5. Trade-In Tribulations
While a new-car buyer can usually get the most for his or her current ride by selling it outright to a private party, this is a time consuming process that’s fraught with its own elements of peril. That’s why most consumers choose the convenience of trading-in their cars at a dealership and using the proceeds as part (or all) of the down payment on a new model. Unfortunately a dealer may artificially inflate the value of your trade-in to help seal a deal and ultimately exact that cost – often more – by manipulating other aspects of the transaction. Always research the estimated trade-in value of a car ahead of time via an car valuation web site like Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides to get an idea of what it might be worth, and always negotiate the trade-in value separately from the new car’s price. It’s often worthwhile to bring a car in to the dealership’s used car department and get a bona fide trade-in quote ahead of time. Beware that salespeople have been known to hold the keys to a trade-in “hostage” while negotiating to pressure customers to buy a new car, so never just hand them over – always accompany the salesperson or used-car manager while they’re giving your trade-in a once-over.