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Should you trade-in your current vehicle or sell to a private party?

To Trade in your Vehicle, or to Sell to a Private Party…

It can be exciting to think about purchasing a new car. Now, the big question…”What am I going to do with my current vehicle?” There are typically two options when considering what to do with your current vehicle. You could sell it to a private party or trade it in when purchasing a new car at a dealership.

Which one is best? There are pros and cons to each of these options. Although, only you can decide what is best for you, these tips may help:

Trading in your Vehicle

  • Value of Vehicle: It is important to consider the value of the car. Know the value by using KBB (Kelley Blue Book) to determine if the dealership is giving you an acceptable offer. The car dealership may accept the car, but will you be getting top dollar? Probably not. Rarely, do car dealerships give the full retail value and sometimes, the benefit of handing over the keys to your old car and driving away in a new one is worth it. If you know the value, you and decide if it’s worth it to you.
  • Condition of Vehicle: Consider the condition of the vehicle. Does it have dents, dings, or rust? Car dealerships will likely accept the vehicle in any condition and their offer will reflect that. After all, their ultimate goal is to make money. Selling your current vehicle to a private party may seem like a hassle, but there are advantages.

Selling the vehicle, yourself will ultimately leave you with more cash in your pocket. Finding a buyer is sometimes a challenge since they will have to either pay cash or get a loan outside of a dealership, which is a bit less convenient for both the buyer and seller. A dealership trade-in is no doubt quick and easy. Selling to a private party can take weeks or longer, and you will need to be available for showings and test-drives with potential buyers on a short notice.

Our advice?

While it is a difficult decision, making the right one may save you thousands of dollars or offer the ultimate convenience. In almost every case, the money received when selling a car to a dealership is a significantly less than if sold to a private party. On the other hand, if the vehicle is in low demand and/or in poor condition; selling to a dealership may be the best option.

Visit Andy’s Auto Service online at for more tips on automotive purchasing, maintenance and repair.

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