How to Get the Most Value From Your Used Vehicle When You Upgrade

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Are you looking to buy a new car and want to get the most money from your used car to put toward the purchase? Here's how to increase the value of your car.Getting ready to upgrade your vehicle can be an exciting process.

Searching for the perfect car, although time consuming, can be fun.

Deciding on the make and model, the color you love, and any exciting “extras” are all aspects of shopping for a new car.

Of course, it’s not all about the upgrade, as buying a newer car also requires the sale or trade-in of the one you already own.

Unfortunately for many, the amount you expect to receive for your old car doesn’t always equate to what you’re actually offered.

Since this ultimately means you’ll have to fork over more money for your new car, this can be a disheartening reality that can greatly affect what you can afford to purchase in an upgrade.

Luckily, there are things you can do to help make sure your car is in tip-top shape and ready for sale or trade-in.

Here’s how you can ensure you get the most value out of your used car.

Make Necessary Repairs

Does your car have any dents or scratches? Do any of the features, like your keyless entry or entertainment system, not work? These are things you should fix before attempting to sell or trade-in your used car.

If a buyer or dealer doesn’t have to make the repairs themselves, they’ll be willing to pay more for your used car.

Of course, before you start fixing things, you should get estimates for any repairs you’re considering making.

If opting to skip the repairs will significantly drop the value of your car, then it’s worth it to get things fixed, but if you’re going to pay thousands of dollars to fix them without seeing an increase in value, then you may want to forgo this step.

Make Sure Your Papers are In Order

You can tell a car dealership that you’ve serviced your car like clockwork, but unless you can prove it, your words are just that. Gather any evidence of repairs and maintenance records that can show you took good care of your vehicle.

If you decide to sell it yourself, buyers like to know that their potential new car was looked after and that they have nothing to be nervous about, which is why being able to present them with these records is so important.

Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More

Nothing deters buyers or dealers more than a dirty car. You wouldn’t want to buy a car with stains and dirt. Think about it, more likely than not, your eye is drawn to the shinier, nicer looking vehicles than the one covered in dust and mud.

So, before showing your car to a potential buyer or dealer, the best thing you can do is give your car a thorough cleaning. Make it look as new as possible.

Wash and wax it, clean or replace floor mats, dust the inside, and vacuum it out. You’ll be surprised how much nicer it looks and how much value can be added with just a little time and some elbow grease.

This is one the cheapest ways to add value to your used car.

Get It Serviced

This goes along with making any necessary repairs. If any lights pop up on your dash, you’ll definitely want to take your car in to make sure you don’t have any major issues that need taking care of.

However, apart from that, getting your oil changed, brakes checked, and tires rotated can refresh your car more than you might realize.

Plus, like everything else, if the dealer or buyer doesn’t have to immediately get their new car serviced, they’ll be much happier when making their purchase.

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Consider Getting it Detailed

Although cleaning your car yourself is still a good idea (and cheaper), getting your car professionally detailed can really help increase the value of your car. This is especially true if you have a luxury car.

In some cases, choosing to detail your car could add up to $500 to your resale value. The goal of detailing is to make your car look brand new.

In the process, detailers will shampoo your carpets, buff your car, degrease your engine, and sometimes they may even fix light scratches and paint chips.

It’s a $50-$200 service that could help make your car that much more appealing when you take it in to trade or show it off to a potential buyer. But make sure it’s worth it before you spend the money.

Look at Any Additions You’ve Made

It may have seemed like a good idea to add blacked out rims, a spoiler, and neon lights to your car, but you should consider how all these things might appeal to a potential buyer.

Some cars look great with certain additions, where others may look a tad ridiculous.

If you’ve made any sort of modification to your vehicle, take a good hard look at them before taking your car in to trade. Consider what someone looking at your car for the first time might think of these additions.

If they might discourage buyers from purchasing your car, now is the time to restore your car to its original condition. Plus, you might be able to sell some of these items individually for more than they add to the value of your vehicle.

Shop Around

While you should make yourself aware of your car’s value by looking it up in the Kelly Blue Book, it’s also possible that certain dealers might not offer as much as they should.

Take your car to various dealers and find out what their offer might be or discuss price with multiple buyers. If you find similar pricing, then you’ll know what your car is worth. But you might find one dealer or buyer who is willing to offer you a little more.

Trading-in or selling your old car can be frustrating if you’re shocked by the offer initially made, and sometimes you can’t help that your car has lost its value.

However, in most cases, you’ll find that it’s worth it to put in a little extra time to make your car feel new again. In fact, you might decide to keep it after all.

Have you had good results when practicing any of these things? How do you make sure you get a good price for your old car?