December 03, 2022

Vehicle Trade-In Tips

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One of the many side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was a surge in demand for used cars. A supply-chain issue for computer chips left thousands of otherwise-ready new cars useless, raising demand in the secondary market.

That not only led to a price increase in used cars, but dealers are paying up to 20% more than they did pre-pandemic to vehicle owners on their trade-ins.

CHC has a three-step process to where you can get the most out of your trade-in if you’re in the market for a new ride.

  1. Prepare Your Vehicle for Sale

Much like you would prepare and stage your home in advance of a sale, you’ll want to do the same with your vehicle in order to put its best foot forward, so to speak. Make sure you have all of the pertinent paperwork—title, warranty, service reports, registration, and vehicle history report—in one place. You’ll also want to have the outside washed and waxed and even detail the interior if necessary. Remove all personal items and top off fluids.

  1. Do Your Homework

Even though dealers are paying more for trade-ins, that doesn’t mean that they want to. Prepare for a lowball offer to start. If you know the estimated value of your vehicle (via Kelley Blue Book), you’ll have a head-start on the negotiations. If the vehicle is under a warranty or has new items like tires or brakes, that also adds value.

  1. Pick the Option That Gives You the Best Financial Outcome

There are several avenues you can go down besides just trading in the vehicle at a dealer. Doing a trade-in might be good if you have an established history with the dealership and will lead to a good deal on your next ride. But you also may be better off selling your vehicle outright to the dealer or even selling it yourself. Finally, if you have a vehicle that isn’t worth much, you may be able to donate it and deduct more off your taxes than you would be paid for it by a third party.

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