Deciding Whether to Sell or Trade Your Car
Whether you’re thinking about selling your vehicle privately or trading it into a dealership, what works best for your situation will depend on a number of things. There are valid pros and cons to actioning both and so it is in your best interest to sit down and evaluate which pathway is going to be the right one for you.
Trading in Your Vehicle
Trading your car in at a dealership is a simple and easy way to get rid of your car without having to think about the considerable efforts involved with selling the vehicle yourself. In trading your vehicle, you will have an advantage in not worrying about having to advertise the sale of your vehicle or worry about scheduling any car inspections or test drives with potential buyers. Trading in your vehicle is an easier and more convenient process than selling your car by yourself. All that is required of you when you trade in your vehicle is you having to drive your car to a dealership, have it appraised and then have them make an offer on your vehicle.
If you are looking to upgrade to a newer or bigger car, it may be worth working with a dealership and using the trade-in amount for your old vehicle as part of the payment towards your new car. It is important to remember that you can negotiate the price of your trade-in vehicle to get the best value out of your deal. If you’re successful in negotiating a higher price for your trade in, this will be beneficial for you in reducing the amount you may need to finance, resulting in lower monthly payments, and a lower interest rate.
A major downside in trading in your vehicle is that you are likely to get less money on your trade than if you sold your car yourself.
Selling Your Car Yourself
Selling your car privately requires you to invest a significant amount of your own time and energy. You must do your own research, looking at vehicles that are comparable to the one that you are selling, remembering that market value alone doesn’t indicate how much you could possibly sell it for. Once you have a rough idea of how much real-world value your vehicle carries, you can then decide on your sticker price. When you sell your car, it helps to ensure that your vehicle is in a sound condition and that it is clean and safe. When people are looking to purchase a vehicle, they are generally looking to use it immediately and so it is in your best interest to confirm that your car is mechanically sound.
As you are selling your vehicle yourself, you will need to be open to enquiries from interested buyers, and to respond to purchase enquiries quickly. You also need to be prepared to schedule times for potential buyers to come and inspect the car at their own pace. It helps to have a firm idea of what the lowest price is that you will accept to guide you when negotiating the price.
The benefit of all this extra effort is that you could end up selling it for more than you would get from a dealership trade-in, with no hidden fees reducing the amount you take away from the transaction even further. And if you can commit to spending a bit of time and energy on preparing and marketing your car, it could be beneficial to you.
Ultimately there are valid pros and cons to both trade-ins and independent car. If you are looking to make more money – and can spend more time and energy during the process – it’s worth selling your car yourself. However, if you are time-poor and prioritise convenience and ease, you are more likely to find benefit in trading your car in to a dealership.