Mile High Car Company


Five Steps to Prep your Used Car for a Trade-In Sale

Two people shaking hands and passing car keys and after selling a used car

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5 Steps to Prep Your Used Car for a Trade-In Sale


Trading in your car at the same dealership where you plan to buy a used car on sale is a great move! The process is much easier than plastering it with “for sale” signs or listing it online. Working with a dealership saves the hassle of receiving money, dealing with paperwork, taxes, and titles. Before you trade-in your car though, make sure you follow these five steps to get the most for your car when you are ready to trade it in for another used car for sale.  


1. Gather All the Documents


You’ll need to bring all necessary documents to the dealership if you hope to trade in your car. The car will command a higher price if you can prove ownership and regular maintenance.

  • Title, if you have paid off your loan.
  • Registration or other state documents.
  • Maintenance: 

Find the service records or copies of receipts. If you can show you’ve kept up with preventive maintenance like oil changes, new tires, or brakes, it can increase the amount you get for your trade-in, which means more for your next used car on sale

  • A vehicle history report isn’t necessary according to, which says the dealer will pull that information. But if your car was in an accident, it’s best to bring mechanic receipts to show that the damage was repaired properly.


2. Clean the car


Whether you do this yourself or pay to have it done, clean the car! Yes, it’s true the dealership will primarily look at make, model, year, and mileage; but having a messy car isn’t going to help your case. You may be able to haggle for a higher sale price if the car looks newer than it is.

  • Inside the used car, clean out all your junk, check the doors, the seat pockets, the glovebox, and under the seat; you don’t want to leave anything valuable behind. Don’t forget your toll transponder if you have one. Next, vacuum everything and wipe down the surfaces. Depending on the year of the car, you could consider shampooing a stain. If the car interior still seems dirty, you can always take it to a detailer. These services specialize in getting used cars ready for sale.

  • Clear out your technology.

    • If you have a navigation system, remove your home address and saved personal destinations.

    • If you have a HomeLink transmitter that can open your garage or gate, clear the system.

    • If you have a Bluetooth system, unpair your phone and wipe your calling history.

  • Terminate any data providers or satellite radio subscriptions.

  • Outside, have the car washed. There is debate over whether to wax the car as well. Some car sale experts say waxing can increase the used car’s resale value.


3. Fix small issues yourself


If you can do something yourself like replacing a headlight or replacing a chipped windshield through your insurance, do it! However, if your car needs anything serious, US News says it’s better for the dealership to do it because they own their own mechanic shops. In fact, Mile High Car Company has its own repair shop that customers have trusted for over a decade. We take trade-in used cars and get them ready for sale.


4. Pay your parking tickets


An unpaid parking ticket could prevent the title transfer from happening. Trading in your car for a different used car on sale won’t make the old parking tickets go away. 


5. Know the value


Before sitting down with a car dealership, you should already know the approximate trade-in value of your car. This will help you get the best price for both your trade-in car and the used car you hope to purchase. If you don’t know your car’s estimated value, you won’t know if you’re getting a fair deal. You can use online tools like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. The price data from these tools will give you some accurate comparisons nationwide, which can help you negotiate with the dealership. 


Ready to Browse Used Cars for Sale and Make a Trade for Your Old Car? 


Our team at Mile High Car Company is ready to take your trade-in and give you a better buying and trading experience than you will find anywhere else in Colorado Springs. If you have any questions before you get here, we are happy to answer them. Just give us a call today. We always have an excellent inventory of used cars on sale

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