If you already own a car, the dealership where you are looking to purchase a new car from will likely make you an offer on your existing set of wheels. This process is called a trade-in. Usually, the money the dealership offers you for your vehicle can be used as a deposit on the new car you wish to buy. Alternatively, it can be used to settle fees like balloon payments that you might still owe the bank.
According to the AA, a car’s value drops between 15% - 30% each year from the day you start driving it. To determine exactly how much a dealership will give you for your current car depends on several factors. Typically, the dealership will invite you to bring your car to them so that they can evaluate it and determine its price.
There are a couple of things you can do to secure the best possible trade-in price for your car. The Fury Mazda Midrand team has set out their expert advice on this topic below.
1. The number of kilometers on the clock makes a difference
One of the most important factors that a dealership will look at when giving you a price on your car is the number of kilometers it has on the clock. The higher this number is, the lower the car’s value will be. This makes sense as people are more likely to buy a car with lower miles because it will have less wear than a car with higher miles. The AA has said that a good ballpark figure for mileage is about 25 000km per year. Anything over this can affect your car’s trade-in value.
People who regularly trade-in cars usually know when to start considering changing cars. Usually, this can be just before a balloon payment is due or just before a car hits a certain number of kilometers driven to still secure a decent trade-in price. This will be different for each type of car, so it is important that prospective sellers do their research well in advance so they are informed when going to a dealership.
2. Keep your car’s service history up to date
Naturally, a car that has been looked after and cared for will be more valuable than one that has missed several services. Although your car may still feel fine when driving it, car services are essential when it comes to nipping certain mechanical issues in the bud. In short, car services protect a car’s longevity.
It is thus important that you play the long-term game and make sure your car’s service history is up to date. Also, ensure that your service history book has all the stamps in it for the different services it has received. It is beneficial to keep invoices and receipts of your car’s repair and service work too - it offers irrefutable proof that you have prioritised your car’s condition throughout your time as its owner. We also recommend that you get your car serviced at accredited workshops, which use genuine parts to secure a higher trade-in value on your vehicle.
3. Make sure your car looks its best, inside and out
Maintenance also involves keeping your car clean. Take your car for a professional valet or even just a proper wash before taking it to your dealership. Appearances do matter and a dirty car might put the salesperson off and lead to a lower trade-in price.
When cleaning your car, make sure to cover both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Remember that car dealerships will look at the overall appearance of your vehicle and grade it from excellent to poor, depending on how it looks. A car with an “excellent” rating will definitely be worth more than one with a lower rating.
Further to this, people want to buy cars that have been taken care of properly. While dealerships may overlook a spot here or a spot there, a larger problem can arise. Buyers can think “if this person can’t take the trash out of their car, can I trust that they took care of the vehicle mechanically?” This a warning sign that dealerships won’t take lightly when determining a car’s value. Statista actually found that the quality of a car’s appearance plays a 50% role in the car buying process.
Even small dents and scratches will lead to a diminished price, so we recommend you get those fixed before heading to the dealership. It might cost you a couple of bucks to sort out, but the reward will be worth it.
4. Do your homework beforehand
Any dealership worth its salt won’t take clients for a ride, but unfortunately, there are some of them out there that do prey on unsuspecting customers. We strongly advise you to do some reading up on what a fair trade-in price for your car is. You can do this by looking at prices online or just calling a few dealerships and getting an estimate over the phone.
Some dealerships are happy to give you a rough price after seeing some recent photos of your car which you can send via email or WhatsApp. In this way, you are in a position to negotiate if you feel the price you are ultimately offered is not satisfactory or in line with what is to be expected for the kind of car you are trading-in.
Where to secure a trade-in evaluation on your car
Trade-in deals are popular because they save customers time and effort. Dealerships are well-versed in these kinds of transactions and oftentimes go the extra mile to ensure clients get a good deal so that they are in a position to buy their new vehicle.
At Fury Mazda Midrand, our sales team is dedicated to assisting customers with the trade-in process in an efficient and professional manner. When visiting us, we will not just give you a price, but we will let you know what might be leading to a lower-than-expected evaluation so that you have the chance to address those factors, should you wish to do so.
Contact us today for more information 010 492 3700