TRADE-IN VALUE CONSIDERATIONS

When considering taking a trade-in, a number of factors influence a dealers ability to resell the vehicle profitably including the condition of the vehicle, the number of similar vehicles available in the market, and overall market conditions. These factors will then in turn affect the amount offered to you for the vehicle.

While you may not feel that investing in your trade-in would be a worthwhile investment, it may very well be. Here are some tips for helping you get the most for your trade-in:

  • Before you arrive at the dealer, ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned the vehicle, inside and out. This will allow the dealer to see the vehicle objectively. When the vehicle appearance shows signs of neglect, it may suggest that maintenance has been similarly neglected.
  • If the vehicle has strong odours (smoke and animals being the most common) consider having your vehicle professionally detailed.
  • Bring your service records, as this demonstrates routine maintenance and repairs have been addressed.
  • Consider correcting more serious body and interior damage. Unrepaired exterior damage is a source of serious concern for the dealer because it is not always limited to cosmetic damage and may require extensive repairs. Also, remember to disclose any previous accidents and subsequent repaires made to the dealer.

The following factors influence vehicle condition and accordingly the final trade-in value you will receive. Vehicles are classified into three categories, clean, average, and below average. In order to appraise a vehicle properly, appearance, equipment, trim level, overall mechanical condition, and mileage are considered. When you arrive at the dealer a few key items will be reviewed, such as:

  • Odometer - Is your vehicle above or below the typical range for that model year.
  • Exterior Appearance - Paint Condition, scratches, dents, dings, rust, and other visible damage that will need refurbishment.
  • Interior Appearance - Excessive wear, tears, burns, stains, and odours that will all require correction before the vehicle is resold.
  • Mechanical Condition - Undiagnosed or unrepaired warning lights, engine/transmission noises, worn brakes are all items that represent potentially expensive repairs that must be corrected before delivery to the next owner.
  • Tires - While tires may appear to be in good standing, they are often in need of replacement due to general wear, uneven wear, sidewall cracking, or damaged steel belts.
  • Previous Accidents - Repaired or not, these will affect your trade-in value.