I’ve got a 2006 Chevy Impala with around 140,000 miles on it. Getting ready to trade in to the dealer, but here’s the thing. The engine itself runs great, transmission runs good as well, mechanically the car is pretty sound. I just put a new set of tires on it recently and I think it looks pretty good. The problem is there’s a fairly substantial crack that runs half ay across the windshield, luckily it’s only on the passenger side. The car looks like it’s got 140,000 miles on it. The rear seats are torn up a bit, steering wheel leather wrap is torn up, it’s definitely a used car. I’m wondering if it’d be worth getting the windshield replaced for a few hundred bucks before I trade in the car, and maybe anything else to up the value a little bit, or if doing any repairs would really increase the value since the car has so many miles on it.
Trading in a car is almost never a good idea. Advertise your vehicle and sell it. I would repair the windshield but try your insurance company before you pay for the replacement out of pocket. Use the money as a down payment on your new car. Hint: Dealerships usually raise the price of the new vehicle to make up for any trade-in. That’s why they ask you if you have a trade-in before you even begin looking at vehicles.
If you want to sell it, do some work to it.
If you’re planning to trade it, anything you spend will be $$ down toilet. You will not come out ahead.
The dealer will allow very little for your car and immediately take it to the auction.
As advised, sell it privately, take that ratty wrap off the steering wheel, replace the windshield and clean up the car. I sold a 19 year old Caprice for $1400., after just cleaning it up.
Then negotiate the best deal with the dealer for your new car.
Thanks for all the info. I don’t feel like going through all the hassle of selling the car myself, I think it’s probably going to Carmax. So you’re saying they’re not going to deduct anything from the trade in price if the windshield is cracked?
Wonder how much I’ll probably get from them for the car?
Yes, they will deduct something to fix the windshield. If you get better than $2800 in trade as-is, you are getting a good deal. But that assumes it is an LT with only the leather wrapped steering wheel as an option. Look here to get an idea what your car is worth in trade or if you sell it.
If you have comprehensive insurance, read up on your glass coverage. Under my policy, I’d get a free new windshield with no deductible. The windshield is a safety issue.
The seat condition will actually be the greatest issue if the rest of the body is sound, dent and rust free. It’s the mileage first, which is a lot, your make and model, appearance then mechanical condition.
So, I agree with Doc… Cars that look oldr then they are but are in good mechanical condition are not good trade in fodder. They are the cars more for person sales to students and others whose first thought is reliability and last is appearance. The opposite of a dealer.
If you insist on trading it in, negotiate a clean sale price first on your new car, then bring the car into the conversation to get an accurate picture of what they will give you. Otherwise, you negotiate blind and you could actually pay more for a car, just to get them to take yours. That happens more times than only one cares to admit. Think of selling a car on your own as a part time job that could pay you very well.
If you have comprehensive insurance, the insurance may pay for a replacement windshield.
As far as the rear seat is concerned, you might visit an upholstery and trim shop and see what the charge would be to do what is called an “insert” of a new section of upholstery on the seat. I had the seat repaired years ago on my 1978 Oldmobile Cutlass 4-4-2 when the vinyl upholstery wore through and the price was quite reasonable.
I have found one of the best sources of getting information about putting a car into shape for resale is a used car manager at a new car dealer. Most of these managers are quite friendly. They know the good trim shops, detail shops, transmission shops, etc. On trade-ins they choose to resell, they often farm the work out to these shops. A new car dealer has several departments: new car sales, used car sales, service, parts, and sometimes a body shop. Each department is expected to show a profit. Often, the used car manager finds it is less expensive to have the work done by an independent shop than to have the work done in-house.
At any rate, check into your insurance for the glass, see an upholstery shop about the seat, and spend half a day cleaning up the car. First impressions count and you may recoop the money spent on these items on a trade-in. After all, there are two separate transactions when you trade cars–you are buying a car from the dealer and he is buying a car from you. Even if your car is going to the auction, it will fetch the dealer more if it gives a good impression.