How Do I Know If A Dealer Trade-In Value Is Fair?



How Do I Know If A Dealer Trade-In Value Is Fair?

When you plan to buy a car, you need to decide how to get rid of your old one. One of the options is selling your car to a private party or offering your old car as a trade-in. Selling your car to a private party can certainly get you more money but the process takes time. Trading it in at a dealership is a convenient option but many people feel the dealer trade-in value is not fair. So what is the fair trade-in value of your car? We have tried to provide an answer to this question.

Is the Trade-In Value Offered by the Car Dealer Fair?

In most cases, the answer is no. The reason is that car dealers offer wholesale prices for used cars as the trade-in value. Car dealers expect to spend some amount on reconditioning of the car want to sell it at a decent profit. You cannot tell whether the trade-in value is fair or not unless you know the average trade-in value of your car. Here we have given some tips to help you find out the trade-in value of your car.

Research Online

The first thing you need to do is research online. You can visit websites of car dealerships to learn more about the selling price of cars similar to yours. You will find that the prices of cars similar to yours are different at car dealerships. This is because the condition of the car is an important aspect of the car’s evaluation. No two cars have a similar condition and hence the price difference. When researching online, don’t make the mistake of assuming the retail price of your old car is the same as the trade-in value of your car. Generally speaking, car dealers expect to make around $1,200 when selling a used car. So the average trade-in value would be retail price minus $1,200. This is only a general calculation and the condition of the car is taken into consideration while calculating the trade-in value. If the condition of the car is average or bad, the trade-in price offered by the car dealer will drop significantly.

Find Out Condition of Your Car

To get a better idea of the average trade-in value for your car, you need to get an idea about the real condition of your car. Ask a car mechanic to perform a mechanical inspection and report the findings. Next, you need to perform a visual inspection of the interior and exterior. A car in what’s considered “good” condition will have the following characteristics:

  • There are no mechanical issues

  • The engine runs smooth

  • The are no tears rips in the car’s seats and upholstery

  • The tires have good tread life remaining

  • There are no dents and scratches

When you have an idea about the average trade-in value of your car, you can negotiate with the car dealer for a higher trade-in value. Most dealers will increase the trade-in value of the car to ensure they do not lose a new car sale opportunity. Make sure you keep both transactions separate so that dealer does not raise the price of the new car to balance the deal.  


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