Below are factors that affect car trade-in value and things you as a vehicle owner can do to make your car worth more when the time comes to sell.
Personal upkeep is a huge factor in determining car trade-in value, and keeping your car in top-notch condition can be the difference between selling a car at a price you can live with and driving away from the lot feeling exploited, when in reality, this one was on you.
Fix Any Dents
Trade-in evaluators at the dealership expect your used car to have a few minor dings and scratches. Your trade-in value shouldn’t be significantly affected by them. But, if some of those dings aren’t minor or there are a lot of them, then they can affect the trade-in value. It’s the same with scratches. Having a dent repaired is cheaper than you probably think. If you look, you can find companies specializing in small-dent repair that will fix them and get you that money back for resale.
Fix Wheel Curb Rash
It’s happened to everyone: You pull up to a curb and your wheel scrapes the edge. This is called "curb rash," and it’s a surprisingly cheap fix. In fact, businesses are devoted solely to fixing it. Most dealers won’t sell a car with such curb rash, meaning they’ll have to pay to fix it, but if you address curb rash before trading in your car, you may see an increase in value.
Overall Look at the Exterior
A ding or dent may not seem like a big deal to you, but appraisers are picky people. Used vehicles are usually graded by appraisers on a four-point scale, with cars graded as either Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor condition.
More than 80% of vehicles fall into the “Fair” category, while a select few, usually newer used cars that have been driven very lightly and have been garaged for most of their life are deemed “Excellent.”
Just one or two small dents, dings, paint scratches or chips can be the difference between “Fair” or even “Good” or “Poor.’ It’s best to park in a garage out of the elements whenever possible, but if not, “dings and dents happen.” It’s part of owning a vehicle.