Prepping Your Car for a Trade-In

August 9th, 2021 by

When you come to Community Buick GMC in Waterloo, IA, to buy your new vehicle, you still have to do something about your current car. Trading-it in decreases the cost of your purchase, which equals a lower loan amount, less total interest paid, and a faster pay-off. To get the highest value for your trade-in, follow these tips for prepping it.

Find a price.

The only way you’ll know if what we give you for your trade-in is fair is to find its price beforehand. Visit an automotive website like Kelley Blue Book. After filling in your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and answering a few questions, you’ll receive a range for what your car is worth. However, remember that a private buyer can pay you the high retail value. We can only give you the wholesale value because we need to make a profit by selling your trade-in.

Inspect like a buyer.

You want to get an objective view of your vehicle to determine its value to a buyer like us. So pretend that you’re buying it and give it a thorough inspection that exposes all its flaws. Start by flipping all the switches and controls to ensure that features like the air-conditioning and infotainment system are working.

Have a friend sit in the driver’s seat, turn the headlamps on and off, activate turn signals, and tap on the brakes while you walk around to check that all the exterior lights are working. Then drive your car for a few minutes while going through common maneuvers such as speeding up, slowing down, and making sudden stops. Take it on rough ground and the highway.

If there’s anything amiss, such as a strange sound or a spongy feel to the pedals, make a note of it and then tell us when you bring your vehicle in to trade.

Make small repairs.

You can try to make small repairs such as replacing burnt-out bulbs or buying missing parts like a reservoir cover. The less work we have to do to make your trade-in salable means more money for you. If you have major repairs, such as with the brakes or transmission, don’t bother taking it to a mechanic for a fix. You most likely won’t get the money you put in back. Instead, let us know and our team of factory-certified automotive techs can take care of it.

You should check for any open recalls at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can then take your car to its dealer for a free repair. If we have to check for and take care of any recall issues, we will deduct the time and effort it takes from our offer.

Remove and restore.

Remove any items from the vehicle that are not original, such as fuzzy dice, third-party organizers, or your kids’ favorite toys. You won’t get any credit for such items, so you might as well keep them for your next car.

You do want to restore any items that are original to the vehicle, such as owner’s manuals, infotainment system instructions, and any extra keys and fobs. We then won’t have to spend any money adding original equipment.

If you have any receipts for automotive service, bring those in as well. Evidence that you’ve taken care of your vehicle can increase the value that we offer because this is attractive to buyers.

Don’t forget to bring in any paperwork for transferring ownership, such as the title, registration, and evidence of insurance.

Clean inside and out.

A good first impression can increase what we offer you. Start by vacuuming the interior and wiping away dirt and grime from surfaces such as the dashboard or armrests. Don’t forget about cleaning inside the windshield and windows. Then wash the exterior, especially on the underside and around the tires. Finish off with a coat of wax to make the body shine.

Try our tools.

Our Community Buick GMC contains online tools to help take care of your trade-in.

  • The Value Your Trade page lets you determine how much we can offer based on the year, brand, model, style, and mileage of your vehicle. It does not require a VIN.
  • The Payment Calculator reveals your monthly payment given the vehicle price, interest rate, loan term, and trade-in value.

If you have any questions, please contact us at Community Buick GMC.

Posted in Trade