corsia logo

How to get a good vehicle trade in?

How to get a good vehicle trade in?

Are you thinking of selling your car or you are interested more in a trade in option? Whichever the case, below you can find some tips and tricks on how to proceed with a trade-in and what are the benefits and disadvantages of one compared to a private sale.

For some reason, I have always preferred a private sale, not entirely sure why. It could be the fact that normally you can get a better financial result or maybe the fact that you are in control of the situation – what you ask for is what they have to give you, if they want the car. When it comes to trading in your vehicle, you have to spend hours in different dealerships, negotiating the price that suits you both; in this case you depend on their appraisal (more or less), especially if you haven’t done your homework right.


So what exactly is a trade-in?

In a trade in, you simply use your current vehicle as a form of down payment in order to purchase a car that you are interested in. As in any other down payment the bigger it is, the less you’ll have to pay off in the long run. Also, let’s not forget your credit score, just as with everything else – the better it is, the better off you are!

Here are our suggestions on how to get a good price for your vehicle and in general the most out of your trade in:

Make sure you increase the value of your vehicle as much as possible (or at least make it look as if it costs more).
How to do it? – Clean your car, yes you heard me, it’s about time and no the empty, almost dissolved McDonald’s packaging, does not come with the car.

  • If you feel like spending some extra bucks, you can easily have it detailed.
  • If not – a good carwash clean up (even your backyard with the hose will do!) – make sure you wash the exterior, vacuum the interior, clean the engine, tires and trunk; and of course, polishing it up won’t kill you. Bottom line is – make it presentable.

There are a few things that the dealer will check when you take the car in for an appraisal:

  • Interior and exterior
  • Condition of the tires
  • Does it have a hub cap?
  • Check engine light
  • The engine itself

Not sure how to maintain and clean your car, check out our guide, it will help.

  • You really want to get quotes from at least three different dealerships, in order to make sure they are not undervaluing the real price of your car. If you have a CarMax near you you can go and ask them for a free appraisal of your car. They give you an offer and a written report of the appraisal, so that you can take it with you to the other dealerships and if they offer you a lower price, you can always take the CarMax report out and negotiate with them.
  • Another advantage of checking out different dealerships is that they might have different incentives for trade in, such as rebates, cashbacks that they apply to the trade value, in some states you can even keep the tires from your old car.
  • If you are still paying your car off, but you want to trade it in you can still do so. If the car’s current value is more than what you owe for the car, the unused portion goes as a down payment; if the current value of the car is lower than what you owe for the loan, the negative equity goes into the new vehicle that you’re getting.
  • Check out your vehicle’s current market value. You can go to and look up your car’s value either for selling it yourself or for a trade in. If you want to take a look at the price of the car you are buying, you can visit and search for your car of choice.
  • In some states, you can get tax credit when you trade your car in.
  • One of the biggest benefits that you get when you trade in your car is the tax advantages. For instance, if the new car costs $30 000 and your car is valued at $10 000, the taxable amount is the difference between the two, in this case – 20 000. So you not only get a new car, but you get to skip a big portion of the taxes on it.
  • Last but not least – a dealership might try and get you to return to them by giving you a higher price (than the market value) of your car, but at the same time a higher price on the new car that you are buying. They could do this so that when you go to a different dealership and they give you a more realistic price for your car, you might think that they are undervaluing it and return to the previous dealer, but what you would not know is that the new car’s price is lower from what they are selling it to you; all in all make sure you know your car’s market value and the market value of the one you are buying!


So, to sum it up – should you sell your car or opt for a trade in?

Hmm, still a tough question to answer. You could definitely get more on your car by selling it yourself, but if you are a good negotiator, you know what you are talking about and you know your stats, i.e. market value of each car – you can easily sell your car at what it’s worth and get some of the pros of trading it in. Enough being said, if you are a car guy or gal you will know what to do. Now, are you?

Do you feel more confident that you can get a good vehicle trade in now? What else would you add to this little guide? Thanks!

Share our experience:
Are you ready to ship a car?
Recent posts

Shipping my car to another state

Vehicle transport is a service that private customers and businesses utilize daily. Whether you are relocating or going for a long vacation, shipping your car

car shipping quote

Truckers Can Fight Sex Trafficking

If You See Something, Say Something! This is the slogan of the nonprofit group Truckers Against Trafficking, the organization’s main goal is to have more

Read more

Corsia Logistics team works hard every day to ensure reliable expedited car shipping service. Our customer reviews prove that.

