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If you’re trading in your car, certain steps can help you get a better price. Used cars are at a premium right now, so using even some of these tips can make a difference.

 

 

Find out what your trade-in is worth & how much you owe on your car

The first step is to do some research and find out from various sources how much the car is worth. Look at several places, including Kelley Blue Book, Craig’s List and Facebook Marketplace, and local dealers. If you still owe money on the car, a quick phone call or your last statement will tell you how much. Understanding it’s worth and what you owe will help you as you negotiate with dealers.

Plan on getting more than one offer

Just like shopping around for a car can help you find a better deal, shopping around your trade in could get you a better offer or help you find promotions at different dealers.

Spruce it up

A dirty car focuses others on what’s wrong with it and ultimately, you’ll get less for it. So an afternoon spent washing, vacuuming, and clean out trash will make a significant difference in its impression. Use an air freshener for a few days. But don’t waste too much time or money on it trying to get it back to new car status. The goal is to make it look like it’s a well-cared for used car.

Balance fixing minor issues with not over fixing

The same principle applies to fixing problems. Address minor issues that might detract from the sale but don’t “over fix” your car. A lit engine light from an overdue oil change will cause more scrutiny and concern, losing you money. Make other minor repairs, such as replacing broken light bulbs. Some suggest fixing a cracked windshield, but it’s more of a judgement call. If you’re not fixing something, you may need to disclose it, but also know how much it costs to fix so they don’t take off too much for it.

Documents help

Providing receipts and invoices from work done on the car shows that it’s been well cared for and that can help get you a better offer. Even showing that the oil has been changed regularly can make a difference.

Negotiate the trade-in up front and separate from the car you’re buying

Many dealers try to negotiate the trade-in price as part of the overall price negotiation, which usually favors them. By negotiating the trade-in separately from the car you’re purchasing, you force the conversation to be about the merits and value of each.

Be prepared to walk

Sometimes you have to walk away from a dealership because they aren’t giving you a good value. You may also want to research selling it yourself. Try negotiating with other dealers first before you take that step.

Even using a few of these tips can help you get a better price on your new car or better payment.

 

 

 

*Terms and conditions apply. Not every individual will be eligible for the listed rates. Rate is subject to underwriting guidelines. Must be a member of Alabama ONE to qualify. The minimum loan amount is $5,000. An auto loan with a 36-month term at 1.99% APR would have an estimated monthly payment of $28.67 per $1,000 borrowed. Cash back amount will be .5% of the loan amount up to a maximum of $250. Interest rate range 1.99% – 17.9% APR. Rates above include a rate reduction with a setup of automatic payment. Verification of employment and income may be necessary. See an Alabama ONE employee for further important details, including rates, term and other eligibility criteria. APR = annual percentage rate. Offer expires October 31, 2021. First payment will be due up to 60 days from closing of the loan. Finance charges begin accruing as of the loan disbursement date. Offer not available on existing Alabama ONE auto loans.

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