Tips on Knowing When to Sell or Trade in Your Car


Dealing with an old car is one of the more difficult parts of buying a new car. Buyers of a new car have to weigh the importance of getting the best possible deal on their old car against the amount of time spent selling the car. Though the decision to trade in or sell the car is a personal one, there are a number of factors that new car buyers should consider when getting rid of their old vehicles.


Determining Value

Before either selling or trading in a used car, determine the fair market value for the vehicle. There are a number of print and online price guides that a consumer can use to determine value. Some well-known examples are NADA and the “Kelly Blue Book.” These guides use a vehicle’s make, model, condition, mileage and other factors to determine market value. Price guides will give figures for both retail value and trade-in value for the vehicle. Consumers can also use Internet car listings to look at prices that comparable vehicles are selling for in their areas.


Trade In Advantages

The primary advantage of trading in a vehicle to the dealer is convenience. A typical trade-in consists of taking the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and receiving an offer. Consumers can negotiate the price with the dealer, but the process is relatively simple. Trading in a vehicle is also less of a hassle, as the dealers will also handle the paperwork needed to transfer the title and documentation for the vehicle.


Selling Advantages

The primary advantage of selling a car over trading it in is that a private sale will typically result in a larger financial return for the vehicle. When a car dealer buys a car, he is buying it to sell. This means he will offer less than the retail value of the car, as he needs to be able to sell it for a profit. Selling a car also allows consumers to get rid of the car when they are ready, allowing them to concentrate on buying the new car instead of preparing the old one.


Other Factors

In some cases, dealers may offer customers as much or more for a trade-in as the customer could get selling it himself. As part of the new car buying process, it is always a good idea to see what the dealer will offer for the vehicle. Certain vehicles are more in demand in some areas, and this will greatly influence the time it takes a consumer to sell the used car, as well as the price.


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