Should You Sell Your Car Privately or Trade it in?

If you’re thinking about getting a new car, or downsizing to using public transportation or a bike, you typically have two primary options when it comes to selling your old car, to provide you with cash to buy another vehicle, pay off your loan or use the funds from selling a car for other purposes.

The two options are that you can either trade your old car into a dealer – which can be an especially attractive option if you are looking to buy a new car – or you can do the work yourself and sell the car privately.

Knowing these two options, you might be wondering which one is the best for you. As is the case with all choices, there are some pretty clear pros and cons to both.

Continue reading to learn about the pro and cons of selling your car privately or trading it in to a dealer.

Trading Your Car To Your Local Car Dealer

There are quite a few benefits to trading your old car into a dealer. The most clear benefit to going with this option is just how easy it is. All you have to do is take your old care to the dealer and the dealer will make you an offer on your car. After you take the offer, you put that money toward buying your new car.

It can quite literally take a matter of minutes. You don’t have to worry about any of the paperwork because the dealership takes care of all of that. All you do is drive in with your old car, hand over the keys, purchase your new car and drive on out.

It’s not all perfect, however. The major disadvantage to trading in your old car is that you are most likely leaving a lot of money on the table. Since the dealer still needs to make money on your new car, they aren’t going to offer you anywhere close to retail value on your old on. So while you avoid the hassle that comes with selling your car on your own, you may lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process.

If you are looking to sell your car in order to buy a new one, trading it in can knock quite a load off of your price for your new car. If, on the other hand, you are looking to sell your money and get the full value of your car, selling it privately it probably the way to go.

Selling it Yourself

In basically all cases, you are more likely to get more money for your car if you sell it on your own. Thats because any potential buyer is going to be willing to buy closer to market price while dealerships are going to be looking to purchase your car for closer to retail price.

But selling your your car on your own is rarely easy. There are quite a few things that you are going to want to know about and keep in mind before and during your sale.

Here are some of the most important steps when it comes to selling your car on your own.

Get a reliable valuation

The first thing you’re going want to do during your path to selling your car is getting a valuation estimate from either a car dealership or a business that buys cars. You can carry out an estimate over the phone and you don’t necessarily need to take your car in for an in-person inspection.

Another good idea to figure out what kind of price you should be asking for your car is to check out current listings for similar cars. If you ask more than others, your eventual ad will likely be far less appealing to potential buyers. If your car is worthy of the increased price, you’re going to want to be able to both show and tell potential buyers why. If you are serious about taking on the challenge of selling your car yourself, see our guide on the best sites to list a car for sale.

Make your car look its best

Before you even think about posting pictures of your automobile on local online markets, you’re going to want to give your car a full-on makeover. Basically, that means getting it professionally detailed. This will typically cost you a couple hundred dollars, but it is well worth the expense to make your car the most attractive to prospective buyers. A car that looks its best inside and out will help you sell your car at or even above market value. There are leading buyers in many cities including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and more that can provide you with great deals on your vehicle when trading in or selling. If you are in Western Australia, see our page on we buy cars Perth.

Write a great advertisement

There is an art to writing your ad and the better you are at it the faster you can expect to sell your car. It’s important to keep in mind that your description should be both detailed and precise. Make sure to not the make, model, variant, year of manufacture, engine, and transmission details of your car. You will also want to list its general condition, include the odometer reading, and highlight its age if it is a relatively new car.

Another wise rule of thumb is to avoid abbreviations and industry jargon that will make the ad harder to understand. Proof-read your work and make sure there are no typos.

The final thing to keep in mind is that it is best to be honest. If your car has any imperfections, note them. Better yet, include a photo of them. While leaving imperfections off your ad may attract more interested buyers, it will also detract them once they come for an in-person inspection and find that you have not been entirely honest about the car you are trying to sell.

Expect Pushback

Once you finally do start hearing back from potential buyers, don’t expect the road to be easy from start to finish.

It is important not to be discouraged by people trying to negotiate and haggle with your regarding your original asking price, even if your price is lower than the competitors you saw online. Negotiation is part of the game, and if you’ve given yourself enough of a financial cushion in your asking price, you can make sure that you get a good amount for the car with your buyer feeling like they’ve gotten a good price.

This is why looking at your potential competitors is such a good idea. It will not only give you a good idea of what the average going price is for cars similar to yours, it will also give you added confidence while talking to potential buyers.

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