set of keys being handed to a person

How to prepare your car for trade-in

Buying a car isn’t only a big decision but the trade-in process can be confusing. HBi Auto is here to help our Mocksville, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, Mooresville, Huntersville, Concord, Greensboro, Charlotte and online community to prepare your used car for trade in. 

Below are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your trade.

  • Clean interior and exterior. A thorough wash and a fresh coat of wax can go a long way. Removing personal items and vacuuming out the interior allows the dealership to view the car easily for appraisal.
  • Fix any small issues yourself. Check and replace all of the car’s lights as needed. Also, check fluid levels (washer fluid, coolant, brake fluid, etc.) and ensure they are topped off. Major issues will lower the value of your trade-in but the dealer can perform the repairs.
  • Gather important documents. This includes the car’s title, service records, registration and anything else a potential buyer may want to see. Cars that have been regularly maintained will retain more of their value. You will not need a vehicle history report; as most dealers will pull one themselves.
  • Don’t forget the accessories. If your vehicle has an extra set of keys or other accessories make sure you bring them to the dealership. If these accessories are missing, the dealership will not give you credit for those features because they are not complete. 
  • Conduct your own vehicle walk around. Take note of any exterior dents and dings that cannot be buffed out. If there are any issues with the car, whether electrical or the need for new tires or brakes, note them. 
  • Determine your car’s estimated value. Once you have completed the above steps you will have a working knowledge of your vehicle’s issues. You can use that information to get an accurate estimate of what you should expect to get in the dealership’s offer. On site and third party trade-in estimators use data from wholesale auctions to give an accurate idea of your value. It is a good starting point for negotiations. 

If you have questions about how to trade in a car that is paid off, or how to get the best possible offer, don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a call at 336-978-8818. While you’re here, be sure to browse our current pre-owned car specials to start shopping for your next great offer near Winston-Salem!