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How does trading in a car at a dealership work?

How to Trade In a Car - Do's and Don'ts

Buying a car in Ontario, new or used, is no doubt an engrossing prospect. For some, it may be a need, but for some others, it may just be that they’re intrigued at upgrading. It’s increasingly trickier to end up with a car that’s objectively horrid, thus folks with older cars may be interested to migrate to a newer, safer, but still affordable used car. However, keeping an old car around is a financial hindrance, yet getting rid of one is at times a tedious ordeal. Other than selling it yourself, there’s another viable option to consider – trade-in.

Trading-in your used car is something that on the surface, especially for those that are keener with how they spend money, is a bad value. Undoubtedly, when you bring your vehicle into a used dealership to ask for an evaluation, you will be disappointed. They will quote you for a lower amount than you what you’ve initially projected. However, it will save you a whole lot of time and hassle, more than you might expect, particularly if you don’t have a highly sought after car. Here are some tips that may clear up some uncertainties you may have regarding trade-ins.

1. Understanding trade-in appraisals in Canada

As with everything else, knowing how trade-in vehicles are appraised can give you an edge in estimating the value of your car. Even if your trade-in car is not paid off yet, the main factors that any dealership account for are the mileage of the vehicle, the vehicle type, the history of the vehicle and the condition of the vehicle. You can often expect a better deal when your vehicle is popular or desirable, generally something practical and efficient, from a dependable manufacturer.

2. Increasing your trade-in value

Much like selling a car, it’s possible to increase your vehicle’s trade-in value, it’s all in the presentation. If you’re trying to trade-in a rough, tatty looking car, expect a lower appraisal offer. While your car may be mechanically sound and offer a perfect driving experience, first impressions are critical in selling a car. Unless you’re offering a high-end luxury car for trade-in, a do-it-yourself wash, polish and wax can elevate the value of your car in the hundreds.

Also spend some time on the interior, tires and engine bay. It needn’t be in showroom or concourse ready shape, but an afternoon with quality cleaning products can really demonstrate the attention you pay in your car as an owner and hint at your attitude as a car owner.

Ideally, you’ll also want to minimize the little niggles that may not even bother you. When you’re in an older, even pre-2010s car, ensuring that everything works as intended is an advantage in many cases. Minor bodywork imperfections such as scratches and dents that can be repaired at a reasonable cost are worth doing too.

If you have some expiring wear and tear components or an impending service, get it done before you request for an appraisal. While you should go with inexpensive options, at least stick with reputable brands, especially on items such as tires and brake pads. Any reputable dealership will by default replace them, but it helps if your car is ready to sell from the get-go. Providing receipts or proof of purchases and work that had been carried out on your car is also beneficial, as these are an insightful exposition to a used car.

3. Dealing with the trade-in process

While trade-ins can be fast and effortless, you may end up with a better deal if you take your time. You don’t want to be desperate and commit to impulsive and rash decisions. If you really think that the dealer estimate is not fair, leave and look for another dealership. The big advantage here is that you’re the one choosing the buyer, so you can take your time to shop around.

At times, for more common cars, you can often receive a rough but solid estimate on your car’s value with online resources such as Canadian Black Book, Autocar and VMR Canada. Private dealerships may also provide some leeway on the price, so you can negotiate for a better deal.

If you want to get rid of your old car while simultaneously intend to pay off the down payment on your new ride, trading-in is an alternative worth considering. Of course, if you have questions, or if you want to get an appraisal, you can always drive your car to Garston Motors, or visit our website trade-in tool and we’ll get you sorted.