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Should I Fix My Car Before Trading It In?

2019 Volkswagen Passat

Thinking about trading in your old car with Ide VW of East Rochester to upgrade to something newer? Trading in a vehicle has never been easier — especially when you have access to our easy online trade-in evaluation tool. But whether or not you decide to trade in your vehicle with our Rochester dealership, you’re still likely wondering whether or not it’s financially smart to trade in a car that needs repairs as-is or repair your car before trading it in. The answer truly is, it depends! Read on for more context so you can make the best decision for you.



Fix My Car Before Trade: What To Fix

You should only repair your car before trading it in if you think that doing so will increase its residual value, or book value, and lead to a higher trade-in offer. Here are some high-impact and low-cost action items you can

  • Fix any minor scratches, some paint scratches can be fixed at home.
  • Wax your car after washing it to give a shiny finish
  • Check headlamps to make sure that they’re working properly and replace them if needed.
  • Clean out the interior cabin and dispose of any garbage, take out any personal items, and clean the windows & carpets.
  • Wash the car to remove any marks and stains.
  • Check the fluids (brake & transmission), oil, radiator, and windshield washer to make sure that they’re up to date. This lets the dealer know that you’ve been keeping up with routine maintenance.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What Not To Fix

Ide VW of East Rochester service experts advise that you should not fix significant items (i.e. head gasket repair, transmission rebuild, etc.) before trading in your vehicle. Below are the three reasons why:

  • Major repairs are expensive, which decreases how much you’ll get from the trade-in when you subtract the cost of repairs from the increased price your vehicle may fetch.
  • Dealerships have the expertise and tools to fix any major issues at a lower cost than you could. They can still make a profit on your trade and want to buy it if needs repairs, and you’ll likely walk away with more money and less sunk costs!
  • Some dealerships near Pittsford and Webster may not do a detailed inspection of your car before finalizing the trade-in.

What Else Can I Do Before Trading In My Car?

There are a couple extra steps to consider taking before you trade in your vehicle that needs mechanical fixes:

  • Bring everything that came with the car when you show up to the dealership. This includes items like floor mats, keys, winter tires, window stickers, and anything else you have on hand.
  • Complete or at least recent maintenance records neatly put together.

Trade-In Your Car With Ease at Ide VW of East Rochester!

Ready to trade in your vehicle quickly and for top dollar near Fairport? Ide VW of East Rochester is here to help make that happen! Call us at (585) 586-2225 for more details. Meanwhile, apply for financing online!


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