5 tips for getting the best trade-in deal for your car

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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People who wish to sell their cars with minimum hassle could find themselves approaching a dealer. Car dealers may not offer you a premium price for the trade-in. However, if you are left wondering how to prepare to trade-in your car and snatch yourself the best deal that will help you upgrade to your new wheels here is what you need to know.

1. Research, research, research

Selling a car at a dealership can be a daunting process if you haven’t put in the research and it is likely that you could end up walking away with way less money than your car deserves. Get your search bar ready for researching cars that are similar to your own that are being sold privately or through the used market to help you prepare. Knowing the approximate market price can help you wield your negotiation power. You can also get a valuation done at places like Redbook for a fee of $20 on your car if you are not sure.

2. Show off your car in the best light

Before you head off to the dealership, check to see if your car is in good condition to be sold in. Keep in mind that the cleanliness and general condition of your car will have an effect on the trade-in price. Consider taking your car to the car wash or giving it a good scrub to improve its outward appearance. The interior also needs to be cleaned out. Check your car for any rubbish and stains that need to be sorted out before showing your car to the dealer.

3. Maintain a maintenance schedule

If you take care of your car it will take care of you when it is time to sell it. If you have kept your maintenance days for your car this could pay off when it is time to drive it down to the dealership for a trade-in. The number of kilometres it has done and service history also play a crucial part in the trade-in value of your car. Remember to keep a record of each service as proof that you can provide to a potential buyer showing that you kept good care of your wheels.

4. Brace yourself for dealer tactics

Dealers will never offer you a premium price when it comes to your vehicle. Always keep in mind that dealers know tricks to sway the deal into something that could benefit them. After all, they are experts in buying and selling cars, which means you need to be prepared. This means knowing the price of your car, knowing the best time in the month to sell, and knowing when to walk away.

5. Weigh your options

Before you settle on doing a trade-in check to see if selling your car privately will not be the better option. Check to see if you will be getting the best deal for your car by weighing the price you will get for a trade-in against the changeover price for your new vehicle. If your new car is going to end up costing you more than what you received for a trade-in, it may not be the best deal overall.

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