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How Does Trading In A Car Work

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Tips For Trading In Your Car At The Dealership

How to Trade in a Car that is not Paid Off | MONEY $AVING TIP$

A dealer trade-in is commonly the most convenient means to buy a new vehicle. You can try selling your vehicle yourself, however, if you’re searching for fast and easy then bringing it to us is your best alternative. Even if you are trading in a vehicle with troubles we can work with you to get you the very best deal possible.

Want To Trade In A Car That Doesnt Run

Your engine might be fine but your engine doesnt run. Wondering what to do with a car that doesnt run? You could trade it in to the dealership and buy a different car.

If you trade in a car that doesnt run, the dealership will lowball the value. They need to account for the cost to repair the car, whatever that might be. It could be electrical like a crankshaft position sensor. It could be fuel-related like a faulty fuel pump. It could be as simple as a dead battery. But unless your totaled car is running, the dealership will account for the worst-case scenario, and the trade-in value will reflect it.

Youve Traded In Your Car

i) Get in touch with your insurance agent

After rolling off the yard in your new car, the first thing to take care of will be the insurance coverage. Most insurance companies will extend your existing policy to your new purchase for up to 4 days. This does not apply to all insurance companies, though. So notify your agent about your new vehicle as soon as possible. The dealership may try to be more helpful and promise to tell your insurance company about your new purchase. Dont rely on them: this is your responsibility.

ii) Ensure the trade in payoff is settled

If the dealer promises to settle your existing car loan, you need to contact whoever deals with the trade in payoffs to ensure that this is done promptly. A good dealer will pay your loan in 7 days or less, but a slow one can take up to 30 days. If the dealer has already cleared the loan, enquire about the check number and the date it was processed. Confirm this with your lender to be on the safer side.

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No Need To Pay Off Your Existing Loan In Full

If you still have outstanding payments left on your loan, this will discourage prospective buyers as well. If you still owe on your loan, you wont have the title in hand. The lender holds onto the title as long as there are still payments due. For many buyers, its a red flag, reducing the number of potential buyers which is likely to increase the time it takes to sell.

A dealer, on the other hand, has no problem with working with you to pay down your existing loan. At Legend Auto Sales, well work with you no matter what your current credit situation is and we have years of experience working with buyers at all stages of their loan repayment.

Disadvantages Of Trading In A Car

How Does Trading in a Car Work?

Trading in a car isnt always the best option. Consider the negatives before making your decision.

1. You May Get Less Money for Your CarTheres no doubt that trading in a car to purchase a new one is simple and convenient. But too often, the amount offered by dealerships is much less than the private party value.

For example, the private party value of a 2009 Toyota Camry XLE in excellent condition with 30,000 miles is approximately $19,479. However, the trade-in value for the same car in the same condition is only $17,426 a difference of about $2,000.

2. You Limit Where You Can Buy a CarWhen a dealership appraises your car and agrees to buy your car, youre obligated to buy your next car from that dealership. If the dealership doesnt have a car that you want, you cant trade in the car. There is no provision that allows you to trade in a vehicle at one dealership and purchase from another, nor at a later time.

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Alternatives To Ordering From The Factory

The dealership coordinating your order may first try to find a car very similar to the one you want that has already been built, whether from their own stock or on the lot of another dealership. Let them.

Sometimes dealers can trade vehicles with other dealers of the same brand. A dealership in Massachusetts may locate a car much like what youre looking for in Texas and have it shipped to them to sell to you. That will speed up the process, so theres no harm in letting dealerships try.

Does My Car Loan Disappear If I Trade In My Car

Your car loan doesn’t disappear if you trade in your car. However, the trade-in value of your car becomes credit towards your loan. This credit might cover the whole balance. If it doesn’t, your dealer will roll over your loan, combining the deficit with the amount owing on your new car. Consolidating what you owe into a single new loan helps you manage your payments better.

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Trading In A Car With Positive Equity

Say you owe $5,000 on your car, and its worth $7,000 as a trade-in. You now have $2,000 of equity you can apply directly to the purchase of your next car.

This equity is deducted from the negotiated price of the new car. In addition to any equity applied to the new car purchase, you can make a down payment to reduce the overall balance of the loan.

But youll need to provide financing cash or an auto loan for the remaining purchase price of the car. The value of the trade-in will be listed in the contract for your new car. Make sure you are given the full agreed-upon amount you negotiated.

