How to Increase The Value Of Your Trade-In

September 27th, 2023 by

We Want Your Car!Buying a new or used car can be a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. Most people are uncomfortable going into a car dealership for fear that they’re going to get taken advantage of and end up with a bad deal, especially if you are trying to trade your car in. However, there are multiple ways to be informed about your vehicle’s value before you drive to the dealership. 

Know Your Worth

First and foremost, know what you want for your car. Don’t be unrealistic, but do know the exact value that is your ceiling and your floor. To get help understanding what your vehicle is worth, you can use Kelley Blue Book, NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association), or if you know someone who works at a dealership or manages one, they can also look up the most recent auction values of your car. Auction values are typically the lowest, but that’s the value that a dealership wants to try and pay for you. Kelley Blue Book and NADA have websites for you to type in your vehicle’s information, and they will give you a good understanding of where the market currently sits on your car. 

Trade in Your VehiclePrivate Party vs. Trade-In

When looking at values, you will see the private party and trade-in values. Both will be different because selling your car yourself as a private party sale will typically yield more money because the other person doesn’t intend on reselling it for a profit. Trading in your car to a dealership will usually be for a lower value, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting ripped off. They need to make some money, too. 


Firstly, do not tell the dealer that you are trading in your car. You don’t have to say that you aren’t interested in trading in your car. You can just say you aren’t sure yet and you want to instead focus on one thing at a time. Then once you have agreed on the sale price of the dealer’s car, you can say that you are going to trade in your car. 

Detailing your Trade inMaintain

It is always a good idea to maintain your car, but if you have any outstanding maintenance issues or items that need to be addressed, it’s best to get them done before you attempt to trade your vehicle in. This will absolutely maximize the potential for you to get more money. Plus, having service records to show the dealer will make them look at your car differently, as it means they can physically see that you have taken care of it. This also goes for body panels that have dents, dings, scratches, missing paint, etc. For dents and dings, you can hire a Paintless Dent Repair person who can come to your home or business, or you can drop it off at a shop, and they will repair most types of body panel damage. Plastic bumpers, however, just need to be replaced. You can always find good parts for cars at salvage yards. That may sound weird, but you would be surprised at the value you can get by finding a used car that you can buy some parts off of. 

Detailing for your Vehicle.Scrub-A-Dub-Dub

Once you have taken care of your maintenance and body damage issues, it’s time to get your car a good wash. Again, you can find someone local who will come to your house or place of work to do this for not a lot of money. Most mobile detailers like to try and get 2 or more cars to do at once, so maybe see if you can get a discount if you are able to convince a whole office or set of neighbors that the detailer can do it on the same day. A good clean car will show the dealer that you love your vehicles and spare no expense to ensure they are clean and maintained. 

Know Your Options

Most important, though, is to shop around. Don’t be afraid to thank the salesperson for their time and let them know you are going to go check out a few more dealers. This does two things: 1) It allows you to have time to potentially see what else you like that’s on the market, and 2) The dealer may get anxious and up their trade offer or sale price to entice you to make a deal happen sooner. 

At Penz Buick, GMC of Rochester, we take pride in knowing we have some of the best prices around for you. We have dozens of new and used cars for sales that can fit most anyone’s needs. Our fantastic sales team and finance department will work hard to get you the best price. And then our amazing service department will work tirelessly to ensure your vehicle stays in the absolute best shape.