical here. Most dealerships only have one person evaluating potential trade-ins. If you apply on Saturday afternoon, you may have to wait a bit. Try to schedule the assessment for a weekday morning when it is less hectic. There are trades that offer “blind trading”. The dealership will then email you an appraisal offer without you having to see the vehicle. Send the vehicle identification number to the dealership along with photos of the exterior, interior and odometer readings. The dealership assesses the images and makes an offer.

How To Trade In A Car

Keep in mind that the trade-in price offered by the dealership can vary depending on a number of factors, including the condition of the car, the dealer’s current inventory, and the likelihood that the car will sell. There may also be special promotions related to redemptions. More on that later.

If you have a rating, you will already have a reference point against which to compare the dealer’s offer. If not, you should ask two dealers for evaluations.

Here’s a good strategy to try: Take your car to a dealer that doesn’t sell your car brand. For example, take your Toyota Camry to a Chevrolet dealer. That way, your car won’t be competing with six other Camrys in the lot. A non-Toyota dealer, who most likely sells other brands of used cars, may offer more for the Camry than a Toyota dealer.

Once you have the assessment, you have a few options. You can accept one of the offers you offer or negotiate a better price (this is not possible with an offer). If the offer is the highest, sell it there. If your paperwork is in order, it can be done in 30-40 minutes. But if you’re upside down on your car and need to put the loan balance toward financing your next car, the dealership is the best place to do it.

How To Get The Most Money For Your Car Trade In

If you’re deciding between two dealerships that offer similar deals, it’s worth buying the car. This tactic gives you some leverage as you give the dealership both trade-ins and car purchases.

The first exchange offer at a dealership is often the lowest, so there is room for negotiation. Say something like, “I intend to buy a car from you today, so if you can improve the trade-in price, I’d be happy to transfer my business.”

Another strategy is to use the assessment as a guide. Say something like, “I’ve done some research on the car and it looks like the trade-in value is a bit higher than your offer. I know it’s average, but can you beat that price?”

How To Negotiate Trade In Value

Sometimes this strategy will work. Sometimes it won’t. But if you’ve requested more than one quote, you have a few options. If you keep getting the same offers on your vehicle and none of them are what you had in mind, you may need to lower your expectations. These offers may very well match the car’s market value, regardless of what you think it should be worth.

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At this point, you can either accept what they offer or try to sell the car yourself. Some choose to keep the car as a daily driver rather than racking up miles on a new car.

You may be able to use the timing to your advantage. Aim for the end of the month when the dealer is more willing to give you an attractive offer. You can also look for special promotions, such as when a dealership offers extra cash as part of a trade-in event to expand its used car inventory.

When buying a car, keep the new car and trade-in negotiations separate. The exchange amount must be indicated in the contract as a credit against the purchase price of the car. In some states, you only have to pay sales tax on the difference between the new car and the trade-in. This means that you will pay less sales tax on your new car on top of the trade-in amount. This tax break is a net savings for you and you may decide that the trade-in is worth it. Details in “What New Car Rates Should You Pay?” in our story.

There are some common mistakes that people make when trading in a car. Here are some and how to avoid them:

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Car Repair: People sometimes try to repair dents on their car or throw in a new tire, thinking it will significantly increase the trade-in value. This rarely works. The dealer can usually fix the defects and install new tires for a much cheaper price.

Overestimating the value: People tend to get sentimental about their cars and think about it often

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