I have a Trade Vehicle, now what?

You’re in the market for a new car, truck, van or SUV but what are you doing about your current vehicle?  Are you planning get rid of it?  If that is the case there are a lot of things to consider so you get the most from it.

What if I Owe Money on the Trade Vehicle?

First, and this may seem basic but often customers don’t know, check to see if you owe money on the vehicle you are trading in.  A lot of people think they can use the trade vehicle as a down payment.  However, if you owe more than the vehicle is worth you have no equity available and a down payment may be required.  If you owe LESS than the vehicle is worth you can put the car toward your down payment.

Next you need to know which bank your trade vehicle is financed with.  The dealership has no way of knowing this.  Check to see who you make a payment to each month and have that information with you when you visit the dealership.

Contact that bank and get a ten day pay off.  This amount may be different than what is on your statement every month because of interest.  If you shop for longer than 10 days you will need to update this information.  The bank generally gives you a date that information will be good for.

How does it look?

Take a serious look at your trade vehicle, inside and out.  Assess scratches, dings, dents and damage, rips, tears and burns.  Are there any warning lights on?  Is anything not functional in the vehicle such as the windows or the radio?  It is better to be up front and realistic about all of this.  The dealership will be looking so it is better to know front.

Be able to answers questions about maintenance and repairs.  Review when your last brake job was or when your tires were replaced or any other maintenance.  If this has been done recently bring copies of these service records with you.  This information will help you get the greatest value for your trade vehicle.

Dealerships run Carfax or Autocheck reviews so they will know if there has been an accident and it will affect the offer they make to you.

Keep in mind the dealership will pay you a wholesale value for your trade vehicle.  This is typically less than what you can sell the vehicle yourself.  Of course it takes more time and energy to do this yourself and you will need to have the knowledge to fill out DMV paperwork and have the title in your possession.

How much is it worth?

Do your homework.  There are various sites you can use to look up the value of your trade vehicle.  It is worth checking multiple sites because vehicle values range greatly.  NADA is commonly used as well as Kelly Blue Book.

A good rule of thumb when using vehicle value guides on the internet is to subtract for poor vehicle condition and excessive mileage.  It helps to be realistic with what the value will be.

Turning in My Trade Vehicle

When it comes time to turn in your trade vehicle you will need to have the title with you if you own the vehicle outright.  If the dealership will be paying off the vehicle for you bring the bank information.  Also bring any extra keys you have, the owner’s manual and any accessories.  These always help you get the most money for your trade vehicle.

Star Auto Sales in Meriden will take trade vehicles or buy your car outright.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or a car you want to sell.

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