Trading your car for cash puts money in your pocket when you may need it most. Still, you want to sell your car and get the most out of your car investment. Whether you sell it to Earnhardt Lexus or somewhere else, there are ways to push for maximum value.
Many people trade their cars without doing any research. We’ve seen customers who undervalue your car and those who overvalue it. How do dealerships decide? What is a car actually worth? Here are the ways that we recommend for achieving maximum car trade in value.
Your car maintenance and repair records can prove that you have been a responsible car owner. If you can show regular oil changes, timely brake pad replacements, and other key maintenance, you have been doing everything you can to extend your car’s durability. At Earnhardt Lexus, we keep service and maintenance records for our customers, but most places don’t. So be sure to keep receipts as you go along.
You can check with our service department if you are selling your car. They can get you paperwork on your car’s maintenance and repair history at Earnhardt Lexus.
Typically any brand or model of a car would have at least one recall. In some cases, this may be a big item such as a transmission problem. In others, it may be a minor problem such as a door latch. Either way, it is up to you to take the car to the brand dealership service department and get the repair made. If you haven’t done that, get it done and make sure to save the paperwork.
While you may not want to address all of your car’s repair needs, be honest with yourself about them. Lights on the dash will count against you when trying to sell a car. It is true you may not be able to make the repairs, but understand that the vehicle price will come down in relation to a problem that an individual or dealer can see. Contact us to discuss your specific car and any valuation concerns.
If you do have maintenance done regularly, you will not need to clean the engine very much, if at all. It may just be a matter of lifting the hood and wiping away debris that settles around the edges of the hood. However, if the engine itself looks very dirty, that will imply that the car hasn’t been cared for.
When the engine is cool, you can wipe away oil using dry rags. If you decide to use any cleaners, read up on them before you apply them to your engine. Your mechanic may be able to tell you what to use that could make a difference.
If your exterior can be improved to look like new, do everything you can to achieve it. It may mean replacing a headlight bulb or repairing missing trim. At a minimum, you can clean and detail the car to ensure the most curb appeal.
Windshield damage drops a vehicle’s valuation significantly. As such, it is worth it to get a chip or crack repaired before you take it to a dealer. Although not as significant, a broken door handle or stuck window will affect the price. The dealer has to factor in what it will cost to make these repairs. If instead, you can take care of these things, your final valuation will be better.
There are many good cleaning supplies on the market that may be able to take stains out of the carpet or upholstery. If you can get your interior detailed and looking good, this will help you maintain the car’s value.
You can get information about how much your car is worth by consulting many different websites. However, you should stick to the best known automotive valuation sites. These include Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds. The KBB Valuation Tool can get you started.
While researching, get some background on how your brand rates for the year your car was made. Find out how your model and model year rate according to U.S. News and World Report. You may be able to argue for a higher price if you can prove that your car is in big demand or highly ranked among used cars.
If you have a four-wheel drive SUV, it may be good to sell in the winter if the climate is snowy. On the other hand, if an off-road vehicle might be in demand in the late spring. Likewise, a convertible won’t sell as well in late fall or winter so aim for spring.
Many online sources will offer an evaluation of your vehicle sight unseen. Earnhardt Lexus uses Kelley Blue Book’s independent valuation tool for this purpose. However, what you need to realize is that the amount on the offer can be changed. It all comes down to the vehicle’s condition, which owners often report as good when it is actually fair.
This wiggle room is the very reason that you need to go to a reputable dealer. If you go to a local dealership with local employees and a reputation on the line, you are much more likely to be treated fairly and to get the best price possible. It may not be as much as you’d hoped, but it will be as much as any dealer could pay for your old ride.
If you think your valuation isn’t taking into account how well maintained your car is or its low mileage, you should definitely look elsewhere. Hopefully you have done your research and you have a good idea of what a dealership should be able to pay.
To trade your car with us, use the valuation tool and bring the valuation to our dealership. We are always on the lookout for good used cars and preowned luxury vehicles. As a member of a large, locally owned dealership group, you can rely on us for a fair price for your trade in.