Perhaps your car or truck has been your “old faithful” for many years but is starting to become less reliable. It can be tough to say goodbye to your longtime ride, but what’s most important is that you have a vehicle that’s dependable.

Often when people trade in a car or truck, they take their old vehicle to the dealership, the salesperson makes an offer, and that money is put towards buying a new car. While it seems easy enough, this doesn’t always result in the best deal, as the salesperson can use this information against you by not giving you the lowest rate for the vehicle in order to accommodate your trade-in. 

Get the financing squared away first by getting pre-approved through your credit union. This way, you’ll know exactly what your rate is so that you can focus on negotiating the best deal for the price of your new vehicle. Make sure you’ve also done your research for a rough estimate on what the vehicle(s) you’re interested in typically run, as well as how much your trade-in might be worth. Once you know you’ve gotten the best price on your new ride, then start talking about trading in your current one.

Some extra research might be required if you still owe a balance on your existing auto loan, such as how much you currently owe on the vehicle and whether or not that is more than the estimated trade-in value. Upside down auto loans (meaning the balance of your loan is higher than what the car is worth) require a few extra steps, so contact your lender beforehand to make sure you have everything buttoned up. Regardless of whether or not you’re upside down, you’ll need your most recent statement and a payoff amount (we recommend 10 days from when you request it) so that the dealer can send a check to your lender/pay it off. Don’t have a loan on your trade in? That makes the process a breeze! Simply bring your car title to the dealership.

Considering upgrading your car or truck? We’re here to help you through the process so you save as much money as possible. Contact our team with any questions you might have, or start the pre-approval process online today!