One of my goals at the beginning of 2021 was to trade in my Jeep. As much as I enjoyed my Jeep, I was ready for a change and wanted something a bit more practical, fuel-efficient, and technologically advanced. I'd never traded in a vehicle before, so I had a lot of questions and uncertainty. With the help of a few of my Carolina Trust co-workers, I navigated my way through the trade-in process and got a new car that met all my criteria.
Before I could even consider trading in my Jeep, I had to do a lot of research. Not only did I have to research what I wanted in a new car, but also the value of my current vehicle. I spent a lot of time on Kelly Blue Book, got several dealer appraisals, and asked people in our auto lending department for advice.
Once I had a good idea of my vehicle's trade-in value, then came the fun part; shopping for something new. Although I had a criteria list with a few must-have items, finding the right vehicle for me was mainly a numbers game. Because I still owed money on my Jeep, I knew the money I received for my trade-in would have to pay that off first, leaving me with only a little leftover for a down payment on something new. I also knew that I wanted to keep my monthly payment pretty close to what I was currently paying. Considering all these factors helped me set a budget for what I could afford to spend on a new vehicle. Once I knew my Jeep's value, new car budget, and criteria list, I was ready to head to the dealership.
Stick to Your Guns
I know that car dealerships can be a bit intimidating. Car sales associates kind of have the reputation of being a bit pushy at times. Honestly, I was a tad bit nervous to start with, but I knew that I would find the right car for me as long as I stuck to my guns. I knew the lowest amount that I was willing to accept for my Jeep and my budget for something new. As badly as I wanted a new vehicle, I was determined to stick to my numbers no matter what.
Surprisingly, the people I worked with at the dealership weren't pushy at all. They were super friendly, helpful, and understanding. They showed me a few different cars in my price range that checked things off my criteria list. They were super knowledgeable about each vehicle and happily looked up any information they didn't know off-hand. After going for a test drive and deciding which car was best suited for me, we came back into the dealership to discuss numbers.
Their original offer for the trade-in value of my Jeep was exactly what I was hoping to receive, and I found a car that I liked within my budget. I was so surprised at how easy and quick my dealership experience was.
When I bought my Jeep a few years ago, I financed the sale through Carolina Trust and got a really great rate. So, when I considered trading in my Jeep and getting something new, I knew I would use Carolina Trust as my lender again. Auto dealerships work with lots of different lenders to offer "in-house" lending options. I could have quickly gone with one of the dealership's lenders; however, I may have paid a higher rate and wouldn't have the same knowledge about my lender that I have with Carolina Trust.
Once we negotiated an agreement, I got the sales associate to print out a buyer's order. A buyer's order is a sales contract between the buyer and the seller that reflects the terms you negotiated. Carolina Trust's Member Service Representatives and Our Underwriting team use buyer's orders to gather some of the information they need to make a lending decision. After reviewing all the details, they approved my application and lent me the money to purchase my new vehicle.
I am now the owner of a new vehicle that is within my budget, meets all my criteria and is much more fuel-efficient. Carolina Trust made my first trade-in process super easy. With the advice and assistance that they offered along the way, I made a financially sound decision and checked off one of my goals for the year.