Get The Best Value For Your Trade-In

5 ways to get more money for your trade-in

When it comes to trading in your old vehicle the name of the game is maximum value, so here is a short list of tips that can help you obtain more money for your trade-in.

How trade-in value of your vehicle is determined

The current condition: The current condition of your trade-in is what creates that essential “first impression” for a potential buyer. Cleaning your vehicle, touching up paint chips, replacing burnt out light bulbs, a fresh oil change and servicing all go a long way to help create that critical first impression. Consider a professional interior and exterior detailing to rejuvenate your vehicle as money spent now will allow you to net a higher selling price later-on. Another thing to consider is a pre-purchase inspection as it will give potential buyers an idea of what may be required to pass safety or what future maintenance/repairs may be on the horizon.

The Make/Model: Some brands tend to hold their re-sale value better than others. Japanese vehicles for instance, tend to hold their resale value quite well mainly because of their popularity and reliability. Features and equipment also factor into the equation; a base model with no air conditioning will always bring less money on resale when compared to the same model with all the popular options. Colour can also play a factor in the resale of a vehicle; popular colours like grey, silver and metallic white will always be an easier sell than ‘hot pink’ or ‘canary yellow.’

The Age/Mileage: The age and mileage of a vehicle are always taken into consideration when getting your vehicle appraised. Generally, the older and higher mileage a vehicle is, the more it depreciates. Sometimes it is difficult to determine how the vehicle was driven, so the mileage is not always the first thing appraisers look at. They look for tires that are in decent shape with reasonable tread depth remaining, brakes that do not squeak or shake when applied, glass that is free of chips and cracks, and the overall condition of the body.

How to increase your car’s trade-in value

Past history: Has the vehicle had any previous accidents? Purchase a Carfax Vehicle History Report if you are unsure of the exact history of your trade-in. Your vehicle might ‘look good’ but a comprehensive Carfax report will show any insurance claims and dollar amounts for previous damage that was repaired. A good rule of thumb is if the previous damages are less than $3,000 then it will not likely affect the re-sale value as these are typically minor incidents. Of course, a clean car with no Carfax or accident claims always helps one to obtain top resale or trade-in value.

Service records: Keeping your service records is proof that you have maintained your vehicle and will generally aid in obtaining maximum resale or trade-in value. Performing oil changes at regular intervals, having recommended maintenance performed when required and repairing items before they become major concerns, all help to obtain top-dollar for your vehicle. Likewise, a vehicle that has been under-maintained, abused or neglected usually shows and will affect resale value in a negative manner.

Remove dings/dents: There are several DIY options for dent and ding removal, or you can turn to a professional who will usually make quick work of this task. Likewise, polishing and touching-up paint chips, scratches and scuffs on the body can also improve the appearance of any vehicle.

Minor repairs: You do not need to spend a fortune to make your vehicle look new again before selling or trading it in. Take a close look at your vehicle, is their anything on the exterior or interior that could use some attention? The least imperfections the better for the resale value of your trade-in and to help eliminate negative objections from potential buyers.

Clear Headlights: This one is important especially if your trade-in is older. Foggy headlights look horrible; headlights that look ‘like new’ stand out and show that you take pride in your vehicle. This small detail which is often overlooked, will help elevate the exterior appearance of your vehicle while increasing its resale value. There are plenty of DIY headlight restoration kits available and can make for a great Sunday project! The alternative of course, is consulting your local detail shop to tackle this job which can usually be done for less than $200.

The devil is in the details and we hope that with these simple tips you are able to obtain more money for your vehicle whether selling it privately or trading it in.

Written by:
Ryan Richard

Used Car Manager at Luxe Auto Lounge

1671 Vimont Court, Unit 101

Orleans, ON


Our goal is to become your go-to source for anything and everything automotive!

Please follow us on social media @LuxeAutoLounge on Facebook & Instagram and follow me Ryan @yourcarguyryan on Facebook & Instagram.