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What To Expect During A Car Trade-In

Parting with your car is never easy, especially when you have had it for a long time. However, there will come a time when it needs to be replaced. 

Nowadays, dealerships provide car buyers with a trade-in option to offset the down payment of their next purchase. Hence, eliminating the tedious process of selling your car, as the buying and selling transaction takes place simultaneously at the same location. The best part of a trade-in? You can enjoy the benefit of paying vehicle tax that is based on the price difference between the new car and trade-in amount!

To determine if you are offered a reasonable price for your car, you must first know what the value of your car is. There will be dealerships who might try to undercut you, so it is always better to do your research and get a second opinion.

At UCARS, we provide a free and instant valuation on your car to eliminate the time-consuming process of manually acquiring car valuation quotes from different dealerships. Using the latest technologies, you can find out how much your car is worth immediately with our latest AI Valuation tool and use these figures as a baseline for your negotiating.

With these figures, it is time to learn what you can expect at a car trade-in.  

When you arrive at a dealership, a sales consultant will begin to access your car’s history report, perform a thorough inspection of your car and take it for a test drive to evaluate how good it runs. 

Seize the opportunity to share what you know about your car and be ready to answer whatever questions they might have. Most sales consultants are experienced and well-versed so they are skilled at identifying issues that you might try to conceal. Be honest and transparent, because it not only establishes trust and rapport, but also creates a good first impression. Based on the overall condition of your car and repairs needed for a sure sale in the future, the sales consultant will then present an offer.

You have two options after receiving an offer, either put your bargaining skills to the test and negotiate for a better price or close the deal. Generally, the initial trade-in offer at a dealership is often on the low end, so there is still room to negotiate. Instead of taking up the offer, say “I came here with the intention of buying a car from you, if we can come to a mutual agreement on the trade-in price, I’d love to give you my business today.”

Bear this in mind – You are under no obligation to trade your car if you are unsatisfied with the final offer. Instead, keep your options open. Visiting multiple dealerships allows you to gauge the true value of your trade-in, retain copies of your quotes and use this information as a bargaining chip. However, if you are caught between two dealerships with similar offers, you might want to lean toward the one which you intend to buy your car from.

Once both parties have reached an understanding, take the time to read through every document that is presented in front of you to sign. Check to ensure that all the numbers match the contract you agreed to and that there are no mistakes on the paperwork.

Following these few steps will definitely ensure a smooth trade-in experience. The key is to determine the value of your car, shop around for quotes and be realistic about the offers you receive.


We understand that owning a car is a big financial commitment. Our marketplace is dedicated to help you get the best deals, make the right decision and save money! Browse our finest collection of quality cars at your fingertips or schedule a live video call session at the comfort of your own home on UCARS.

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