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Boost Your Trade-In Value

Some things are obvious, others are not. Here’s a cheat sheet.

Car depreciation is inevitable, but there’s a few things you can do to prevent unnecessary deprecation, and get good value should you ever decide to trade it in. It’s actually quite easy to maintain your car in (practically) “like new” condition. You just have to know what to keenly focus on.

Mileage And Mechanical Upkeep

Mileage does matter. If your vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on it, it you can be sure the life expectancy from that point on will be less and it is likely mechanical issues are going to be forthcoming.

To offset the high mileage, make sure to follow your manufacturers’ recommended maintenance schedule, don’t drive for extended periods with the “check-engine” light on, and keep ALL records and receipts. Be sure to keep all maintenance records so you can prove how well you cared for your middle aged car over it’s lifetime.

Evaluate Vehicle Option Selections

Not all vehicle options have the same value. Generally, car owners prefer options that increase the safety and comfort of driving, over performance based options and flashy accessories. Options like automatic transmission, power windows, power locks, anti-lock brakes, cruise control, remote start, leather interior, entertainment, navigation systems and sunroofs all add value to your car.

There are some aftermarket add ons that do add value, through. One of them in window tint. It can be costly and time consuming to have done, depending on the options you choose, so buyers appreciate that the job has already been done.

Interior Condition

Food spills, smoking, pets. These factors affect the wear & tear and smell of the interior of your car. If you’re a smoker, consider smoking before you drive or after you park. Not only is the stink of stale cigarette smoke one of the largest deterrents for car buyer, but improperly extinguished cigarettes tossed from moving vehicles are a leading cause of wildfires.

It’s worth it to you to ensure you protect the interior of your vehicle and maintain it. For minor food spills and stains, dog hair, and smoke – we specialize in removing it all and getting it back to factory level cleanliness. You may require a complete interior detail, and you may even need to opt for the dog hair removal add on, but in the end, your vehicle will be like new again.

Exterior Condition

A ding or dent can influence an appraiser grading your vehicle as being in either Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor condition. More than 80% of vehicles land in the “Fair” category. Just one or two small dents, dings, paint scratches or chips can be the difference between “excellent” and “good” (or “fair” and “poor”). It’s best to park in a garage whenever possible, but if not, dings and dents happen, it’s all in how well they are repaired.

For bumpers and fenders, that is a very trivial thing to fix. At Island Color we do this every day for our clients for less than your deductible (that means no insurance claim is needed). For bigger door scrapes or hood damage, you may need a body shop, but we can help you there as well. Just snap a pic and send it to us using our contact form. We will let you know right away if we can do it for you, or if you need a body shop.

Also, remember to remove all bumper stickers, personal items, CD’s and trash before selling a car. Clutter looks dirty, and dirty looks cheap!

Market Conditions

What’s the consumer demand for your vehicle? Perhaps the demand is less for a convertible in the Yukon or a lifted pickup truck in Hawaii. Brands like Subaru, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda and Toyota have a reputation for maintaining their value over time.

Popularity can be a bad thing, too. The dealership with 8 Camrys on their lot won’t be as excited to see you coming with another Camry. Sometimes it is best to shop around and see what kind of price you can get from the local lots before diving in. It might pay off to wait a month and see if you fare better as conditions change.

Get The Most For Your Vehicle’s Trade-In Value

Before you sell there are a few things everyone should do. Click below to check out our services if you would like these jobs to be done by a pro. I think you will be glad you did.

  1. Complete Detail: Outside and in, fully cleaned, waxed, vacuumed, de-odourized, and ready for quick sale.
  2. Bumper repair: Dented bumpers take a huge sum off your sale total. Fix it fast to make more on your trade in.
  3. Paint chips: This is so cheap to do, there is no reason not to!
  4. Rim Repair: Curbed rims are a huge turn off to buyers. They are cheap to fix, though. Here is how we do it.
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