Trading a vehicle in is a great step towards getting the new vehicle that you want. When you trade your vehicle in, you avoid having to deal with the negotiations and haggling that come along with selling a vehicle on the private market. There are several things that you should do before you take your vehicle into a dealership as a trade-in. Completing these things will allow you to get top-dollar for your trade-in.

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Repair the Vehicle

If your vehicle has a few cosmetic issues or minor mechanical problems, then you should certainly repair these problems before you bring the vehicle to a dealership. Dealerships have skilled appraisers on their teams who are able to spot minor issues with vehicles that give the dealerships better leverage in negotiations. A dealership will typically reduce their offer on your vehicle for much more than what the repair will cost. Do not complete expensive repairs, however, as these repairs will not be compensated for and may cost you more to make than you will receive for the vehicle. 


Anderson Honda

10139 York Rd
Directions Cockeysville, MD 21030

  • Sales: (410) 885-4830
  • Service: (410) 885-4830
  • Parts: (410) 885-4830


  • Monday 09:00AM-09:00PM
  • Tuesday 09:00AM-09:00PM
  • Wednesday 09:00AM-09:00PM
  • Thursday 09:00AM-09:00PM
  • Friday 09:00AM-09:00PM
  • Saturday 09:00AM-05:00PM
  • Sunday Closed

Get the Vehicle's Paperwork

When you trade your vehicle in, you will need to prove to the dealership that you are the owner of the vehicle that you are bringing in. Your proof of ownership will need to be in the form of a title or registration for the vehicle. If your vehicle has a lien on its title, then you will need to contact the lienholder so that they can approve the trade. Similarly, if there is another signature on your vehicle's title, then you will need to bring that person with you so that they can sign the vehicle's title over to the dealership.

Identify the Vehicle's Value

To get top-dollar for your trade-in, you first need to understand what the trade-in is worth. There are many online tools that you can use to value your trade-in. Most of these tools will take your vehicle's make, model, condition, and location into account. These details are important because they are directly related to how much the vehicle is worth and how dependable the vehicle will be in the future. Online valuation tools provide estimates of the trade-in value of your vehicle. The amount that you are offered for your trade-in can be more or less than the value that is provided by the online tools.

Alternatively, you can visit your local dealerships and have them value your trade-in. These amounts will be more accurate than what the online valuation tools provide and will be better suited to your local market. At Anderson Honda, we can value your trade-in and make you an offer for the vehicle.

Shop Around

The amount that a dealership offers you for your trade-in depends on the vehicles that they need in their inventory. Dealerships that regularly sell pickup trucks quickly, for example, will be more willing to offer you a better amount for your truck than a dealership that routinely sells compact cars. Similarly, you may receive more for your vehicle from a dealership that needs the type of vehicle that you are trading in their inventory.

If you have a specific dealership in mind and know which vehicle you want, shopping around for different trade-in offers can provide you with leverage at the dealership that has the vehicle that you want. You can provide the values that you were offered for your vehicle at other dealerships to the dealership and ask them to match the offers.

Clean the Vehicle

One of the last things that you should do before you bring your vehicle to a dealership is clean the vehicle. To get the top-dollar for your trade-in, you will need to present the vehicle in its best condition. Remove any important items from the vehicle, as you will not receive these items back after you trade the vehicle in. You will also need to vacuum the vehicle and wash it so that it can be presentable. Dealerships will also appreciate the fact that they will not need to condition your trade-in too much before they place it out for sale on their lots.



Getting the most for your trade-in will help you to get the vehicle that you want. Contact us at Anderson Honda if you would like to learn more about how you can get the most for your trade-in. Visit our dealership to see the vehicles that we have to offer.