Will I get more money for my trade if I fix it up?

Everyone wants to get as much money for their trade-in.

But no one knows how to.

Except for car dealers.

Let’s start with a quick disclaimer:

I didn’t make these rules.

This is not legal or financial advice.

I’m simply here to arm you with information.

You can make your own decisions, accordingly.

So, back to the question.

Maximizing your cars trade-in value depends on 2 factors:

  • What needs to be repaired, and
  • To what extent it needs to be repaired

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Pro-tip: You have the best chances of maximizing your value by trading-in to a money-hemorrhaging, digital-first auto retailer. Examples include Carvana, Vroom, and Shift.

Let’s break down some potential scenarios:

Should I detail my car? No. Waste of money.

Should I repair technological issues? No. Waste of money.

These can include a faulty:

  • Radio
  • TV screen (if applicable)
  • Key fob

Should I perform any routine maintenance? No. Waste of money.

This can include replacing your:

  • Oil & filter
  • Brake pads
  • Rotors
  • Cabin filter

Should I repair minor mechanical issues? No. Waste of money (with rare exceptions).

This can include replacing faulty:

  • Control arms
  • Stabilizer links
  • Window actuators & regulators
  • Sensors
  • AC compressor

Should I repair major mechanical issues or fix any significant body damage?

Yes, but only if you have:

  • A cost-efficient way of doing so, and
  • Time to spare

These issues will most likely get flagged during your cars evaluation process,

And typically lower your trade-in value,

By more than the actual costs of the repairs.

Examples of major mechanical issues can include a faulty:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Radiator

And examples of significant body damage can include:

  • Broken bumper
  • Smashed panel
  • Rims with severe curb rashes

If you’re truly looking to maximize your trade-ins value,

You now have the cheatsheet.

Good luck!

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Welcome to the Car Buyer Cheatsheet
Welcome to the Car Buyer Cheatsheet