Preparing for a Trade-in; A shiny vehicle that is spic and span shows an owner that cares.
When you are looking for a good used vehicle always note the level of care that the owner took to make sure the car presented itself in the best light. That goes for both saying goodbye to the old by trading in and saying hello to the new purchase that you can lavish care on. This is not only benefits an economic stimulus but also a purchase of something more reliable saves money and time in the long run.
Your to do list before purchasing a newer vehicle and selling your trade-in should include several steps. Attempt to maximize the potential value of your trade-in by giving it a full detail job. Don’t forget to steam clean under the hood, vacuum the trunk and clean up the interior by vacuuming, washing car mats and scrubbing upholstery until they are spotless. A good coat of wax with hand buffing looks just like an expensive Simonize job and really safeguards the exterior paint by protecting it from road grind and tar. Additionally it really revitalizes the look and appearance of your trade-in. These are all positives in getting the best price for your trade in. Impressive virtue signaling that tells everyone that your vehicle has been well maintained for most if not all of its life.
If you are in a financial position to do a little tune up work under the hood, service the car and replace little items that are prone to normal wear and tear. Hoses and belts are the easiest and be sure you update all service records. Sticky seatbelts might warrant a little clean out and oil. If the brakes are worn out replace them. Change the oil and the oil filter. Check the tire pressure of ALL tires including the spare. This all adds up to an impressive service schedule and magnificent display of pride of ownership.
I suggest putting together a binder with all the maintenance records and receipts. If you have a Carfax report include that as well and if there are any fender benders or accidents include a description. If you have altered the vehicle and hopefully kept photos make sure to include those. I suggest including a really good photograph of your trade-in on the cover of the binder. Okay, I will admit to being obsessive about records because that trait always seems to add money to my wallet. Additionally any prospective buyer really appreciates an accurate history of the car being traded.
All this time spent on your part on your trade-in is duly noted by dealerships as it saves them time and money prepping the car for the used car lot. Prospective buyers are always impressed by having all the historical information at their fingertips and included in the sale. You are not only maximizing the worth of your trade-in but also stretching the dollars you will spend on your new vehicle.