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Getting the Highest Trade-in Value for Your Vehicle | Transportation

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Getting the Highest Trade-in Value for Your Vehicle
Getting the Highest Trade-in Value for Your Vehicle

By Tom Torbjornsen

Tom Torbjornsen, Western New York’s automotive oracle here, hoping you had a great weekend and start to the holiday shopping season! It is indeed holiday shopping season and the store parking lots are full! Please be courteous to other drivers and park in a manner so as not to block other drivers from entering their vehicles. Just a friendly reminder that you share roadways and parking lots with other drivers, so be courteous please! And now for my weekly auto tip:

This week I will talk about how to get the highest trade-in value for your car. Remember, when you trade in your vehicle, you are in effect selling your car to the dealer. The dealer is looking for a vehicle to resell, which is part of their business plan. Here are some tips to raise the value of your trade:

Detail the vehicle: A professional deep cleaning costs money to perform by the dealership; they pay a detail person to do this service to prepare the vehicle for the lot. If you clean your car before trading, your car will look more attractive and will be appraised for more money. It’s a proven fact statistically that cars detailed before going to auction will bring as much as 10 to 20 percent more money than an identical vehicle with the same mileage and equipment but dirty.

Prepare a service history: One thing that scares a buyer of a used vehicle is the prospect of “buying someone else’s problems.” I’m sure you have heard this phrase used many times when referring to a used vehicle for sale. One very good thing you can do is to prepare a service history docket. When a prospective buyer sees a history of oil changes, tire rotations, brake services and general repairs done throughout the life of the vehicle he or she is considering, it gives them peace of mind that the vehicle was properly maintained throughout its life. This tip works especially well on higher mileage vehicles, as a buyer will feel more comfortable with a high-mileage vehicle if it was maintained meticulously throughout its life. Besides that, the car fax may confirm your detailed service records indicating the car’s had a good  “upbringing.”

Make sure general service is up to date: Before trading the vehicle, have the general service work done. Have the oil and filter changed and the lubrication done. If the tire rotation was due, have it done before trading. If the trans service was due, have it done. The dealer services every car that was traded in. If you show proof that the services were done recently, this will bring more value to the trade.

Remove bumper stickers and decals: Bumper stickers and decals, while they might be entertaining to you, are a hassle to a dealer. This means that the detail shop has to apply heat to the decals and stickers and painstakingly peel them off the vehicle surface. Take the time to carefully remove these annoyances from the vehicle’s body before trading and you will realize greater trade-in value.

Remove small dents: Dealers hire the services of paintless dent repair companies like Dent Wizard to remove dings from used vehicle bodies to increase the retail value of the vehicle. If you pay such a company to remove them before trading, you will once again realize greater trade-in value. It’s well worth the cost to have this service done.

Repair damaged vinyl: Vehicle dashboards are made of vinyl, and there are companies out there that do automotive vinyl repair. Cracks in dashboards can be repaired to the degree that the damage is virtually unseen. A vehicle with a clean dash with no cracks will bring a higher trade-in value than one with a damaged dash.

It’s the end of the year and as statistics show, one of the best times to buy your new or pre-owned vehicle as dealers are looking to end the year on a positive note! I know that for Hyundai, we have all kinds of “Holiday Cash” incentives to take advantage of, so I ask all my friends to look me up at Towne Hyundai/Autochoice on the corner of Southwestern Boulevard and Milestrip Road in Orchard Park. At Towne Auto, we scour every pre-owned vehicle with our 115-point inspection before it goes on the lot for sale. We’ve been doing this for a long time with a stellar track record of happy customers, so you can rest assured that you’re buying a solid, safe vehicle for you and your family. 

When you come in, just ask for Tom T. You can also e-mail me at TomT@TowneAuto.Com or give me a call at 662-7400, ext. 534. I’ll help you find the exact vehicle you are looking for. Having been in the car business going on 30 years now, there’s not much I haven’t seen, so e-mail me, give me a call or stop by to take advantage of my expertise and the great Hyundai incentives for the holiday season! I’ll put you into the right vehicle for you, your family and your budget.

Keep rollin’!

Tom Torbjornsen

Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive journalist in good standing with the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) and the Motor Press Guild (MPG), Tom has been the repair and maintenance editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. You can hear his radio show, “America’s Car Show,”  locally on WKSN 1340 AM via the SSI Radio Network at 8 a.m. Saturday. Tom’s television show, “America’s Car Show,” can be seen on Buffalo’s WBBZ-TV. The show airs at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and is re-aired at 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday. 

For more information, visit www.americascarshow.com, follow America’s Car Show on Facebook for frequent updates, or email Tom at tomt@towneauto.com. You can find Tom’s latest book, “How To Make Your Car Last Forever,” at Barnes & Nobel and Amazon.com.




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