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12 Steps to Getting the Best Deal on a New Car

Step 2: Know what your trade-in is worth.

(Hyundai Motor Company)

(Hyundai Motor Company)

Do some research to find out what you can reasonably expect to get for your trade-in vehicle via an online valuation site such as Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com). Estimates are based on a car’s mileage, condition and how it’s equipped, and will vary by region. Be honest when assessing your current ride’s condition for valuation purposes; few used cars fall into the “excellent” category without professional reconditioning. You’ll probably get more money selling your current car privately, but it’s easier to trade it in when buying a new one. If it’s a desirable recent model in top condition you may want to shop it around to several dealers’ used car departments to find out which will offer you the most for it. However, don’t expect to get much if it’s an older vehicle or needs work. That’s because new-car dealers keep only recent-model cars in top condition for resale, and dispose of the rest at auction. Always negotiate a vehicle’s trade-in value separately from the new-car transaction.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]