Should I Fix My Car Before Trading In?

Mechanic with Clipboard

If you’re ready to upgrade your Richmond commute, but you want to make sure that you’re getting top dollar for your current ride when you trade it in, you might be wondering, “Should I repair my car before trading in?” While there are many reasons why you should and shouldn’t, in all honestly, it depends on a variety of things and can be mostly up to personal preference. 

Our service and finance team at Whitten Brothers of Ashland has put together a guide for Ashland drivers on whether or not fixing up your current vehicle is worth it for your trade in value. To find the answers to, “Could I fix my car before the trade?” Read on below with this guide from Whitten Brothers of Ashland to see how these actions can influence your trade in value, and whether they’re right for you or not.

Fix My Car Before Trade: What Not to Fix 

So, you’re shopping in the Glen Allen auto market and you’re asking yourself, “Should I fix my car before trading in?” We advise not fixing any major repairs and here’s our three reasons why: 

  • Major repairs will be expensive, which will lower trade-in value
  • Dealerships like Whitten Brothers of Ashland or others near Richmond have the tools, resources, and expertise to fix any repair at a much lower cost. 
  • Many dealerships will do a thorough inspection of your vehicle before determining the trade-in value. Oftentimes they will deduct the cost from repairs from your trade-in price. 

Fix My Car Before Trade: What to Fix 

Since you know what not to fix, there are a few things you can fix that might be worth it before trading in your vehicle. To increase your trade-in value, we recommend fixing any minor repairs that will make your car visually more presentable. So yes, to answer your question of, “Should I repair my car before trading it in?” here’s a short list of things we recommend fixing: 

  • Clean out the inside: dispose of garbage and personal items
  • Wash the car: visit a professional car wash in Petersburg or do it yourself to remove marks. 
  • Fix any scratches: if they’re minor, you can try to fix car paint scratches at home. 
  • Wax your car: Get a wax for a shiny finish
  • Check headlamps: make sure they’re working properly and replace them if needed
  • Check the fluids: Brake & transmission), oil, radiator, and windshield-washer- make sure they’re up to date

Purchase Your Next Vehicle at Whitten Brothers of Ashland

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Should I fix my car before trading in?” and how it can impact your trade in value, you’re better informed on which option is right for you. Contact us to take that next step in the car buying process and then browse our inventory of new and used vehicles


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Whitten Brothers of Ashland 37.721697, -77.4703864.