The best way to ensure that you get a good price for your trade-in and on your new car is to negotiate each one separately. Refer to the prices listed in the online guides during your negotiations.

Key Things To Avoid When Trading In A Car

Buying & Selling Cars : How Does an Auto Trade-In Work?
  • Turning over a dirty trade in. A clean and fresh-smelling car will fetch more at the dealership than another one thats full of grime.
  • Not knowing what your car is worth. Do your homework and get an estimate of how much would be a fair trade in value to avoid getting ripped off.
  • Over-fixing your auto avoid spending thousands of dollars, especially in a car that is not likely to fetch a lot of money.
  • Failing to provide all the accessories. Dealers prefer vehicles with all the accessories.
  • Giving false information when applying for a trade in.
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    Know Its Wholesale Worth Beforehand

    The first thing that you want to do before turning over your trade in is to determine its value estimate. This should give you a ballpark of how much would be a fair trade in value at the dealership. It will also help you detect when the salesperson is trying to rip you off.

    Figuring out exactly how much your car is worth isnt so straightforward. Theres never an exact figure for a used car as there are many things to factor in, such as make, model, year, trim level, mileage, and current condition. At the end of the day, the worth of your used car boils down to how much you can convince the potential buyer to pay for it.

    Most people have a tendency to overrate the retail price of their car based on how much they paid for it and the maintenance cost. Its also common for others to undervalue their auto based on the year of manufacturing and more so if they have regularly ignored preventative maintenance.

    How do you determine your cars worth?

    Resources, such as the Kelley Blue Book, have a solid reputation for estimating how much would be a reasonable retail value for a used car. Another excellent tip is to search and browse car listings in your area and see how much other people are selling similar vehicles. Use the information you gather around to come up with a baseline of how much youd expect from the dealer. Theres no harm in printing this info and using it to convince the salesperson to get you a slightly better car trade in value.

    Find Out What Your Trade

    Dealers use a variety of different references to determine what your used vehicle is worth. They can use the Black Book or Blue Book to find wholesale values. To get a good idea of what they might offer you, its best to use an industry guide like Kelley Blue Book to find out what your trade-in is worth. Youll need to know the vehicle make, model, mileage and condition. KBB says that about 54% of trade-in vehicles qualify as good condition. Here are the four most popular industry guides for vehicle appraisal. The first three are free for the public to use online. Black Book is an industry guide that dealers can access for a fee.

    When youre trading in a car, the dealership that trade to will not be offering any more than the rough- to average-wholesale price for the vehicle, says Steve Lang, a longtime auto auctioneer and car dealer out of Atlanta who co-developed the Long-Term Quality Index. Expect the dealer to offer a low value, and aim to get at least trade-in value for your car. The only common reasons you wouldnt be able to get trade-in value are if your car was in a major accident or if it has a salvage title.

    Whats my truck worth?

    You could use the same industry guides listed above to find out what your pickup truck is worth. But if youre wondering how much your truck is worth and you have a commercial vehicle, you could:

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    How To Find The Value Of Your Car

    To get the value of your vehicle, you can easily enter some information about your vehicle and instantly receive an accurate assessment of your cars value using our valuation tool.

    The site uses data from a range of sources such as consumer information, depreciation costs and dealer transactions, to give you a snapshot of your cars value.

    How Do I Trade In A Car With A Loan

    How Does Trading in a Car Work?

    The following steps occur when you trade in your car with a loan:

  • You find a new car that fits your budget. Completing this step first makes sure you have a car when you trade in your existing one.
  • You confirm your car’s trade-in price. Your car’s trade-in value is your equity. It is subtracted from the cost of your new car.
  • You bring paperwork to the dealership. NerdWallet states the dealer needs the following information to trade in your car:
  • Your loan account number
  • Your vehicle keys and remotes
  • Proof of your insurance
  • A print-out of your trade-in value
  • The dealership contacts your lender. The dealer contacts your bank or financial institution and repays your original loan in full, as AutoTrader explained.
  • The dealership handles the paperwork. Your dealer transfers the title of your old car into their name and your new car into yours.
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    Consider Selling Your Car

    Having a car to trade in is always limiting in some ways. If you can replace this with cash, your negotiating power increases when buying a new car. There are various ways for you to sell your car:

    • Sell your car to a dealer using our free Match! tool.
    • Sell your car privately on by clicking here.

