How Does Trading in a Car Work?

Posted: Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Using the vehicle you currently drive to help pay for a new vehicle is a great way to reduce your auto payments, avoid the hassle of selling your car, and help you afford an even better vehicle than you could with a cash down payment alone. Keep reading for answers to your questions on how trading in a car works and what you can do to get more when it’s time to upgrade your St. Louis commute.

What is a Trade-In?

When you trade in a vehicle, you’re essentially selling it to the dealership’s finance center and applying the money they pay you to the purchase price of your new vehicle. They’ll inspect your trade-in and, using sources like those available from NADA and Kelley Blue Book, make you an offer on your vehicle on the spot. You can get an idea of how large an offer you can expect with one of these popular car buying apps.

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The money you receive for your trade will likely be less than you could get if you sold the vehicle yourself in St. Charles, but because you’ll avoid dealing with buyers and have an instant decision, you may find it preferable to going it alone.

How to Get the Most for Your Trade-In

Now that we’ve answered, “How does trading in a vehicle work,” let’s discuss ways you can get more from the dealership at trade-in time:

  • Clean it Up: The better your vehicle looks, both inside and out, the higher the offer you’ll receive.
  • Make Repairs: If your vehicle has any issues, such as leaky hoses, loose belts, or worn pads, take care of those before you go to the dealership.
  • Have Records Ready: If you’ve kept good maintenance records, and used high-quality OEM parts, show them to the dealership — it could mean a few hundred extra when you trade up.

By presenting a vehicle the dealership can turn around quickly, you’ll save them work, making it easier to demand more for your trade.

Get Financed at Green Light Auto Credit!

Now that you know the answer to the question, “How does trading in a car work,” we can help you move forward. We can also answer any related questions you may have, such as, “Can I trade-in a car I still owe on or a car with negative equity?” The best way to pay less on your next vehicle loan is to have your financing locked in before negotiations begin. Use the convenient finance application at Green Light Auto Credit and get the financing you need before you take that test drive near Florissant.