Your lifestyle and driving needs change over time and occasionally that means trading in your current set of wheels for something a little more suitable. It could be a growing family, a new job, or maybe you’re just sick of paying so much money for gas. Regardless of the reason, trading in your old car is often going to be part of the equation and we have some helpful tips to make sure you get the best value possible.


1. Do Some Homework – Vehicle Appraisal Tools


Even if you’re the type of person that gets bored at the very mention of research, this is a step you should not skip over. There’s only a couple of ways that dealers get their used vehicle inventory and trade-ins is one of them. We need to pay a price that leaves us room to recondition your vehicle and resell it for a profit but you should have an idea coming in of what your vehicle is worth so you make sure you get a fair deal. Online appraisal tools like Canadian Black Book can be used to look up your vehicle and then estimate value based on things like location, mileage, trim level, and condition. Keep in mind that this is just a starting point and the dealership will need to drive and visually inspect your car to come up with a final assessment.


2. Clean Your Car – Seriously It Helps


As mentioned in the previous section, the condition of your vehicle will significantly impact how much its worth at the dealership. If you show up with a vehicle that’s clean inside and out, have proof of proper maintenance, and everything is functional then you’re well on your way to getting a higher trade value. Fixing dents and scratches can also be worthwhile because they’re affordable to repair and will give the dealership less to criticize while you steer the conversation towards your car’s highlights.


3. Tax Savings


This piece of the puzzle is often overlooked but a higher trade value also adds up to bigger tax savings on your purchase.  The value for your trade is subtracted from the price of the vehicle you’re buying before any tax is applied and that’s good news for your bank account. For example, if the vehicle you want to buy is $35,000 and your trade is worth $15,000 then you only get taxed on difference, which is $20,000. Getting a better trade value can really add up.


4. Separate The Trade And New Car Transactions


There’s a lot of variables that go in your vehicle purchase, especially if you’re applying for an auto loan.  The finance rates or the purchase price of the vehicle you’re buying shouldn’t impact your trade-in value so it’s often best to negotiate them separately to help you get the best deal. Occasionally the dealer needs to structure the numbers differently so it looks good to the banks. In that instance make sure you take the time to look everything over carefully and understand the math.


That’s a wrap on our expert tips for maximizing your trade-in value. If you have any questions about the trade-in process of if you’d like one of our used car professionals to assess your vehicle we’d love to hear from you. We’re proud to be one of Edmonton’s top rated used car dealerships and we have a great selection of used inventory for those looking to update their wheels.