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It is finally that time that you are searching for a new car. It is an exciting process but it is not without any decisions and questions. One of the biggest questions asked is “what do you need to trade in a car?”

There are many options for your former car; you could list it online or sell it to a relative to make some extra cash. You could keep the car as a secondary vehicle but the extra money would help with the first payment on your new car. That’s why the best option is to trade in your vehicle.

This hassle-free method is the best way to get the most out of your old car as well as lower the price of your new one but where to start? So the question becomes what do you need to trade in a car. Keep reading to learn what you need to do to trade in a car. 

How Should I Prep My Car for Sale to a Dealer?

Prepping for trading in your car shouldn’t be a complicated process. There are a few simple steps to follow and before you know it the trade-in price will be more than you ever expected. 

Getting Ready to Trade Your Used Car for a New Car

What you need to trade in a car is something every car owner asks. There are three main things you need to do before you start the trade-in process: clean your car, gather your documents and determine the car’s value. 

Cleaning Your Car

This may seem obvious but is often overlooked when trading in cars. You want to show the dealer that you are a presentable person and that starts with a presentable car. Although you may vacuum your car every couple of months, when you are getting ready to trade it in it is recommended to go as far as a full detail of the car. 

Once everything is looking spotless you need to make sure you have everything that comes with the car. This includes spare keys, the manual, even small things such as floormats and anything connected to the audio system. 

Bankrate suggests keeping all the receipts for cleaning and repairs as proof for the dealer that show you went through the process of making your car spotless. This will set you apart from others who may be trading in the same make and model car. 

Gather Your Documents

Every dealer is different and may require more or less paperwork but it is always better to have too much than too little. Not only does it show proof of ownership but also it is easier to resell with certain documents. The most important papers to have are the title and registration because these show proof of ownership, as well as the dealer, can find any information they need about the car and its history through these papers. 

Lastly, think about what documents you would want to see when buying a car. Do you want to see anything about insurance or previous owners? If you would want to see them when buying a car then you should provide them when trading in a car.

Recommended reading: Best Car Maintenance Tips for First-Time Car Owners 

Determine the Car’s Value

This is an often overlooked step because people assume that the dealer is going to give them the best trade-in price. Although that is mostly true, it is always good to have a second opinion. This is also so you know what your car’s trade-in value is to the dealer. Getting an appraisal is a good first step to do before taking it to the healer. What is a car appraisal you ask?

One great resource to get an appraisal is Kelly Blue Book. Here you will be able to get the worth of your car and what they would expect a fair trade-in price for your car would be. You should learn about the different types of rates when you are trading and purchasing because the more knowledge you know the better informed you are when making your decision. 

Should I Repair My Car Before Trading It In?

This is the million-dollar question when trading in a car, should I repair my car before trading it in? On the one hand, you want to get the best price possible but you are also not going to be the owner of the car in just a couple of days do you want to put $2,000 into repairs just to trade it in?

Although you don’t need to completely rebuild your car, there are certainly some things you should do to make your car trade-in ready. Firstly and the easiest, get an oil change. While there ask them to top up all your fluids to make sure the engine is in peak condition. If there are some scratches or dents take some time to try and buff them out and give the outside of the car a good scrub to get rid of any paint marks. 

These small things will significantly improve your chances of getting a higher trade-in rate. You don’t want to put more money into repairs than the car costs but a couple of small repairs will only help you in the long run. 

You Don’t Need to Ask What Do You Need to Trade in a Car Anymore!

Now that you aren’t asking “what do you need to trade in a car? You have the tools to start the process of trading in your car, you are one step closer to getting the car of your dreams. Make sure your car is spotless inside and out. Bring all the necessary documents for the dealer and potential buyer to see. Lastly, make sure it is a car that you would want to buy without any leaks or dents. 

The last step of the process is to contact AutoSwiftly to get started on your trade-in today. You are ready to get the best price for your car so they can help you get the best price for your new car. 

Recommended reading: How to Finance a Car Through a Bank or Dealership – Choosing the Best Option

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