5-Star Rated Car Shipping Company


they trusted us

and here's what they say

Simon Moore
Great company
Read More
Looking for a logistics company, to ship my car, from California to Illinois,my first search, then Corsia showed up, skeptical. Call and a very friendly secretary: Elena. She guided me through, I scheduled and as she explained, all when smooth as scheduled Very happy I did the right choice. I'll recommend this great Company to anyone that is thinking to relocate a vehicle. Thanks Corsia logistics for your honesty and professionalism!
Elizabeth Woodward
High five's all around!
Read More
Corsia was highly recommended by a friend in the automobile industry. We needed to transport a cargo van from Seattle to Florida. We contacted Corsia who quickly arranged transport within just a few days. Communication was outstanding! Just a few email confirmations and we were all set. Mike was great and arrived right on time and delivered to Florida on schedule. Tip-avoid the hornets nest of auto brokers on line and just contact Corsia for a truly great experience!
Carrol Tiffany
Read More
Corsia has been amazing. Their prices are really competitive but more importantly their customer service has been 5-Star. Elena followed up with me every step of the way, making sure there was no miscommunication between me & the driver. We are using them to ship a 2nd vehicle & would not hesitate to use them again!
Tony Boyd
Definitely recommend
Read More
I have recently used Corsia for long time family car with sentimental value that was moved I have recently used Corsia for shipment of my vehicle from Oregon to Arizona by recommendation from other family member who also used Corsia in the past. I am very pleased on the service and the communication throughout shipment. Ken was my direct contact and kept me informed along the move The car was picked up and delivered as communicated. I did use a enclosed mover and the driver was also clean cut professional and treated car as his own. I would definitely recommend Corsia again with the experience I have had. Thank you. T
Top notch
Read More
Top notch Transport - Porsche 997 Top notch! As easy and efficient as one could possibly imagine. Great customer service.. thank you Luke. Great prices. Check. Timely communications. Check. Clean transport trailer. Check. Supremely careful driver. Check. Timely arrival. Check. Don't mess around elsewhere, just call Corsica and feel confident your transports needs are going to be exceeded. My Porsche 911 rode like a Queen in her enclosed chariot. I've never needed a transport company before, and I surely will use them every time. Do yourself a favor, seriously. Call now.
Geet Mp Haryana
Reliable, efficient
Read More
Corsia rep (Elena) was very proactive. Helped ship a car from CA to GA. She checked in with me via email quote and several phone calls to find me the best possible quote for the fastest available service. After several communications, Corsia was able to schedule a vehicle pickup the next day. The driver communicated well, and the vehicle arrived in final destination faster than we expected in perfect condition. I highly recommend using Corsia's reliable, efficient service.
Cay Liptak
Clean, efficient, wonderful
Read More
Thanks, Corsia! Pickup was so clean, efficient, and wonderful -- my only recommendation is to make sure you schedule it during the day so you can fully review the car in the daylight. Drop off was equally wonderful, and the whole trip went down without a hitch (pun intended!). Seriously, Corsia delivered my Jeep from CT to California with no issues or bumps in the road!
Csaba Kovesdy
Truly positive experience
Read More
Corsia Memphis to LA, mid-size SUV. I looked at 4 different companies amd Corsia was the most responsive of them. While being responsive, they were not unduly aggressive: when I indicated that I need to wait a month before making a decision they stopped contacting me and only came back with a reminder when I really needed it. Once I decided to engage Corsia they found me a transport within two days and the car was delivered (from Memphis to LA) in another two days. I had a truly positive experience.
Kelly Torres
Highly recommend
Read More
Working with Corsia Logistics was a great experience. Working with Corsia Logistics was wonderful. They were able to find a driver right away to transport our car. They were in constant communication as to when the car was getting picked up and dropped off. The driver also communicated with me as to when he would arrive. I would highly recommend Corsia Logistics.
Amy Nelson
Excellent Organization
Read More
Corsia was an excellent company to work with while I transferred my car across the US. A friend of mine suggested I use them as they had been very organized and trustworthy with her own car. I researched a few different place but decided to go with Corsia and I'm so glad I did! Any questions I had throughout the process they answered quickly and clearly. I would definitely use them again in the future and recommend them for others to use.