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Selling a Car — Private Vs. Trade in

A lot of factors come into play when selling a car. Sometimes it’s mechanical problems, and sometimes it’s an upgrade. Other times you need something bigger, then again you might be looking for better gas mileage. Whatever the reason for selling you car you need to think about all of the options available to you. Mainly whether or not you should trade it in or sell it privately.



Advantages: Trading in your vehicle can be a nice option. You take it into the dealership, they give you a price and that price is applied to your next car. It’s a one step deal that is quite appealing. No hassle, that’s the biggest advantage of going the trade-in route.

Disadvantages: You might not get as much money for your car. Dealerships go by the book, the Kelly blue book that is. They look up the book value, pick the lowest price and haggle it down even more because hey, you have convenience on your side. It doesn’t matter if your brand of car is selling above book value on the current market, they are going to buy it from you for as little as possible.

When you should Trade-in: This depends on what  you need out of your car selling experience. If you just want your car off of your hands, and you don’t think any variables will help you get a better deal than trading-in is the way to go. But if you are want to get more bang for your buck consider a private sale



Advantages: More money. This is the bottom line when it comes to selling privately. The market outside of a dealership sale is more competitive. It helps to look up the blue book price, but the internet will be the real judge of what your car is worth. If you lump your car in somewhere closer to the less expensive ones chances are you’ll sell fast, but you can hold out for a better price if you need to.

Disadvantages: More time and more preparation. You can’t just post a listing in the newspaper anymore. When you are selling your car you need to clean it up, take lots of pictures and post it in several online forums. People want to hear that it runs well and they want to see that it looks good. You have to put in the effort for that. Plus you never know how long it will take someone to bite.

When you should Sell Privately: If you are confident that the car can sell, and you are willing to put in the work, then private is the best option. Generally you’ll get more out of your car to put towards the next one; which will save you money in the long run. If you don’t mind having a little patience, then selling privately is the way to go.

All in all, there is no perfect way to sell a car. It all depends on what you want out of the experience and what you are willing to sacrifice to get what you need. Good Luck and enjoy your new car!

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