Your current car has given you so many great memories. Now it’s time to trade up to something shinier, faster and newer. Trading in your current vehicle for an upgrade is a smart move because it can potentially save you money.

Keep up with maintenance.

Stay current on oil changes, tire rotations and other services to keep your car running properly. The last thing you need during a trade-in negotiation is to hear a clunking sound under the hood or service lights blinking. Chances are you’ll still get something for your trade-in, but the price will drop significantly if your car is not well maintained. This maintenance also includes repairing any scratches or dents that could impact getting what you believe your car is worth.

Know your car’s value.

The trade-in process is similar to buying a car. Know the vehicle’s worth before you enter into the new car buying process. A popular option to determine value is Kelly Blue Book. If you’re not the original car owner and you’ve forgotten its history, you can get that information via Carfax. If there were accidents in the vehicle’s history that required extensive repair, the value of your trade-in could be affected. It’s important to be aware of all of this information before setting a price for your trade-in as part of buying another car.

Clean up your car.

It seems like common sense but putting in a little elbow grease to give your trade-in a best-of-show finish matters. Wash the car, vacuum the interior, remove the evidence of all the fun you’ve had in it (i.e. water bottles, crumbs from your commute snacks and the trunk full of all those travel necessities). Take time to make it shine. You will be rewarded for the efforts.

With CarSnoop, we’ll walk you through the steps of photographing your car for dealerships to evaluate for trade-in.