Car question..

I’m in the market for a new car. I really need a bigger one and something that can handle the snow where I live. So I guess I’m going the gasp SUV route. That aside, I’m trading in my current 2000 car for a 2004 SUV. To maximize trade-in value, is it necessary to pretty the car up and make it all nice inside and out? Or is trading in a car a pretty standard thing and they expect it to be dirty (especially being winter). It’s way too cold outside to wash it. But I dont want them to give me less than I should be getting. Your advice?

Don’t tell the salesperson that you want to trade in a vehicle until you’ve negotiated a price for the vehicle you want to purchase. Once you do that, find out how much he’ll give you for your trade in. Look in your local newspaper and want-ads beforehand, and find out how much others are asking for your current vehicle (forget about what the blue books say, its what people in the market for your vehicle are willing to pay that matters), and if the difference is worth your time to sell it on your own, that’s what I’d do.

Good advice. Also, when I traded in my Jeep for my CR-V, the thing was pretty dirty, having just gone through an Alaskan winter. They didn’t bat an eye, since there was no accident damage and the resale is high. Dirt washes off, dents don’t.

go here before you buy…lots of great info

did you consider a subaru forester…they are awd and are nice looking and even have a 210 horsepower turbo version…it has plenty of torque so there is very little turbo lag

good luck

No dealership on earth will give you anywhere near fair market value for your trade-in. Otherwise, they could never resell it at a profit.

Plan on getting at least a few thousand less using it as a trade-in. If it’s convenient, you will get more money selling it yourself and using that cash as a down payment.

As a matter of fact, I bought a new truck today (a Toyota Tundra) I traded in my old piece of crap car (1994 Saturn with 178,000 miles) and I got $1,000 for it. It booked at $450. The car barely runs, and it spews out smoke whenever it is running.

I am very surprised they gave me $1,000 for it. I would have paid them to take it off my hands. The kicker is, they offered me $1,000 sight-unseen, I didn’t have the car with me. They asked me some questions and I told them about the problems and they didn’t care. I am signed all the papers and I have to bring in the trade-in Monday.

I guarantee you the private party value of that Saturn is well over $1000. But I’d bet the real reason they were happy to take your old car, is because they made a killing on the vehicle they sold you. That’s why I reccomend negotiating the best price for the vehicle you intend to purchase first, and then negotiating a price for your trade-in.