How to Trade in a Car

Handing Keys Over


Selling a car can be a daunting and time-consuming process. Knowing how to trade in your car can alleviate the stress when it’s time to make a change. No matter the model or make of car, truck, or SUV you drive in your daily Belleville commute, chances are high that Auffenberg CDJR can help Smithton drivers through the car trade-in process. Determined to get you a fair market value, Auffenberg CDJR created this how to trade in a car guide. Read on to learn more about the trade-in process! Have more questions on the car buying process? Read our car buying tips for advice on vehicle warranties and pre-owned vehicles!

What Steps Should I Take to Trade In a Car?

Before you begin the trade-in process in East St. Louis, dividing the tasks into steps will simplify the whole undertaking. Here’s an overview of how to trade in your car:

  1. Get an estimate of your car’s trade-in value.
  2. Get an in-person appraisal with an expert.
  3. Negotiate and accept your offer.

Step 1: Get Your Trade-In Car’s Value

Before obtaining an appraisal, experts recommend shopping around for a few estimates for your car’s current value. Using trusted websites like the Kelley Blue Book® Value or Edmunds Appraisal Tool® is a good first step. At Auffenberg CDJR, we also have a Value your Trade estimator, so you have a better idea of what to expect when you obtain an appraisal. The estimate for your trade-in will be based on your vehicle’s make, model, and year, as well as current condition and maintenance history. Also, before getting an in-person appraisal, you’ll want to research what cars similar to your make and model have sold for. This is necessary information for negotiation.

Step 2: Get an Appraisal

Next, you’ll need to bring the car in for an in-person inspection. If you’re learning how to trade in a car for the first time, this can be the most nerve racking part of the process, since the appraisal could be low or the dealership cannot resell the car. You can minimize variation by being as honest and thorough as possible during the estimation process. By taking care of your recommended maintenance on time, you will increase the chances of getting your trade-in accepted. Be sure to clean the car thoroughly and have any minor maintenance completed before you bring it into the dealership. Having a detailed history report of all the work and maintenance done on your vehicle will help raise the cost!

Step 3: Negotiate or Accept a Trade-In Offer

If you’ve gotten multiple appraisals, you’re in a position to negotiate. If you choose to accept the offer provided by the dealership, you can put the money towards your next new car – typically in the form of a down payment. Your next step will be to apply for a car loan or a lease.

Man talking with Car Salesman

Let Auffenberg CDJR Help You With Your Trade-In

If you’d like to learn more about how to trade in a car, or any additional vehicle information, contact us at Auffenberg CDJR in O'Fallon! Schedule an appointment with our service department or reach out to your finance team about financing!

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