Used Car Values
What is My Car Worth?
If you are thinking about trading in your car then read on for some tips on how to get the maximum value for your used car trade-in.
Before you head off to your local car dealership with your used car trade in, the most important thing that you need to take with you is a realistic asking price for your motor.

Remember that car dealerships are in business for only one reason and that is to make a profit from its customers. If you have got no idea what your used car trade in value really is, then in all likelihood you will be offered at least 10% less than your car's true trade in value.

Old classic cars may appreciate in value, but this will strongly depend upon demand and the overall condition of the vehicle.

So How Much Is My Used Car Trade in Worth?

It is important to spend some time looking through used car trade pricing guides and then to adjust the value of your car for mileage. However, at the end of the day your used car trade in is only worth as much as a car dealership is prepared to pay for it. It is therefore up to you to try to get the best used car tradein value as possible.

Get More Than One Valuation For Your Used Car Trade in

Don't take the word of just one used car dealership. You might be surprised to see how the value of your used car can vary between different dealerships. The time at which you trade-in your used car may also have a significant impact on the trade in value that is offered. Whatever the trade in price offered by a car dealer you should aim to get at least 10% more.

What Factors Affect Used Car Values?

Generally for a used car that is less than eight years old the most important factors that affect trade-in value are: i) service history, ii) mileage and, iii) condition of the bodywork. For cars that are older than this, then a good overall condition will help to obtain a better trade-in price. Prestigious used cars might have widely varying trade-in values depending on the options that the car has been fitted with. For example a Jaguar XJ with a manual gearbox might not be so easy to trade-in for a fair price as used Jaguar buyers generally demand an auto gearbox. Also, the colour of the car can have a significant impact on the trade-in value. White prestigious cars may often be associated with weddings and may have a lower used trade in value.

What Can I Do To Get More Money For My Used Car Trade In?

The most cost effective way of getting a better used car trade-in value is to present your car well. Simply giving both the exterior and interior a good clean helps to give the impression that the car has been well looked after. If you travel with pets in your car then be sure to remove any scents from the vehicle. Cars that have odours may be devalued by much more than 10%. If you are trading in an expensive/prestigious vehicle then the condition of the tires and or alloy wheels can have an impact on the trade-in value. Kerbed alloy wheels and/or unevenly worn tires can be an indication that wheel alignment has been knocked out, or that possible damage to the steering system has been caused. It might prove cost effective to refurbish any kerbed alloy wheels and to replace any unevenly worn or mismatched tires.

How Do Car Dealers Try To Reduce Trade In Values On A Used Car?

Remember that the used car trader's objective is to obtain your used car trade-in at a minimum cost and maximum profit to the dealership. One way of closing you down on haggling is to offer you a trade-in valuation from a so-called independent source. The dealer's routine might go along the lines of: "I will telephone three used car traders and get a valuation for your trade-in". When the dealer gets back he will give you a minimum trade-in value (e.g. 6200) and a maximum trade-in value (e.g. 6600). In all likelihood the dealer hasn't telephoned anyone and has just looked up what your car is really worth using a used car trade-in pricing book and then knocked 10% off the value. When this happens you should try to add at least 10% onto the maximum value quoted by the car trader.

Selling On To The Used Car Trade

If the car you are trading in is more than five years old the dealer may try to undervalue your car by indicating that it will have to be sold on to another used car trader, the implication being that it is not of sufficient quality to sell on their own forecourt. This may be true, but the fact remains that the dealer can still make as much money (if not more) from your used car trade-in as he can make from selling you a new car. Don't accept an offer for your used car trade-in that is below book value. Also see: How To Negotiate Buying A Car.

Handling Used Car Trade Negative Pricing Points

A car dealer may start off by making good minor comments about the condition of your used car. "I can see that you have looked after your car, it's got a good clean body". However, you can be sure that the next comment may well go something like this: "Unfortunately the vehicle doesn't have a very good fuel economy, and as such would not be so easy to sell on". When this happens you need to point out any desirable features about the car such as air conditioning, alloy wheels, or it's having a full service history. This should help to put the pressure back onto the dealer and shows that you are not going to accept below book value for your used car trade in.
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