How to Get the Best Deal on your Next Car Trade

Car Trade

Remember the Pokemon trading card game? One of the rarest cards way back in the early 2000s was Charizard, probably because of its high hit points (HP or life) of 120 and attack points (AP) of 100. Whenever someone had this rare Pokemon card in their collection, trading negotiations would often be tedious, as the tradee had to make sure he/she was getting a good deal from the exchange.

Usually, the one interested in the Charizard card would have to sacrifice a number of their rare cards to get it. But the sacrifice would be worth it, as the interested party, after all the sacrifice, would get the prized Charizard card.

When negotiating on a car trade, you also have to know how to play your cards right. Profit at this point is on a delicate balance. Depending on how you handle the trade, you or the dealer could end up with the profit. Trade-ins are not like selling a used car, where your loss depends on the final negotiated price. A car worth P450,000 could be negotiated all the way down to P400,000. The positive profit the seller earns is P400,000, whereas the negative profit is P50,000 due to the negotiated price slashed off.

With these facts in mind, here are tips on how to get the best deal on your next car trade.

• Trade-in your car with the same-make dealership

A 1996 Honda City holds more value to a Honda dealership than a 1996 Toyota Corolla and vice versa. Aside from the fact that these cars made in 1996 are well known for their durability and reliability despite their old age, Joe Wiesenfelder of advises, “This in-between option doesn’t take as much effort and time. In effect, it’s hassle free.”

• Research, research, research

One of the worst mistakes any driver can make in trading their car is to walk in a dealership without knowing their value of their vehicle. Kelley Blue Book executive editorial director and executive market analyst, Jack Nerad says, “It is possible to do well in a transaction with a dealer, but you have to do your research…Just a half-hour of Internet research can really pay off.”

The story of Bethany Porter’s love for a black ’99 Sab 9-3 convertible by Ben Popken is a perfect illustration of how good car research can get you the best deal in a trade-in dealership.

A quick look at websites such as or for used car prices can spell all the difference between a good and bad trade-in experience.

• Clean/polish/repair your car

Founder and CEO of Car-Buy-Her, a consumer car education company based in Atlanta, Sheronde Glover advises that having a clean car can increase its value: “A good detailing job might cost about $50, but it could increase your car’s value by several hundred dollars.”

If your car also has any dents or cosmetic damage like a cracked side mirror, be sure to get that repaired as well. If your car happens to have a damaged leaf spring, there are many stores in the Philippines for you to choose from. You may spend around quite an amount on repairs, but that will allow you to command a higher price for the car, compared to the beat-up, slightly damaged ones you may find online. Plus, it makes your car look brand new.

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