6 Ways to Avoid an Epic Fail When Trading In Your Vehicle

6 Ways to Avoid an Epic Fail When Trading In Your Vehicle

Published Monday, March 21, 2016 12:00 pm by Michelle Payne

6 Ways to Avoid an Epic Fail When Trading In Your Vehicle

Buying a car is one of life’s larger financial transactions. It’s also a big transition — leaving a car you might love behind even in lieu of a shiny new one might be harder than you expected. To make the leap a bit easier, do all that you can to advocate for your existing vehicle’s value. Getting a fair trade can make all the difference on your next new or used car deal.  Here are "6 Ways to Avoid an Epic Fail When Trading In Your Vehicle":

1. Get Real.

Going into this, you must realize there could be a difference between the trade allowance a dealer will offer an under-educated buyer and the actual cash value of your vehicle. The only way you will know the difference is to do your homework. Popular resources like Kelley Blue Book and Edmonds.com might not be your best bets because they tend to overinflate prices and leave you with an unrealistic sense of what your used car is worth. Dig deeper…

2. Know Your Car.

Before you can study the accurate value of your vehicle, there are several information items you need to gather, including the year, make, model, series, amenities, miles, and general condition of your car. Have this data at the ready as you begin your research.

3. Look Locally.

Websites such as cars.com or autotrader.com will provide a more focused, localized way to shop around for trade values. Take a good sampling from these sources. Throw out the highest and lowest values. Determine average pricing based on the figures you see in the mid-range.

4. Repeat the Above for Your Desired Next Vehicle.

To determine fair pricing on the next car you want to buy, conduct all the same research as explained above.

5. Hit the Lots.

Once you’ve followed the steps above, you will know the value of your trade and the average pricing on the next vehicle you’re looking for. At that point, you’re ready to visit the dealerships and allow them to value your trade and price your next new or used vehicle.

6. Or Hire a Professional.

Similar to the role of a real estate agent, an auto buying professional generally brings years of experience and volumes of knowledge into the process of shopping for, pricing, and ultimately purchasing a vehicle. When you’re challenged for time or you simply don’t want the bother of following these steps, look to a reputable credit union for support!

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