    Please note that tips provided on trading in your car are meant only as a guide to the car seller.

    Turn It In Turn A Profit


    When your lease is almost up, there are usually only two paths people consider. Most choose to return the car to the dealership. Others fall in love and decide to purchase the car outright. What you may not know is that in some cases you can actually build equity with your leased vehicle. Thats extra money you can use toward a new car.

    Keep in mind that if you recently signed a lease, trading it in too early can be costly. Youll most likely owe more than the vehicle is worth after short-term depreciation. On top of that, you may also face early termination fees as outlined in your lease contract. In most cases, we recommend sticking it out until you have two or three months left on your lease.

    If youre thinking about leasing and are on the fence, weve put together a comprehensive guide that covers pros, cons, and terminology. We also cover several of the most common fees you may run into at the dealership. Check out the TrueCar Leasing Guide here.

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    When Should You Wait To Trade

    Generally, trading in a vehicle does not fetch as much value as selling your car outright. So if you can contain your desire for a new car for a few more months or a year or two, the added equity can be beneficial.

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    When you owe more on your car than your vehicle is worth or have negative equity wait until you pay off more of the loan before trading in your car.

    Or if youre able to sell your car yourself and get closer to the amount of your payoff, you might make out even better. But keep in mind that selling a car can be somewhat lengthy and involves advertising it, showing it to people you might not know and haggling with your buyer to reach a price that both parties can live with.

    Find a used car for sale near you

    How Does Trading In A Car Work

    How to Trade in a Car you Owe Money on or is NOT Paid Off (Former Dealer Explains)

    When youre trading in a car, you offer it to the dealership for an agreed amount of money. That car is called a trade in. The amount that you two agree on is called the trade in value, and its applied towards the price of the vehicle that you want to buy or lease.

    The process of trading in your auto can take 2 different directions, depending on its equity. Vehicle equity refers to the resale value of your car minus the amount that you owe on it. If your auto is worth more than you owe, you have positive equity.

    On the contrary, if your current car loan is higher than its present value, thats negative equity. For instance, if you still owe $7000 on your car loan and the best it can fetch is $5000, then youll have $2000 negative equity. In the auto world, having negative equity is being upside-down or underwater on a car loan.

    Its advisable to trade in your car when you have equity on it. This is because the extra amount is deducted from the negotiated value of your next car, which lowers your monthly car repayments significantly.

    Its possible to trade in your auto even if youve not paid it off yet. In this situation, the dealer agrees to pay off the outstanding loan and rolls the same amount to the price of your new car. Because this will increase your monthly payments, the dealer may happily allow you to stretch your new car loan for lower monthly repayments.

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    What Can Go Wrong

    Based on posts in the Carvana forum on Reddit and on reviews left at sites like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs, Carvana’s weaknesses fall into few general areas. People have reported issues with delivery, timing, and location. There have been registration delays. And while Carvana promises a 150-point inspection, things can always get missed. This can be easy to handle by having the vehicle inspected by your own mechanic within the seven-day trial period, then deciding whether to keep the car.

    As always, when buying any used car from any person or company, do your homework. And remember that figuring out the best place to buy a used car starts with figuring out what kind of shopper you are.

    Why Order A Car From The Factory

    Most of us dream about buying exactly the car we want. But in reality, we want things now or we need something to help us get around much sooner. A perfect car for you, down to the last detail, is likely not something your local dealership carries in stock. Getting the right color may mean compromising on the sound system. Getting the all-wheel-drive system you need for rough winters may limit you to boring colors.

    Custom ordering your car allows you more control. To be clear, you may not be able to mix and match every option. Many automakers build certain features only as part of options packages. So, even when ordering a car custom-built, selecting the larger infotainment screen may require you to purchase a premium stereo you dont care about.

    But dealers stock the combinations they think customers prefer in their area. So, buying from dealer stock inevitably leaves you buying something typical, where ordering your own will allow you more freedom of expression.

    Ordering a car can also get you access to packages that may not be popular where you live. If youre pickup truck shopping in the rural West, for instance, theres a good chance your dealer has a truck with the maximum tow package on the lot today. Many buyers in that area ask for that package. If youre truck shopping in a more urban area in the East, theyre less likely to have that model in stock. If you still require a trailer to pull, you need to order a truck.

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