Find A Buyer For Your Car
Once you have decided to sell your car, you will need to find a buyer. There are several options for finding a buyer, and the best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances.
1. You can sell your car privately. This option will likely get you the most money for your car, but it will also require the most work on your part. You will need to list your car for sale, handle inquiries from potential buyers, schedule test drives, and negotiate a sale price.
2. You can trade your car in to a dealership when buying a new car. This is the easiest way to sell your car, but you will likely get less money for your car than if you sold it privately.
3. You can sell your car to a used car dealership or junkyard. This is the quickest way to sell your car, but you will likely get the least amount of money for it.
When Should You Trade In Your Car
The new car you bought 3 years ago for $30,000 is worth just over $15,000 today, and youre thinking it might be time to trade it in before its value vanishes completely.
While getting rid of that used vehicle might seem like the smartest move, you shouldnt use the last couple of years of depreciation as an indication of what will happen next. Its important to carefully consider timing and value to understand the best time to trade in your car.
Great Deal On New Car
At the end of the year, many dealerships will offer deep incentives to move the old inventory. This is one of the best times to purchase a new car and a good time to consider trading in a financed vehicle.
What you might not have been able to afford suddenly becomes a reality during these events. Work out your budget to see if it makes financial sense to you.
Don’t Miss: Where Can You Get Your Car Inspected
Make An Appointment With A Dealer
Car dealerships can be busy places so make an appointment in advance to save yourself time. The dealer will evaluate your car to verify that all the information you submitted online is correct.
Ask if you can be present with the appraiser so that you can ask them questions on how they are determining the value of your vehicle, says Joe McCloskey, president of McCloskey Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Most dealerships will share this information with you, and having this information will help you to better understand how and why the dealer is valuing your vehicles value.
Be sure to bring the vehicle registration, the title and all sets of keys. If you dont have the title because youre trading in a car that still has a loan, have the lenders details ready to hand over.
What Is A Trade
A trade-in car is a vehicle you offer to the dealership for credit toward the price of the automobile you want to purchase. Generally, a trade-in can be any vehicle with value, but the amount for the trade-in can vary greatly. Factors that determine the value of your trade-in include your cars mileage, condition, the demand for that particular make and model, and your skill at negotiating a price.
The moment a new car leaves the lot, it begins to lose its value, known as depreciation. It continues each year until the car no longer has any resale value. The resale value is the highest amount youre likely to get using your car as a trade-in. Cars tend to depreciate the fastest during the first five years of ownership. That makes depreciation one of the most significant expenses of car ownership.
Read Also: How To Start A Car With A Dead Battery
How Does A Trade
If you decide that you want to trade your vehicle in, its always good to come prepared. You can use our Value Your Trade tool to get a sense of your vehicles Blue Book® value. This tool lets you fill out your VIN, year, make, and model, which will then calculate those factors to give you an estimate of what your vehicle is worth and how much value you can use toward your new car purchase.
How Do I Prepare My Car To Be Traded In
Getting your car repaired before trading it in may not be worth it at all. There are, however, things you can do prior to the trade-in that will help maximize the value of your vehicle.
The preparations are inexpensive repairs and can increase your cars overall appeal and, therefore, its chances of fetching a better price.
Even in the presence of bigger issues like a dead engine, faulty electrical system, or a broken transmission, superficial fixes when trading in a car with cosmetic damage can help you grab a bigger prize at the dealership.
You May Like: Does Paying Off Your Car Help Your Credit
Reasons To Consider Trading In Your Car
Why would one trade in a car? This is a common question that pops up in anyones mind when they first hear about the process of trading in a car.
Even though it may seem very difficult to trade your car in after having it for a while, you will still have to get a replacement at one point when the old one doesnt fulfill your needs anymore. Trading it in might make it easier for you to transition to your new vehicle.
It Lets You Do the Transaction in One Place
What makes it so great to trade in your car sometimes is that you can simply complete the transaction in one place. All you have to do is go to the location and then go back home. You can go to the dealership, secure a new loan after finding a new car, and then trade in your old car. Its easy and you dont have to go to several places in a single day to finish the process.
