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This isn't technically about auto finance, though it's related. I am going to look at a car this afternoon, and I haven't had a chance to get mine cleaned up or detailed. Will that make a difference as to the trade in value?

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Much depends on the lot...however, in many places, it could be the difference between screwed and royally screwed.

 

Accordingly, I would go look at the other car but NOT discuss trades. Save that for whenever you have already negotiated your best deal...

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Posted (edited)

The only time it makes much sense to spend money fixing up a car just before trading it in is if it won't run at all, but something relatively inexpensive (e.g. a "new" used battery) can get it started.

 

And what Centex said. You need to isolate the three parts of the deal and negotiate them separately:
* Price of the new car

* Trade in value

* Finance terms

Edited by mk_378

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The only time it makes much sense to spend money fixing up a car just before trading it in is if it won't run at all, but something relatively inexpensive (e.g. a "new" used battery) can get it started.

 

And what Centex said. You need to isolate the three parts of the deal and negotiate them separately:

* Price of the new car

* Trade in value

* Finance terms

 

When I bought my last new car I paid cash and did a consignment sale to a private party on my other car after the fact, so I came out well ahead on both of those areas.

 

I could have squeezed out a bit more value if I had done the private party sale myself, but the additional time/hassle wasn't worth it to me.

 

Also, on the new (or new to you) car purchase make sure you decline ALL of the add-ons offered to you in the finance office. Every single item is a dramatically losing proposition for you, and can almost always be acquired shortly afterward/elsewhere with better terms if you change your mind.

 

So there are really four areas of optimization, not three. Or, for many people, there are four opportunities to get screwed on one transaction. This is why you NEVER accept a deal based only on an "affordable" payment.

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This is why you NEVER ever ever ever ever ever ever accept a deal based only on an "affordable" payment.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

THIS TIMES INFINITY!!!!

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The only time it makes much sense to spend money fixing up a car just before trading it in is if it won't run at all, but something relatively inexpensive (e.g. a "new" used battery) can get it started.

 

And what Centex said. You need to isolate the three parts of the deal and negotiate them separately:

* Price of the new car

* Trade in value

* Finance terms

 

Actually my favorite customer, this type

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Makes me chuckle because one of my sales managers gets all flustered when customers do this, while I'm silently applauding.

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