Trade-In vs Selling Your Car: Which is a Better Deal?

Are you ready to get a new car? Before you get excited, have you figured out what to do with your current vehicle? You probably asked some of your friends and made some Google searches. And among your options are to trade the car or sell it to another individual. Both strategies can offer you benefits, so you may want to compare them first to determine the suitable choice for your situation.

Difference between a Car Trade-in and Private Sale

A vehicle trade-in at a dealership is considered one of the easiest ways to do away with your car. It involves having a professional examine your vehicle, looking into its model, condition, and other features to appraise its value for you. The estimated worth will tell you how much you can get from the dealer’s trade-in.

On the other hand, private sales require more work on your part. Instead of a professional performing the appraisal of your car, you will need to calculate its value on your own. You can utilise trusted sources to see the price of used cars of similar models. After the assessment, you will have to put the word out there, place ads, talk to prospective buyers, and even provide a test drive.

Trading in car at the dealership.

Why Trading in Your Vehicle is a Good Idea

To trade or not to trade? That’s the question. To make it easier, you will find the benefits of trading in your vehicle below:

  • Less Hassle: Who wants to do all the researching and getting estimates? If you’re going to get rid of your car right away, go to the dealership of your choice. It may take one or more trips to find what you’re searching for, but you can immediately close the deal after completing the paperwork.
  • Straightforward Process: Trading in your car may mean that you don’t need to deal with two different parties. You can purchase your new vehicle from the dealer that bought your old vehicle.
  • Tax Deduction: In some states, the sales taxes are lower if you trade in your vehicle. That’s because the tax payment will only be based on the difference between the trade-in value and the cost of the new car you purchase.

As you can see, there are several benefits. Still, there’s one huge disadvantage: you likely won’t get as much money for the transaction. Dealerships look forward to selling your vehicle to another customer or auctioning it. While there is always room to haggle, dealers will not accept an offer where they will not profit.

Trading in a car makes the most sense if you know that the dealer is selling the vehicle that you would like to purchase.

Why You Will Benefit More from a Private Car Sale

If you want to get more money out of the sale, there’s no question that you should choose to sell your car privately. But car sales can be quite complicated even though you’re handling a person-to-person sale. Just like trade-ins, there are benefits to a private sale, including:

  • Good Offer: As mentioned, you’ll most likely get a reasonable offer, mainly because you’re the one deciding the final price. You also get to choose if you’re open to negotiations despite specifying the asking price.
  • Sure Buyers: Although some people will negotiate a little bit, most who will enquire about your vehicle are convinced that the listed price is within their budget.

Selling your car privately does give you more control compared to a trade-in. However, you cannot just pick the price that you think suits your vehicle. It would be best if you considered several factors, including the accident history, age, condition, and maintenance schedule. Setting the correct price is the best way to ensure the car will be sold quickly.

You also need to post information, take photos, and write about the car to make it sound appealing to potential buyers. You’ll have to provide a detailed description, such as its added features, highlights, extra warranty, and accessories installed.

Man giving car keys to the new owner.

So, Which is a Better Choice between Trade-In and Private Sale?

If you’re trying to decide between trading and selling your car, the answer primarily depends on your goal. Private sales will surely get you extra dollars, from hundreds to even thousands. However, you should consider the hassle involved in repairs and some upgrades. That being said, the additional effort and expenses may not be worth the extra money you could gain.

In trade-ins, the appraised value will not exceed the car’s wholesale price. The dealer will give you an estimate based on an identical used vehicle, which may be sold through an auction or the manufacturer itself. That’s why it’s better if you avoid this option if you want to get the most money out of your car.

It all boils down to your answer to these two questions:

  1. How much work are you willing to perform to sell your current car?
  2. How important is it for you to get the maximum price for the old vehicle?

Bear in mind that you should not sell your car if you still owe a car loan on it. Some dealers may be OK with paying off your loan if you trade in your vehicle, though. Be transparent about any issues to ensure you don’t encounter more problems along the way.

An online vehicle buyer, such as We Want Your Car WA, is your best option when it comes to selling your car. It’s as easy as trading in your car since you don’t need to do anything except decide if the quote you received is worth taking. Then, you can finalise the sale, possibly on the same day. We can then collect your car from your home or office address directly.

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