Tricks of the Trade-In: How to get the most cash out of your car

If you are in the market to sell your car, you want it to go for top dollar.

Consumer Reports has some tricks of the trade-in, and it pays off to do your homework.

Take your car to a few local dealerships to see who makes the best offer. You can also solicit offers online using websites like AutoTrader, Cars, and TrueCar.

Also, knowing when to sell can help. Cars five to seven years old can still hold value because repair costs usually haven't started to escalate.

But you may want to make a sale sooner.

"The sweet spot for getting the most for your used vehicle is at the 3-year-old mark because dealers can resell it under a certified pre-owned program," Jon Linkov, Consumer Reports Auto Editor, said.

Keeping your car clean can go a long way when it comes to getting the highest offer. You can spend over $100 getting your car detailed, or wash and vacuum it yourself, to save some cash.

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