Getting Your Vehicle Ready to Sell or Trade

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, - May 9, 2018

Whether you’re preparing to sell or trade in your vehicle, there are a few tips to follow to get the most from your car.

Don’t Sell Blind

When selling or trading in a vehicle, no one wants to be taken advantage of, so it’s important that sellers do their homework before visiting a dealership. Knowing what to expect before the process begins can help sellers avoid getting too low a price.

To prepare for a sale or trade, sellers should research similar vehicles online at sites such as NADA to get an idea of what their vehicle might be worth. Keep in mind these prices will be estimates, as the actual sale price or trade-in value of any vehicle varies depending on its condition, mileage, and the area of the country where it’s located.

Preparing to Sell or Trade

Sellers should make sure their vehicle is in the best condition possible before a sale. To ensure this, the car should be clean inside and out, while any minor damage such as dings, scratches, and windshield chips should be repaired. Finally, taking the car in to get detailed can also increase a vehicle’s value.

In this technological era, sellers also need to make sure their information is safe before turning over the keys to their vehicle. Data stored in on-board infotainment systems including Bluetooth connections, stored data from the GPS, and data linked to other personal devices should be erased.

Weighing Your Trade-in Options

In order to get the best price for their vehicle, sellers should get appraisals from multiple dealerships. Appraisals can sometimes vary widely, so it’s a good idea to get at least three. Bring along any service records, and make sure at least one appraisal is from a franchised dealer for the brand of vehicle being traded in. Dealers typically provide sellers with a written offer that’s good for seven days, allowing them to compare deals.

Tips for a Smooth Private Sale

To get the most out of the sale of a car when doing it themselves, sellers should take a few things into account, such as the time of year and location. A convertible is likely to sell better in the spring and summer, rather than December, in a state like Michigan. Sellers should also provide as much information for potential buyers as possible, including service records and a vehicle history report.

Potential buyers need to be able to contact a seller at any time. So, as a seller, be sure to answer the phone, even if you don’t recognize the number. Sellers will also have to be available for things like test drives and mechanical inspections, so be sure to take the time needed when it comes. Finally, never just hand over the keys for a test drive, always ride along.

Bottom Line

When you want to safely sell your car, or get the most out of your trade-in, it pays to do your homework and be prepared. If you need another vehicle after a sale or are looking for the right dealer for your trade-in, but bad credit has you worried, fear not. With CarsDirect, you can be on your way toward the right dealer for your situation today.

Simply fill out our easy online auto loan request form and we’ll get to work matching you with a local special finance dealer. We work with a nationwide network of dealers that have the lenders available to help people who have bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy. So don’t hesitate, get started now!

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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