Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

August 10th, 2021 by

Service Technician Working Under Vehicle

Trading in your current car is the simplest way to save on your next vehicle purchase in Nashville. You can even trade in and then buy your vehicle at the same dealership! After getting your car appraised, your dealership will make you an offer. If you accept, the value of your trade-in will be deducted from the purchase price of your next car.



If you’ve never traded in your car before, you probably have questions about the process. In the guide below from the Victory Nissan of Dickson finance center, we’ll go over the following topics in detail:

  • Should I fix my car before trading in?
  • How can I get the best price for my car?
  • What do I need to do before trading in my car?

What Not To Fix Before Bringing Your Car to Trade In

If your ride requires major repairs, either from overuse or a collision, it’s not necessary to schedule service before trading in your car. Here’s why:

  • Major repairs will be costly, and may cause you to talk away with less cash in your pocket after trading in.
  • The dealership will make the repairs after you trade in your car. Doing so will cost relatively little compared to what the same repairs would cost you out-of-pocket because they have the facilities, tools, parts, and technicians on hand to do it. In fact, repairing trade-in cars in-house is what allows the dealership to turn a profit on used cars!
  • Not all dealerships will conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle prior to accepting it as a trade-in, so those costs may not be deducted from your trade-in offer, anyway.

What To Fix Before Bringing Your Car to Trade In

There’s no need to spend money on major repairs, but minor repairs can go a long way toward making your car more appealing to the dealership.The appearance of your car is important; if there are numerous cosmetic issues, dealerships may assume that larger issues are present and deduct from your trade-in offer. Try taking these steps to spiff up your car before bringing it to a Clarksville-area dealership:

  • Thoroughly clean the interior. That means disposing of any trash, removing personal items, vacuuming the carpets, and cleaning the windows.
  • Wash the exterior. Whether you do this yourself or have it done by a professional, a freshly washed car will make a good impression.
  • Fix minor scratches and dents. In many cases, it’s easy to remove them from your car’s paint with household supplies. Contact our service center for tips!
  • After washing, wax your car to make it shine and protect the paint from scratches.
  • Ensure that the headlamps are working and replace them if necessary.
  • Check automotive fluid levels and condition and typo off or replace as needed. Your checklist should include brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, motor oil, and windshield wiper fluid.

You’ll also get a higher offer if you have kept up with your car’s recommended maintenance schedule. Every make and model comes with service intervals suggested by the manufacturer, and dealerships look at a car’s service and maintenance history to determine how well it was cared for.

What To Do Before Trading In Your Car

What can you do to get the best possible offer for your car? These simple steps won’t cost you anything, but may help send the message to the dealership that your car has received proper care:

  • Take your car in for any past-due service and collect all maintenance records.
  • When you bring your car to the dealership, you should have everything that came with it when it wa sourchased. That includes interior mats, all sets of keys, and winter tires.
  • Keep in mind that the quality of any past repairs may also matter. Auto repairs performed by a certified Nissan technician are the gold standard, but imperfect DIY repairs may result in a lower offer.

Value Your Trade at Victory Nissan of Dickson!

If you’re ready to trade in your car for a new ride in Franklin, you can get started today with our online Value Your Trade tool. Once you have an estimated trade-in value, you can calculate\ your monthly auto payment budget and start looking for your new car! Contact us or stop by our dealership in Dickson to learn more.


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