SA Car Broker Tips

How to trade in your car and get the best deal for it.

by Renate Birch | 15 Dec 2021 |  Share:

How to trade in your car and get the best deal for it.

It’s time to upgrade your ride. The next question is whether you should sell your car privately or trade it in at a car dealership.

Trade-in vs a Private Sale

Selling your pre-owned car privately can lead to a more immediate sale with more money in your pocket but it can also be a horrific experience if the sale goes south. A private sale comes with a bit more hassle and safety risks compare to a trade-in. Despite the obvious, such as taking care of any repairs, doing a roadworthy tests and process tons of paperwork, you’re also putting yourself at risk by doing test drives with complete strangers and opening a door for potential scams such as false poof of payment. 

Trading in your car through a trusted dealership is not only hassle free but also safe and transparent, although you might not end up with the price you bargained for. 

Unless you have sold many cars before and are very familiar with the process of selling your car privately, it’s needless to say, working trough a dealership is by far the better choice.

When is the best time to trade in your car?

Is there actually a best time to sell a car you may wonder? 

Ask yourself the following: 

  • Does my car cost me more than I could afford on repairs and maintenance?
  • Is my motor plan about to expire?
  • Is my car set to be discontinued? 
  • Is the trade in value of my car more or less in line with the settlement amount owed to the bank? 

If your answers to these questions are yes, then you know now is the best time to sell your car

How do I know what my car is worth?

Unless you’re driving a vintage or collectors car, the value of a vehicle generally declines with its age and milage so the value of your car depends on its general condition and kilometers in the clock. It is crucial that you know the trade-in value of your car before you pay a visit to any car dealership, otherwise you’ll have no idea if you’re getting a fair deal. By doing some of your own online research to determine your car’s book value, trade in value and retail price or to visit a few different car dealers will give you a very good idea of what your model car is worth. 

What if I still owe the bank? Can I still trade it in?

Part of the efficiency behind trading in your car is that the dealer will take care of whole financing process. The process is quite simple: Once you agreed on what the dealer has offered you for the car you wish to trade in, the dealer settles the outstanding amount on your loan and obtain the car’s title directly from the bank. If your car is worth more than the amount you owed on it that amount will be used as a down payment toward your new purchase. But if your car’s value is less than what you still owe the bank the difference will be added to the cost of your new car.

Get your car in tip top shape.

Before taking your car to the dealership, consider the following few steps to boost your car trade-in value:

  • It may be worth considering what damage to repair or maintenance to perform beforehand as the mechanical and physical condition of your car are big influencers of value. 
  • Check your car’s lights and replace them if needed. Check all fluid levels and ensure they’re topped off. If your car needs more serious work, leave that for the car dealer.
  • A clean and well-maintained car is most likely to get the highest trade-in value, so clean the vehicle inside and out.
  • Gather records you have for repairs and maintenance so you can use them in the negotiation. This will prove to the dealer that you took care of the car.
  • Remember to bring the spare set of keys and other accessories when you are ready to do the trade-in.

How to negotiate a good selling price.

Shop around for trade-in potential while you shop for another car to get as many competitive quotes for your trade-in as possible before engaging with the car dealer. Don’t settle for the first trade-in value offer you receive.

Always discuss the price for a new car before discussing the price of your trade-in. Car dealers love to negotiate both prices at the same time so that when you insist on a better deal for the new car, they'll try to lower the trade-in price. Or if you want more for your trade-in, they might try to increase the price on the new car.

If you decide to trade in and buy at the same car dealership, go towards the end of the month and you’ll have more bargaining power as they try harder to make the sale to meet their monthly target.

Now that you are familiar with the process of trading in your old car and buying another, our sales team at SA Car Broker would love to hear from you. With a team of highly qualified  experts on hand we ensure to save you time, effort and money as we will find you the best possible new deals or trade-ins.

Get the value of your car on our website while browsing through our wide range of reliable used car deals and trade-ins.  

Follow this link: You can also keep on top of the latest car deals and tips on our Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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