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How to Maximize your Vehicle’s Trade-in Value

Check out our 5 trade-in tips

It’s trade in and trade up time at America’s Car-Mart. But then again, it’s always trade-in time at Car-Mart. After all, ‘we trade for anything.’

Bruce Lynch knows a thing or two about cars. After all, he’s our Senior Director of Vehicle Acquisition & Remarketing, and he’s looked over and traded in hundreds of vehicles through the years. Besides, Bruce says he’s ‘never met a car that he never put a value on.’

That’s good news for Car-Mart customers when they trade in their vehicle for another quality, used vehicle at Car-Mart. “When we look at the vehicles we buy, we’re always thinking about our customers. We are careful and judicious about the vehicles we buy. We care about our customers and want them to buy vehicles from us with confidence,” says Bruce. “Plus, if you’re credit-challenged, your trade in is your down payment on your next vehicle.”

How to get the most for your vehicle trade-in

“People use their cars all day every day, so we don’t expect the car to be perfect,” Bruce says. “But we do want to see the car in a clean condition.”

Indeed, first impressions matter. A clean car demonstrates that you care for and take care of your vehicle. “Before you bring in your vehicle to Car-Mart, give it a good wash. Clean and vacuum the interior. Tidy it up, make your vehicle look good. A fresh oil change is also a good idea,” says Bruce.

Here are the things Car-Mart reviews when inspecting your vehicle:

  • Quality of vehicle

We look at how well the owner has maintained the vehicle, including tire condition and oil changes, etc. Be sure you’ve changed the oil recently, as we check the oil change sticker as well as the oil, itself. The darker the oil, the older it is, and a milky color indicates water in the engine.

  • Mileage

Whether your vehicle has 30,000 or 300,000 miles, mileage doesn’t matter at Car-Mart.

  •  Exterior Condition

A used car is obviously going to have imperfections on its exterior from dents and scratches to paint blemishes. Major dings and dents can affect the trade-in value.

  •  Interior Condition

We look for burns, tears and rips in the upholstery. Plus, the interior should be clean. It doesn’t have to be immaculate, but we do recommend you remove any personal items.

  • Drivability of vehicle

We get behind the wheel and take your car for a spin. We look at how the engine runs. We listen for strange noises, such as rattling or clicking. We check the AC/heater unit and whether the windows function properly.

Bruce added that if minor items are wrong with your car, and the cost to repair them is modest, you might consider fixing those items. Do the things you can do, especially the small things. Try to keep your vehicle in the same working condition as when you bought it.

“The bottom line is that you want to show your car has been well maintained over the years,” says Bruce. “Taking care of your vehicle during your ownership can be a good return on your investment. Conduct ongoing maintenance and keep it clean.”

Trade-in process at Car-Mart

When you visit a Car-Mart dealership, to trade-in your vehicle, we’ll invite you to select another car on our lot. While you’re shopping and even test driving, we’ll inspect your vehicle and determine a trade-in value. Then, we’ll sit down and talk.

Overall, come prepared to trade your vehicle for another vehicle. Be ready to conduct the trade the same day. Don’t forget the title, which must be in your name. Your title is your proof of ownership and establishes you have the authority to trade in your vehicle. Also, bring any extra keys, registration and payoff information if you are still paying on your vehicle.

Also, Bruce suggests you know what’s wrong with your vehicle and share that information with your Car-Mart associate. Transparency is key in the trade-in process.

“Remember, we’ll trade for anything. There may be times your car isn’t running properly, and we still want to make sure we give you a value for your vehicle.

“And, for us at Car-Mart, the trade-in value is as important as the customer getting into another car,” concludes Bruce. “Our goal is to get you, a loyal Car-Mart customer, into a new vehicle.”

Even if you didn’t buy your car at Car-Mart, you can still trade it in. We’ll give you a fair trade.

Want to sell your car? Check out our partner Carmigo and its first-of-its-kind marketplace that allows our customers to auction their cars directly to buyers. Learn More.

 Check out our other blogs to learn more about Car-Mart’s vehicle buying process and tips for vehicle maintenance:

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