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Preparing Your Car for a Trade-In

Whether shopping for a new car or selling avehicle you no longer need, preparing your used car for a trade-in can helpensure you receive the best price. Check out our tips to make sure you come tothe dealership prepared.

EstimateYour Car’s Value
Before trading in your vehicle, find out howmuch it’s worth to help you feel confident during the process. Free onlinetools such as Kelly Blue Book can give you an estimate based on your car’smake, model, mileage and condition. Other factors that can impact value arerepairs needed, whether it has been in any accidents, and current supply anddemand. Bring a copy of the estimate(s) you receive to the dealership and don’tbe afraid to get multiple quotes if you’re not happy with the first priceoffered.

GatherNecessary Paperwork
Along with the value estimates, make sure youalso have your title, registration and maintenance records on hand. This willnot only speed up the process, but will also show the dealership that you’vetaken care of the vehicle.

Cleanand Inspect
Take the time to clean and inspect yourvehicle before the trade in. Not only will this put your car in the best lightand demonstrate how well it was cared for, but it will also make sure you findany personal items that may have gotten lost over time. A quick inspection mayalso reveal imperfections you’d like to fix beforehand. You want to make thecar look as new as possible, especially if it’s a vehicle with lower mileage.

Repairand Replace
While it’s likely not worth it to splurge on majorrepairs for a car you’re trading in, small repairs can make a difference. Buffout any scratches, replace broken headlights or old tires, and perform regularmaintenance if it’s due. If there are major repairs needed, do your researchregarding repair cost, current car value and repaired value to find out if it’sworth the time.

To ensure you receive the best value for yourvehicle, don’t put off the trade-in process. Cars depreciate over time, plusthe longer you wait, the greater chance of something breaking down and needingrepairs. Give yourself plenty of time to shop around and get everything inorder so you’re not stressed on the day of the sale.


When in the market for a used car, stopby Carousel Preowned. Carousel Preowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids,Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be anautomotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your completesatisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offerthe widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and providetrue ease of purchase in Iowa.

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