Trade in Your Used Car for One That Will Better Serve Your Needs

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This year has introduced some serious changes. Even motorheads are going green to save cash at the pump. As for this speed freak, I’m sad to say that I had to recently give into the demands of my wife and trade in my 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06, aka “the Red Dagger,” for a more practical mid-level SUV crossover hybrid when we found out we were expecting a little one.

Trade-ins are great for responsible drivers whose needs change over time. If you care for your new or used car, most used car dealerships will accept the trade-in for a car of the same or lesser value, as long as it is from the same manufacturer and the model is still in production. If the model has been discontinued, it can be more difficult to replace parts. Here were a few other tips that I gathered along the way as I researched and carried out the trade-in process.

Blue Book Value vs. True Value

Kenneth Mills, a used-car salesman with eight years of expertise, says that the best a dealership can hope for is between $1,200 and $1,800 in gross profit from the trade (Edmunds.com). This is mostly due to the actual resale value of the vehicle. Most of the time, a car’s blue book value is the actual value, but if there are noticeable damages or if the car requires even slight repairs, its blue book value drops significantly. According to Edmunds.com, these vehicles are likely to sit and collect dust in the lot, so of course the dealer must account for that loss.

Some dealers will pay top dollar for a car that sells well on their lot. So I knew that when I took my “Red Dagger” to a Chevrolet Arizona dealership they might be more interested in taking her if they didn’t have the model or color in stock. A dealer’s choice can also be based on the report that comes from CarFax.com, regarding the how many owners have had the car previously. In the end, a vehicle’s value is largely determined by how its engine performs.

Be Cautious With Improvements

Edmunds.com also cautions consumers that they should consider what the dealer is going to want from the consumer before they go looking to trade-in for an equal-value car. Experts warn consumers to be particularly cautious about the types of “improvements” they make before bringing in their used vehicle. If you are considering doing some sprucing up, make sure that the work will increase your appraised value and not lower it.

One final note: if you happen to come across a fire-red 2006 Corvette Z06, please be kind to her and let her know that it had to be done. A two-seater wasn’t going to cut it with a little one on the way.



Written by Chuck Brown:

Chuck loves cars and thinks writing about them is his dream job.

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