Trade In Your Old Car or Sell It Yourself?

December 12th, 2014 by


If you’re shopping for your next vehicle at used car dealerships in Providence, RI, chances are you have an old car that you need to get rid of.

It can be tough to decide what to do with your previous ride. After all, it’s carried you many miles. Do you take it to the dealership and trade it in or would it be better to try to sell it yourself?

Both options have pros and cons to consider. Once you know the facts, you can make the decision that’s right for you.

Trading In

The biggest advantage of trading in your current car at the dealership is convenience. You don’t really have to do much work if you go with this option.

You bring the car with you, the salesperson offers you a trade-in amount, and you can use it as part of a down payment on your new vehicle.

However, you may have to negotiate a little to get the best value. No matter how much you haggle, don’t expect to get quite as much as you would by selling it yourself.

Dealerships typically offer wholesale value because they still need to turn the car around and make a profit.

You may get a nice tax break this way though because most states will only tax you on the remainder after the trade-in amount has been subtracted.

So trading in is a bit of a trade off. It’s usually the easier way to go, but you may miss out on some cash.

Selling It Yourself

The big pro here is that you can probably get the most money for your vehicle. But you’re going to have to put a whole lot more effort in.

You have to list the car on sales sites and talk with interested parties. It can take a good bit of time to respond to emails and phone calls.

You also have to arrange for people to come see the car, and you have to figure out how to safely deal with test drives when you’re working with strangers.

However, you will probably be able to negotiate a higher price than you would have been able to at the dealership.

Just be prepared because you may not be able to sell your current car in time to complete the purchase of your new one. In that case, you won’t be able to put cash from the sale toward your down payment.

But you will have a nice chunk of dollar bills that you can use for other fees like registration and insurance.