What is my trade worth?

Whether you plan to sell your next vehicle privately or trade it in at a dealership, determining the value of a used vehicle can sometimes be the most challenging part of the buying/selling process. There are many factors that go into determining the value of a pre owned vehicle and this article will help you to make sense of them all. Before you head down to the dealership to trade in your vehicle, make sure to keep these items in mind so you know exactly what your vehicle is worth.

A dealer can never offer you the same amount as a private sale. If you need to squeeze every possible penny out of the sale of your vehicle, then you should probably sell it privately. The downside to this is having to advertise, show and sell your vehicle. There could also be an added burden of two insurance payments and the hassle of having an extra vehicle while you try to sell your wheels. You will also have strangers calling and visiting your home which can make some people uncomfortable.

Trading in your vehicle removes all of the hassle, and when it comes time to pick up your new vehicle, you simply leave the old one behind and leave worry free. The best way to make sure you get the most for your trade in is to do some homework beforehand. The first step is to go online to research the average asking price of similar vehicles in your area. If possible, look to see how much your vehicle is selling for privately and on dealer lots. Useful sites for this are AutoTrader, Craigslist or Kijiji. Make sure you are looking for vehicles that as closely match yours as possible (ie. same make, model, body style, trim, level, similar kilometers, similar condition etc.) You also want to research Canadian Black Book Values for your car.

By doing this, you can have a rough estimate in your mind of how much your vehicle is worth before the dealer makes you an offer. The next thing you have to take into consideration is the amount of money the dealer will need to get the vehicle ready to show on the lot. These costs (often referred to as reconditioning) include things like inspecting the vehicle, repairing any damage, cleaning the vehicle, advertising the vehicle and getting it ready for sale. The cost of inspecting a vehicle is unavoidable. But if you have a vehicle that is clean and has been regularly maintained, you can make a case to the dealer that it will cost less to recondition the vehicle. However if your vehicle is a little rough around the edges, this will lower the value.

Another factor in determining the value of your vehicle is its desirability and the supply of similar vehicles in the nearby market. Unfortunately, this is completely out of your control. If there are 10 other vehicles similar to yours sitting on nearby dealership lots, the demand for your vehicle will be lower and so is its value. If you get lucky and own a car, truck or SUV that is in hot demand, the dealer will be dying to get their hands on your vehicle and likely value the vehicle much higher.

It is helpful when doing your preparation to bring in documentation to make your case for the highest value possible. Print off advertisements for similar vehicles in your area, showing the asking price to make a case for your vehicle. Bring in your detailed service and maintenance records to show the dealer that they will not have to spend thousands reconditioning the vehicle.

Keeping these points in mind and doing some homework ahead of time will make the whole process much easier! Just try not to shed a tear for the vehicle you just traded in when you drive home in your new vehicle.

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