Test-Drive During Your Appraisal
One of the easiest ways to shed downtime is by having your trade-in appraised early during your dealership visit.
After arriving at the dealership and meeting your salesperson, it's time to get down to business. Tell your salesperson you'd like to have the trade-in appraisal process started as soon as possible because you're planning to make this a quick and easy deal. This will do more than get the appraisal going; it will also set the tone for the rest of your visit.
The dealership usually does its appraisal after the test drive is over, while the car buyer waits in the showroom. But it doesn't have to be that way. The appraisal can happen at any time in the deal, and the biggest time-saver is to have two things happen at once: You take a test drive while the dealership does its trade-in evaluation.
A trade-in appraisal for a vehicle is generally a two-step affair. First, the salesperson collects the trade-in's basic information on an appraisal form and hands it over, along with the trade-in's keys, to the used-car manager or sales manager. The used-car manager or sales manager also checks out the vehicle and begins to determine the value. That determination is the part that takes longest.
Your salesperson usually doesn't need to be around while the management team works out the trade-in value. After the salesperson gives the trade-in information to the manager who will determine the trade-in offer, the two of you are free to spend some time in your potential new car. Ideally, the dealership management team will have a trade-in offer ready for you by the time you get back from your initial demonstration and test-drive.
Estimated time savings: 30 minutes