Trading in Your Car? Here's What You Need to Know

The time has come for you to get rid of the old and move onto the new. As you look forward to purchasing your next car, you probably are considering how to make the most out of your old ride.

Many car dealerships look for ways to boost their used-car inventory and often engage in trade-ins for old vehicles. If you want to attempt this process, though, there are a few important things to know along the way.

First and foremost, you will need to figure out your car's fair trade-in value to determine what a reasonable offer is for it. When you go to value your trade, be honest and accurate about its condition, equipment and features, and remember that sentimental value means nothing to a dealership. According to a post on, few cars will truly be in "outstanding" condition - even the most well-kept vehicles are generally considered "clean" or "good" - so set your expectations modestly. Print out the results page containing the estimated trade-in value.

Next, you should call Moody Motors in Niobrara and talk with a salesman to schedule an appointment. You don't need to worry about bringing in a freshly cleaned car or making minor repairs on the vehicle. The truth is, neither will greatly affect its trade-in value, and large companies generally can fix up your car for less than it would cost you as a private owner. At the dealership, a staff member will appraise your potential trade-in and give you a quote for what the company will pay in cash or, more often, in credit toward buying a new car, according to an article on

It's good to remember the dealership will consider a variety of factors when deciding whether to make an offer and at what price. Some variables may include your car's condition, the model's age, how probable it is the car will sell and the dealer's current inventory. For better luck, suggests taking your potential trade-in to a dealership that doesn't specialize in that brand. For instance, if you want to trade an old Honda Accord, you could take it to a Ford or other non-Honda dealer, and they may offer more for the vehicle. In short, you are likely to get a better offer if your car isn't competing with numerous other identical or similar vehicles on the lot.

Your final step will be negotiating a deal using information from the appraisals done on your vehicle, as well as maintenance records and other documents. The dealership's first offer probably will be low, giving you room to negotiate if you want to invest time and effort. Industry experts advise that if you are debating among multiple dealerships, you will find it often makes the most sense financially to take it to the dealership where you intend to purchase a new car - that way you have more leverage when bargaining. If you go this route, "it's best to be up front about the trade-in from the very beginning," according to

Something else to keep in mind is waiting for the right time to trade in your vehicle. Many dealerships will occasionally have special promotions or trade-in events where they offer extra incentives for people to bring in their used cars. Going in near the end of the month or when the dealer's used-car inventory is running low also is a good strategy.

Trading in your car can be a time-efficient and convenient way to make some money on a no-longer-useful vehicle. You won't have to worry about taking out ads, meeting with potential buyers and other tasks that accompany private sales. By determining the value of your vehicle before heading to a local car dealership in Niobrara, you will be poised to make the best deal on your trade-in.