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How to Trade in Your Car to a Dealership

How to Trade in Your Car to a Dealership

Selling privately is becoming something of a hassle. There are too many test pilots and tire kickers out there willing to waste your time so they can have a little fun. Then you have those who think you should sell the car for half the market value, and don’t get us started on those who want a discount for every tiny defect!

 

It’s much easier and safer to trade in your old car or sell it to a dealership. That’s especially true now dealers are offering much higher prices for quality used cars.

 

But how do you trade in your car or sell it to a dealership?

 

Like with many areas of life, it’s all about the preparation.

 

Trading in or selling your old car

 

The market controls what a car is worth but there are some simple things you can do to get a better price for your car.

 

Prepare the car for sale

 

Preparing your car for sale is the same as if you were going to sell privately. That means making all those small repairs you were putting off. Check the tires and change them if necessary, check wipers and lights, change bulbs if required.

 

Check the interior, repair any scuffs or missing trim and generally make your car look as presentable as possible.

 

We recommend not spending much money but doing whatever you can to make the car presentable. You’re looking to convince the dealer that very little effort is required to prepare the car for resale.

 

Research your car’s value

 

Pricing a car can be simple but can also be something people get very wrong. Check Kelley Blue Book, check eBay, check Auto Trader and check anywhere cars are listed online.

 

Look for the same make, model, trim, year and mileage as yours. If you can find the same colour, even better. The closer to your car you can find, the more accurate the price you’ll get.

 

Remember, while dealers are paying more, they cannot pay market price. Kelley will provide trade in values but remember that marketplaces will be retail, so your offer will likely fall a little short of that.

 

Prepare the car’s paperwork

 

You’ll need some paperwork to sell the car. You’ll need the vehicle title and registration, your driver’s license and the keys. You should also include any service paperwork, receipts or invoices for work you had carried out and anything else that could support the sale.

 

As long as you have the title and registration, you can sell the car. All other paperwork is optional.

 

If you have outstanding finance on the car, you’ll have to work with the dealership to assure them it will be paid off with the proceeds of your next auto loan or from the sale.

 

Take the car to the dealership

 

Now you’re ready to go get the car value, appraised and sell it. The process doesn’t take long but usually needs to be booked in advance. An appraiser will inspect the car and let the staff know the value.

 

If you’re selling for cash, the dealer will make you an offer and pay through the bank if you accept. If you’re trading in for another car, the car’s value will be taken off the auto loan or cost of the new car.

 

Selling your old car to a dealer or trading in is much easier than selling privately. We think it’s the only way to dispose of your old car!

 

For any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us here!

 

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