Have you decided to buy a new car by trading in your existing one? You're not the only one.

Many car owners are trading in cars to local new car dealerships in 2023 to help them manage new vehicle prices. That's because the money you receive from trading in a car can go toward your car purchase.

Trading in a car at a local car dealership can be tricky if you've never worked with local used car dealers before, though. Let's explore the top tips for trading in cars at local auto dealers.

The Trade-In: The Fastest Way to Sell a Car

If you're trying to "sell my car online," you may have considered promoting it to online car buyers on car-buying sites or at car auctions. However, the best way to sell a car is to trade it in at a local car dealership.

When working with a dealer vs. private seller, you won't have to deal with the hassle of arranging for people to come and look at your vehicle. This means none of the texts, phone calls, car inspections, questions, and test drives you'll have to navigate if you sell a car online.

Instead, you can expect the best local used car dealerships to buy your used car, no questions asked. In addition, you can complete the trade-in and your new vehicle purchase at the same time, so it's a convenient process.

Compile and Organize Your Service Records

Before taking your car to a local dealership to trade it in, gather all of your car's service records. The dealership may pay you more money for your car if you prove you've stayed on top of your car's preventative maintenance.

For instance, print copies of receipts for brakes and tires. In addition, let's say your car was involved in a crash years ago. Submit to the car dealership paperwork showing what repairs were made.

Keep in mind the dealership might not request paperwork for your car. However, as we mentioned earlier, if you have documents, you might get a sweeter trade-in deal.

Make Sure Your Car is Clean

Try to clean up your car before presenting it to a car dealership as a trade-in vehicle. For instance, wash the car, and remove any trash from it. You might also want to vacuum the car's interior.

Cleaning up your vehicle's technology is also important for security reasons. Plus, it's one less thing the dealership has to do after they purchase your car, which might make buying it more appealing to them.

For example, remove your residential address from the car's navigation system. In addition, unpair your cell phone from your car's Bluetooth connection. Consider wiping your call history as well.

Make Necessary Repairs before Trade-In

You might also want to repair your car before trading it in depending on the amount of damage it's sustained. If you don't make necessary repairs, the dealership will likely deduct the repair amounts from your car's trade-in value.

Still, the amount they deduct may be less than what you'd pay to fix the problem yourself. In this case, it may not benefit you to make the repairs yourself.

For instance, let's say your car needs new brakes. This problem may cost a couple of hundred dollars to fix. However, the dealership might deduct only $150 from your vehicle's trade-in value since they can easily complete this fix in the dealership's repair shop.

Also, keep in mind that car dealers often work with third parties to repair minor dings, damaged wheels, and chipped glass at lower prices than what individual consumers would pay for these services.

Know Your Car's Value

Finally, research your car's value before taking it to a dealership to trade it in. You can do this by looking for your car's price according to Kelley Blue Book or car-buying sites, like Autotrader and CarsDirect. This price will be based on your vehicle's age, make, and model.

If you don't research your car's value, you won't know if the dealership is giving you a lowball car estimate or a fair one.

Keep in mind that the dealership will factor in several other variables in their trade-in value offer, too. These include your vehicle's mileage and whether the car features factory options. Cars with factory add-ons will be more valuable than the base models of cars.

Shipping Your Cars

Once you've struck a trade-in and purchase deal with a dealership, you may need to ship your car to the dealership if it's several states away. Likewise, you may need them to ship your new car to you.

This is where cross-country car shipping comes into play.

A reputable auto transport service can help you determine the cost of shipping cars between dealerships using a car shipping calculator. This type of calculator can factor in variables like the distance the car will be going and the drop-off date.

You should also plug into the car shipping calculator whether you will use enclosed or open transport. Open transport is less expensive, but enclosed transport will protect your car from debris and the weather.

How We Can Help Those Trading in a Car

You may be asking, "Should I sell my car to a dealer or sell a car online?" Selling to a local car dealership versus an online buyer is generally a faster and more efficient process.

When trading in a car to one of your favorite local auto dealers, clean it first. Local used car dealers may pay you more if you do. Also, arrange for auto shipping if needed.

At Nexus Auto Transport, we've helped numerous car sellers and buyers ship their cars to and from local new car dealerships. Get in touch with us to learn more.