Documents Needed to Trade in a Car

car insurance paperwork with car key

What paperwork do I need to trade in my car? Do you need a title to trade in a car? These are among the most commonly asked questions we receive here at Five Star Automotive Group. Fortunately, only some basic car trade-in documents are needed to facilitate a smooth and stress-free transaction, whether you’re purchasing a new vehicle or a used one. In this guide, our team gives you all the details, and when you’re ready to obtain a trade-in value for your vehicle, we invite you to take advantage of our Value Your Trade tool.

What Paperwork Do I Need to Trade in My Car?

After you get a fair and accurate estimate for your trade-in vehicle, it’s time to start gathering the car trade-in documents needed. Here are the three most important pieces of paperwork required to trade in your vehicle:

  • Title: Do you need a title to trade in a car? Absolutely! The title is essential to transferring ownership from seller to buyer. If you’re financing your trade-in and it’s not paid off, you won’t have the title, so be sure to contact the lender and bring a payoff letter and a 10-day payoff statement, as well as the lender’s contact information.
  • Registration: The registration tells the dealership that you are the legal owner of the vehicle. Bring along your most recent car registration documentation.
  • Service Records: Service records are optional, but they are extremely helpful both to the dealership and to the eventual buyer of your vehicle. This paperwork provides insight into the condition of the vehicle, what you’ve done to take care of it, and any work that may be due before it can be put up for sale.

Financing your next or ride? Don’t forget your driver’s license and proof of both income and residency. This will help streamline the financing process and match you with the right options for your budget.

How to Get Maximum Trade-In Value

After trading in a car, the value of the vehicle is deducted from the new vehicle’s total purchase or finance amount. Understandably, you want to obtain the highest value possible to reduce your overall financial commitment. In addition to compiling the car trade-in documents needed, you can further prepare your vehicle for a smooth and lucrative transaction by giving the car a thorough cleaning. Wash the exterior, vacuum and polish the interior, and remove all trash and personal items. This helps present your car in the most flattering light.

Also, take the time to repair minor cosmetic issues that may negatively impact trade-in value. If the car has small scratches or dents, aim to have them fixed prior to bringing the vehicle to the dealership to trade in. Again, this ensures your vehicle is visually impressive so you can net an optimal trade-in value.

Trade in Your Car with Confidence at Five Star Automotive Group

Now that you know about the car trade-in documents needed, are you ready to start the trade process? Use our handy Value Your Trade tool to get the ball rolling. If you have any questions or would like more information, don’t hesitate to contact us, or stop by our Milledgeville showroom–we’re just a short drive from .


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