How to get the most out of your car

thanks to Temporary supply chain interruption favorite Shortage of chips, The shortage of new cars is expected to continue at least until the end of the year. It, in turn, fuels the execution of used cars. Analysts expect the resulting high praise of used cars to last as long, which is a market for a type of seller not seen in recent memory.

However, hot markets do not share that heat equally with all sellers.If you decide to trade in Secondhand car For something in the dealer lot, there are many things you can do to maximize the value of your trade-in. The internet is full of advice on topics, some of which are inconsistent. I talked to several dealer representatives to find out what really matters and why. Their advice:

Clean the car thoroughly

This is almost unanimous advice, With rare outliers Proposing a clean car is a danger signal. Go with the majority. “Most people are shocked by the difference in the value of used cars based on their appearance,” said Charlie Watson, marketing director at Mark Williams Auto Group in Beachmont, Ohio.

Smell cleaning is also important because odors can be a major problem. “Smoking kills the value of a car. It literally kills it. You can’t sell a smoked car to anyone but other smokers. Many of them.” But Sadmarck, a sales consultant for Mercedes-Benz in Cincinnati, said. Even the protracted scent of old food, like the leftovers that are customary to live in the backseat on hot summer days, can undermine the value of trade-in.

General maintenance

Again, almost unanimous advice is to repair the vehicle before trade-in. You also need to run this vehicle with the mob. Handles all check engine lights and outstanding recalls. If you neglect to perform regular maintenance, have your car handed over to a reputable store.

Unlike private party transactions, receipts don’t do much to help your case. “Opportunities will never be read by managers, and we have to shred them right away,” Watson said. This is because the receipt contains personal information that the retailer cannot hold and cannot show to future customers. Carfax keeps track of maintenance done at many repair shops, so dealers need to trust it when dealing with potential buyers of your car.

Some sites do not recommend changing tires, but that depends on the condition of the rubber on the vehicle. If you have four matching tires with evenly worn treads remaining, you don’t have to worry about them. If the rubber quartet does not match and you see severe cupping on one tire, you need to replace the tire to fix the suspension problem. Not only will you be notified of these issues, but you will also be asked questions about maintenance and more serious issues that could affect your assessment.

Make minor repairs such as paint scratches and windshield cracks. But don’t worry about another popular piece of advice, floor mat replacement. Both dealer representatives we contacted said it made no difference. “I’ll replace the floor mats anyway,” Mark said.

To be honest, Avoid advice to trade in a car at night To hide defects in the vehicle. “Honesty has an impact,” Mark said. “If it’s destroyed and they don’t tell you, it just creates a difficult process, and you lose confidence in what the car will be.”

If you haven’t traded in yet, but plan to trade in, it’s easy to do by car. “Beware of unnecessary wear, such as closing the door,” Watson said. “It may seem trivial, but it can break or rattle internal components.”

Know the value of your car

Check out various car evaluation sites such as the Black Book, NADA Guide, and Edmunds. “Don’t take them as facts, but that’s a good point of reference,” Watson said. According to Mark, his dealer does not sell Honda, but if someone wants to trade in Honda, the dealer can upload a picture of Honda to a virtual auction service called Rating Lane, where Honda dealers can bid. “And they’re paying for the car, which is worth it at the wholesale level,” he said.

Carvana and CarMax offer guaranteed online offers, and CarMax evaluates cars more thoroughly when going to physical stores.

Today, the market is so volatile that the latest values ​​are available from car sales sites such as AutoTrader and CarGurus. Examine your car and arrange it to find out what the dealer is trying to sell a similar car for. This gives you the best idea of ​​what you can expect from the trade-in price minus the costs of readjustments and, of course, the profits. Assuming you owe a car more than its value, such knowledge also prevents you from slumping.

Negotiate a trade-in price separately from the new car

Reach an agreement on the value of your trade-in and distinguish it from negotiating with a new car. Don’t let your sales reps combine trade-in and new cars as a “package deal”. You can handle both transactions first, but get the first number in writing and then move on to the second number.

Check if you live States that only require sales tax About the difference between the trade-in price and the new car price. If so, it saves more money.

Ultimately, you’re dealing with the person across from you, and that salesperson is trying to imagine what a random customer would think when you look at your car. Therefore, obvious items that are important to you, such as the charm of the curb, will be important to the next purchaser.

“There is no top secret strategy for high trade value,” Watson said. “Keeping it clean and keeping it clean can lead to much higher returns during the trading period.”

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How to get the most out of your car

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