Don’t miss out on a good deal for your new Cadillac. Here’s how to negotiate a trade in for a fair price towards your brand-new car.

Buying a new car is exciting. You replace your old ride with a new make and model to upgrade your driving experience.

If you’re like most people, this happens every 11 years or so. But what to do with your old car? Sure, you can sell it privately, but a trade-in cuts the cost of your new car. It’s almost always the better option.

But how do you negotiate so you get the most for your old vehicle? Here are a few tips.

Research Your Car’s Value

Before you trade your car in, you need to know what it’s worth. This means you’ll research before you ever talk to a salesperson.

The Kelly Blue Book provides great information on vehicle resale values and help you determine the condition of your car. Kelly categorizes its resale value based on its condition.

Remember, while you may love your car, that doesn’t assure its pristine condition. Scratches, dings and dents can take hundreds off of your resale price.

See Dealer’s Viewpoint

Step into the dealership’s shoes. Inspect your car for damage, wear and tear. Look at the suggested values for cars in the same category. You should get something near that value.

Use that amount as your negotiations baseline. Just be ready to accept somewhat less. Remember, dealerships must store, clean and sell the car you trade in.

They must make money on your trade-in, so they may not offer you its full value.

Give Your Car TLC

Give your car a little TLC before the trade-in evaluation starts.

Dirt hides damage. Your dealership wants to know the car’s condition before accepting it in a trade.

You don’t like your car when it’s dirty and neither will your dealership. If you don’t clean your car before you trade it in, expect to be offered less.

Wash, wax and polish the exterior. Vacuum inside and clean the side pockets and cupholders. You don’t have to go crazy. But you do want to make your car look as great as possible.

Record Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to keep your car on the road. But you need to keep track of that maintenance to show the dealership you’ve cared for your car.

If you can prove the car was well taken care of and received all manufacturer-recommended maintenance at the right times, they’ll be more confident in the trade.

Before you head to the dealership, gather any and all maintenance records you have. If you can’t find them, don’t panic. Your car will still get thoroughly inspected before the dealership makes you an offer.

If you maintained it properly, they’ll be able to tell. But if you neglected its maintenance, they’ll likely offer you less for the car.

Set New Car’s Price First

It’s tempting to go in with your trade-in vehicle and get an immediate quote. But that doesn’t mean you should.

In fact, it makes you seem overly eager. Some salespeople will try to take advantage of your eagerness and push you to make a quick decision.

This makes it hard to negotiate a lower price for the new car. Instead, negotiate a fair price on the new car first. Once you’re happy with that number, mention you have a car you’d like to trade-in.

The new car’s price won’t change and your trade-in will further drop the amount you pay.

Remain Confident

The key to any successful negotiation is confidence.

You did your research. You know what your car is worth. And you’re ready to drive away in a new Cadillac SUV.

Negotiate with your head held high. Approach the negotiation with confidence and stick to your minimum acceptable price.

If the dealership offers you less, ask them to justify their offer. Once you understand the flaws they found, explain why your car is worth more.

Remember, it’s in the dealership’s interest to pay you as little as necessary for your trade. Often, dealers offer you a higher number if you stay firm.

Be Willing to Walk Away

Some dealerships just won’t offer you what you want to accept for your old car. It’s not a reflection of your car’s quality. And it doesn’t mean you won’t get a fair price elsewhere.

It simply means it’s not the right fit for their dealership.

If this happens, don’t feel pressured to accept the offer. Thank them for their time and walk away.

You can always go back if other dealerships offer you less or don’t have the car you want. The important thing is you should not feel pressured to make a quick decision.

Negotiate Like a Pro

These tips should help you negotiate a trade-in with your dealership. But it’s always best to look for a dealership you can trust before you start the trade-in process. Stop by our showroom today or call our sales department at: (402) 238-1729 to make an appointment with our dedicated team. We’ll help you get into the car of your dreams.

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