Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

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Wondering if you should fix your car before trading in? We’re here to help! Trading in is a cost-effective and convenient solution to save on down payments and reduce future payments, but there are plenty of questions associated with the process. There is no black-and-white answer, but we have a few key insights that may help you with your decision. You’ll want to touch up any minor issues, like scratches or paint, and your car should be clean inside and out. However, we would caution you to stay away from paying a lot to fix larger issues that may be even more than your trade-in value. Learn more below, and then use our Nissan trade-in calculator to see what you can get for your vehicle.

Trading In: What Not to Do

While minor repairs are a great way to touch up your vehicle before trading in, major repairs are another story. There are a few important reasons why you may not want to address major issues with your Nissan trade-in:

  • Cost: If you spend a lot of money fixing major issues with your vehicle, this will eat into (and maybe even exceed) your trade-in value.
  • Leave it to the dealership: Typically, your dealership will be able to fix major problems themselves with their own expertise and at a lower cost than you would pay out of pocket.
  • No deductions: Your dealership may not perform a detailed inspection of your vehicle before trading in, which means they may not deduct the cost of major repairs from the price!

Trading In: What to Do

Barring major issues, there are plenty of fixes you can make to your Aitkin ride to make it presentable and potentially increase your trade-in value. Check out this list of the most important things you can do to spruce up your vehicle before bringing it to the dealership. For even more tips, check out our self-service tips!

Clean the car:

  • On the inside: remove any garbage, personal items, and other clutter inside the car, then clean the windows and carpets
  • On the outside: whether you decide to do it yourself or go to a professional, you should wash the car to get rid of any marks and stains 
  • Wax your car- after washing your car, you can wax it to give a shiny finish 

Fix any scratches

  • Depending on the severity of the scratches, you can DIY or use a service to remove them

Perform checks:

  • Headlamps: make sure they’re working properly and replace them if needed
  • Fluids: check your brake & transmission fluids, oil, radiator, and windshield washer; make sure they’re up to date, so the dealer will know you’ve been keeping up with basic maintenance 

A little work on minor fixes to your vehicle can go a long way. Dealerships may take notice and realize that your car is well taken care of, which is a great plus for you. However, you should also take into account your capability of performing a DIY repair before you get started. If you attempt to make a minor fix but it isn’t done properly, the dealership will probably notice and subtract the cost of repairing the mistake from your trade-in value. Take a moment to compare your trade-in value with the cost of making repairs, and use that to inform your decision.

Trading In: Last-Minute Steps

Aside from fixes, there are a few important (and cost-free!) steps you can take to show your dealership that your vehicle has been well taken care of. 

  • Organize your maintenance records, as recent as possible – complete records are best
  • Gather your mats, keys, winter tires, and anything else that came with the car

Estimate Your Nissan Trade-In With Tanner Nissan

If you’re ready to trade in your Bemidji vehicle for a new ride, we’re ready to help you. Our Nissan trade-in calculator can help you determine the value of your trade-in online before you get to the dealership. Then, head to our Brainerd dealership to get started!. Remember, you can always contact our office for any advice, questions, or information related to your Nissan trade-in.

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