You Can Do It Easily and Quickly
Basically, you just have to go to the dealership if you want to trade in your car. Once you tell the salesperson that you intend to trade your old car in, they will take care of everything and ensure you have an easy and smooth process that wont take long. Youll receive an offer after a test drive, and if you accept the offer, the money will go towards the car youre planning to buy. So, all you have to do once you accept the deal is sign the title of the car.
This process is much faster compared to selling your car yourself.
The Dealer Handles Everything
Is It Smart To Trade In A Car With A Loan
Whether trading in a car with a loan is the right decision for you depends on your circumstances. Trading in a car with a loan might be the smartest thing if:
- Your car has high ownership costs. If your car uses a lot of gas, often needs repairs, or needs specialty parts, it can be financially savvy to trade it in. Choose a smaller car or a more modern one to save money in the long run.
- The dealership has great incentives. Dealers often have promotions that make trading in your vehicle more attractive, according to Birchwood Credit. For example, many dealers have end of financial year deals to clear old stock and make way for new models.
- You’ve done your research. If you’ve researched your options and know what you want, it’s often smarter to trade your car in rather than wait. Visit your dealer to crunch the numbers and see whether you can strike a deal you’re happy with.
Read Also: How To Keep Cats Off My Car
How We Make Money
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout lifes financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
Were transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
Shop Around For Trade
Trade-in offers can vary, depending on what the dealer already has in inventory, the cars condition and how well the dealer feels the car will sell. You could prevent some of the back-and-forth negotiating at one dealer by getting a few trade-in quotes from different dealers. Get a quote from one, go to another and ask it to beat what the first offered. Be sure to get all offers in writing. Here are some places you could go:
A different brand dealership. Take your car to a dealer that does not sell your cars brand. An example would be taking your Ford to a Nissan dealer because a non-Ford dealer may offer you more. The reasons behind this are that there are fewer Fords with which to compete and If the car you are driving was a popular rental, lease or fleet model, they also transact at lower prices, says Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. If you go to a dealer of the same brand, you could be competing against those depressed prices with your privately owned vehicle.
A used-car-only dealership. Places like CarMax advertise fast, free quotes on trade-ins, so stopping by may be a pretty painless way to get a written trade-in offer.
Online services. Some sites offer to buy your trade-in online. Whether you trade in your car for a new one or sell it using an online site, an offer from an online service might be useful. KBB Instant Cash Offer is one example of a site you could use.
You May Like: How To Change My Car Oil
Alternative To A Trade
Trading in your car at the dealership isnt your only option. You can also sell your car to a private buyer, though you may need to let your lender know first. While it may take longer, youll likely get more money for your car in a private sale than with a dealer trade-in, which could help offset any negative equity.
Reasons Why You Might Not Want To Trade In Your Car
Even though there are so many advantages, you also have to consider the downsides of trading in your vehicle. Here are some disadvantages it comes with:
It Can Be Confusing
Usually, when you get a car deal, it contains the cars price, the terms of the auto lease or loan, and the trade-in allowance. But many times, salespeople will combine all of these into one and it will make it very confusing.
It Can Be Problematic If You Have Negative Equity
You may owe more on the car than its worth. This means that you have negative equity, in which case it doesnt make a lot of sense to trade in your vehicle with a dealer. You are very limited with a tighter budget, and it will also make it harder for you to handle paying for two cars while only being able to drive one.
You Get a Lower Price
Trading in your car at a dealer will usually give you the cars wholesale value, which is often smaller than the price youd get from private selling. So, this isnt the way to go if you want to get the most money out of the old car.
Don’t Miss: How To Lower My Car Payment
Find Out How Much You Owe On Your Car
If you have a free and clear title with no lien on it, youre in business. If you still owe money on your trade-in, find out how much. You could still sell or trade in a car with a loan. Contact your lender and ask what the payoff is on your auto loan. Compare what you owe on it to how much its worth as a trade-in.
