The time may have just arrived when you are thinking of trading in your older vehicle for a brand-new vehicle. You may be researching the trade-in process, or you may be fully ready to head right out of the door to bring your vehicle to the dealership. However, before you drop your keys into the hands of your salesman, there are a few things that you will certainly want to prepare for your vehicle so that you can receive the most for it. Preparing your vehicle before you trade it in will not only allow you to get the most value from it, but it will also make the trade-in process much smoother for you and the dealership.

Clean Your Vehicle

The first thing that you should do when you are ready to trade your vehicle in is to clean the vehicle from its inside to its outside. You will want to present your vehicle to the dealership in its best form so that the dealership can see that the vehicle was taken care of. Additionally, you should clean your vehicle so that you don't leave any personal belongings in the vehicle after you have sold it and signed it away.

Complete Minor Repairs

You do not need to go all-out when repairing your vehicle before you trade it in. In fact, repairing too many things on your vehicle may be a waste of money, as some repairs may not provide any more value to your trade-in. What you should repair, however, are cosmetic things and components that will not cost more money than you are willing to lose. Check engine lights and engine codes, for example, should be addressed before you trade your vehicle in to a dealership. You will receive the most for your vehicle when it is in its best condition.

 Gather Your Vehicle's Files

There are several important documents that you will want to prepare before you trade your vehicle in. The most important document that you will need for your vehicle before you bring it to a dealership is its title. The title for your vehicle proves that you own the vehicle and that the vehicle that you are presenting to the dealership is the vehicle that rightfully belongs to you. If there is a lien on your vehicle, and your vehicle's title is not clear, then you will need to contact the holder of that lien to obtain additional documents so that you can trade your vehicle in.

Service records and maintenance records can also be very helpful when you are trading your vehicle in. Service records are concrete displays of how you treated your vehicle during your ownership. These records can be in the form of stubs or receipts. While service records may not increase the value of your vehicle outright, they will come in handy when you are negotiating with the dealer to get the most for your vehicle. You can explain what has been changed on your vehicle and show the exact dates that the services took place.

Understand Its Value

Before you leave to trade your vehicle in, you should have a very good understanding of what your vehicle is actually worth to the automotive market. There are a variety of online tools that can help you to determine what your vehicle's trade-in value is. Many of these tools factor your vehicle's age, mileage, condition, and location into its trade-in value. Knowing what your vehicle is worth will allow you to negotiate the best price for your trade-in, allowing you to enter your next deal with as much money as possible.

Consider browsing the internet for your vehicle as well. Oftentimes, a vehicle's value is different on the current automotive market than what the valuation tools estimate. There are instances where vehicles are worth more to the market due to factors like shortages, rarity, or high demand. In contrast, there are instances, which are far more rare, where vehicles may be selling for less than what the valuation tools estimate. Proper research and due diligence are always necessary when you are purchasing and selling vehicles.

 Inspect Your Vehicle

One of the last things that you will need to do in order to prepare your vehicle for a trade-in is to inspect your vehicle. Double-check to make sure that you haven't left anything in your vehicle, especially items that are invaluable to you. Also, check to make sure that your vehicle is in the condition that you believe it to be in because dealerships will dig deep into your vehicle to make sure that they are purchasing a good vehicle. The staff at dealerships are well-trained and understand what to look for on a variety of vehicles. There are spots that you may be used to seeing and may overlook, that dealerships will instantly acknowledge. Remembering that the goal is to present your vehicle to the dealership in its best light, try to eliminate as many blemishes and faults as possible.

At Glockner Family of Dealerships, we aim to provide the most that we can for our customers' vehicles. Contact us or visit us if you would like to learn more about the trade-in process or would like for us to value your trade-in. We will be glad to assist you with your trade-in and get you into your next vehicle.


  • Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday Closed


Glockner Family of Dealerships

2901 US Highway 23
Directions Suite A
Portsmouth, OH 45662

  • Sales: 740-351-2900
  • Service: 740-353-2161
  • Parts: 740-353-2161