When you’re looking at getting a new car, prices are almost always high. It seems impossible to get a price for a car that you actually want to pay. One of the ways you can drop the value of buying a new car is through trading in your current car.

However, trading in a car has its own set of problems. Just as you negotiate the price of a new car, you also negotiate the value of your trade in. Dealers want to sell new cars, but they also want to make sure that they make a profit on any vehicle that they have traded in to them as well. Therein lies the trick. Getting full value for your current vehicle is hard, but if you do, it can bring the costs of a new car down many thousands of dollars.

Finding Out a Car’s Value

Before you’re trading in your car, you need to look into how much your car or truck is currently worth. There are plenty of online calculators and resources which can give you an idea of what your used car is worth. The Kelley Blue Book is one of the most common resources that people use.

Value will fluctuate based on everything about a vehicle. Take note of all options and of the condition of every aspect of a vehicle. All of them matter. If something is broken within the vehicle, then sometime replacing it will increase the price of the vehicle more than the cost of the part. Typically however, it’s more likely that the costs of repairs won’t be able to be recouped in the costs of a trade in.

Tips for Negotiating Trade Ins

Once you’ve figured out what you have in a vehicle, you can start figuring out how to get the most out of your trade in. One way is to actually negotiate potential trade ins before you look into new cars. If there’s a significant advantage in going with one brand over another, it can alter your search. It’s also possible to trade in your vehicle to another dealership than the one you are buying from. All you want is the most money you can get possible!

Negotiation is important. Dealerships are always willing to negotiate on values because there is a built in profit margin on vehicles that can be exploited with good negotiation tactics. The same goes for negotiating your trade in value. Once you know the value of your car, you should be able to negotiate up to that value, so start a little high on your demands. It’s good to have a little bit of room to go down so that the other side of the negotiation feels they have accomplished something.

Be sure to clean the car before trading in. Any kind of odor or pet hair is going to hurt the value to a strong negotiator. Proper maintenance records will also show how the vehicle has been properly maintained. You need to know the sales tax rules in your state. Sales tax is usually reduced by the amount of a trade in, therefore getting a bigger trade in may be worth paying a little more for the car. It’s all about being informed going into the negotiation.