If your car is worth more than what you owe, then you have positive equity and can use the difference as a down payment on your new car, which could lower your monthly payments. For example, if you owe $10,000 on a car thats worth $15,000, you would have a $5,000 credit toward the purchase of your new car.
If your car is worth less than what you owe, dont despair, you could still trade in your car, but youll need to cover the difference with a down payment or roll the difference into your new car loan. If you add it to your new car loan, know that your payment and interest can increase. For example, if you owe $25,000 on your car and its worth $20,000, then you could roll $5,000 into your new car loan. Heres more on how to get out of an upside-down car loan.
Can you trade in a leased car?
Yes, and the process is very similar to trading in a car with a loan on it. The dealer will assess the vehicles trade-in value and pay off the leasing company. If the car is worth more than the payoff to the leasing company, the positive equity counts toward your new car. If its worth less, youll have to pay the difference.
How much do car dealers make on trade-ins?
What Paperwork Do I Need
Once you have an idea of what your cars worth, you can begin gathering the information needed for the trade-in process. There are two things that are necessary and one thats optional:
In addition to the title, registration, and service records, if you have bad credit you need to bring in some additional documents in order to get approved for a new car loan:
You May Like: How To Find Vin Number On Car
Looking For A Dealer To Work With
Dealerships handle trade-ins all the time. But while the process of trading in a vehicle is the same for all dealers, the trade-in value can vary from dealer to dealer.
If youre in the market for a used car but worry your credits holding you back, let CarsDirect help. We work with a coast-to-coast network of dealerships that specialize in helping bad credit car buyers get the financing they need. All you need to do is fill out our auto loan request form. Our service is free of cost and obligation, so get started right now!
How To Trade In Your Car For A Used Car
The first step in trading in a car is to determine the value of your vehicle. You can research your vehicle’s value through a third party, such as Kelley Blue Book , which will give you a rough estimate of your car’s worth.
You can then get offers from local dealerships or car shopping services, especially those that have the vehicle you want in stock. The amount you’re offered for your trade-in will depend on several factors, such as how many vehicles the dealership or company already has in stock and your vehicle’s condition. With dealerships, you can typically negotiate their offer before making a decision. Learn more about what to look for when buying a used car and car insurance for a used car.
You can trade in your current vehicle and purchase another used vehicle just as easily as you would a new car.
The dealer might offer you a “blind trade” value a basic market price for most cars of that make and model. This price may decrease after they receive pictures or if there is extensive damage to your car. You may also qualify for a slightly higher trade-in value if a special promotion is happening.
You can usually receive more value for your car if you sell it yourself, but this process may be time-consuming. People generally opt for trade-ins because it saves time in the long run.
Learn to negotiate at dealerships to get a better trade-in value on your vehicle.
You May Like: How To Fix Cigarette Lighter In Car
Advantages Of Trading In A Car
When deciding the best way to get rid of a car, there are several factors to consider. Before attempting to sell the car yourself, understand how a trade-in can help.
1. You Only Deal With the DealerIf you trade in your car, the dealer handles the entire transaction from start to finish. All you need to do is show up, negotiate the deal, and youre one step closer to buying a new car. While there are definitely benefits to selling a car yourself, trading in a car is the better option if you simply dont have the time or desire to market your vehicle.
average return of 397%
2. Its Fast and ConvenientPrivate party sales take time and effort: Theres the task of advertising the car, meeting with potential buyers, and transferring ownership. It can take several weeks or even months to find a buyer. On the other hand, when you trade in your car, you can get rid of your old car in a day or two.
3. It Reduces the Price of Your New CarIf you own your car outright, the dealership will apply your trade-in amount to your new vehicle. For example, if you purchase a car for $25,000 and the dealership gives you $6,000 for your trade-in, you only need a loan for $19,000. And because the dealer knocked several thousand dollars off the final price of your automobile, you pay less in sales tax.