Get the most for your vehicle trade-in

64423H(NC)—Car manufacturer incentives are too good to pass up, and financing rates are super low.  You decide to take the plunge and trade in your old car for a new one.

But how can you ensure you get the best possible value for your old wheels?

Josh Bailey is director of analytics for Canadian Black Book, the leading authority on new and used vehicle values for 50 years.  He says to think about selling a car the same way you sell a house.  The better the presentation, the more you will likely get in exchange.  Bailey suggests these five tips to tilt the odds in your favour:

1. Present your vehicle in the best possible condition — invest in a professional detailing.

2. Bring your car’s service history with you and be sure it is complete.

3. Consider making minor repairs before you begin your new car search.  If your windshield is damaged a dealer will use past repair experience to estimate the replacement costs which could be to your disadvantage.

4. Be upfront about any previous accident history or repairs.  If a dealer discovers repairs from a history report instead of you, he or she may become more wary of the car’s value.

5. Shop your trade around to several dealers.  If a dealer thinks that he has a buyer, and competition, you may be offered more for your trade.

6. Look at the dealer’s current inventory of used vehicles before you hit the showroom floor.   If your car is nothing like those on hand already, he or she may not have a market for yours and that will mean a lower trade-in value.  If that is the case, consider a private sale.

Calculate your vehicle’s trade-in value and get more automotive tips and advice at

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