Should I Fix My Car Before Trading It In?

August 3rd, 2021 by

Service Technician Working Under Vehicle


If you’re looking at trade-in options for your current vehicle in preparation for a new Honda upgrade, you may be asking yourself, “Should I fix my car before trading it in?” While not a requirement, certain low-cost quick fixes might help you get a higher trade-in offer. How do you determine which repairs are worth making before you head out from Birmingham Area with your trade-in car? Carlock Honda provides helpful tips in the guide below.

How Does Trade-In Valuation Work?

You can take a moment to value your trade online and get an instant estimate of its current value when you’re relaxing at home in Bessemer. However, when you bring it to the dealership, the trade-in offer may be a little higher or lower than what you saw online. When your car is appraised and inspected at the dealership, what are the factors being considered? Take a look:

  • Vehicle make and model
  • Age
  • Mileage
  • Appearance
  • Mechanical condition
  • Maintenance records
  • Vehicle history report
  • Local market

If your vehicle has cosmetic defects or a minor mechanical issue, it may decrease its value, but these are not the only factors at play. If it’s a newer model with low mileage or it has a clean vehicle history report, this might offset other issues.

When Should You Spring for Pre-Trade-In Repairs?

Cleaning up your vehicle and getting basic maintenance done can help you get a better trade-in offer without spending too much money. The general rule of thumb when determining whether you should do certain fixes before trading in your car is to consider the cost. Filling in paint scratches or replacing old wiper blades are cheap ways to make your car look nicer. However, if a repair is going to cost more than what you’d get for the vehicle, it’s not worth pursuing.

What are Some Minor Fixes to Do Before Trading In?

What counts as a minor, low-cost repair? Here are some simple things you can do before trading in your car:

  • Wash the exterior and clean the interior
  • Vacuum and spot clean interior upholstery
  • Use a paint pen to fill in minor paint scratches
  • Top off low fluids
  • Replace windshield wipers
  • Replace burned out bulbs
  • Clean up dingy headlights and/or taillights
  • Fix windshield cracks if covered by insurance

Get a Competitive Trade-In Offer at Carlock Honda

Think your trade-in car is ready to be brought from Mountain Brook to Carlock Honda for an appraisal and inspection? Contact us for an appointment or stop by whenever it’s convenient! We will inspect your vehicle and extend a same-day offer to you, which can be received in cash or applied to a new purchase. If you’d like to explore leasing and financing for your next ride while you’re here, our finance center is on-site and ready to assist!


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