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How to get the most money for your trade in
Should I trade in my old car?Most people that are shopping for a new car already have a good idea of what they want. With free and readily available online information and a myriad of car buying programs on television, cable services and YouTube, researching and making a purchase decision has become a much easier, albeit time-consuming, process.
But when it comes to deciding what to do with the old vehicle, consumers are not as clear. Car buyers don't tend to spend as much time and effort researching their current vehicle's value and how best to dispose of it. They don't make the same effort to establish a realistic expectation or how to achieve it, but they really should. Being properly prepared and armed with the right information can more than DOUBLE the amount of money your old vehicle will bring. In most cases, the difference is thousands of dollars. So what are the options for disposing of your old car?
Obviously, personal preference and circumstances will dictate which method of dealing with your old car is best for you. But regardless of which way you choose to go, having the right knowledge will help you maximize your efforts. Here are a few pointers, tips and best practice advice to help you get the most money in the least time with minimal hassle.
Keep Your Old CarThere really is not a whole lot involved with this option. If you are giving the vehicle to a family member or donating it, be sure to transfer title, registration and tags accordingly. You donít want any delays or issues with government agencies down the road. Be sure to get any receipts or documentation needed for applicable tax credits, and you might want to talk to an accountant or tax specialist before taking any action. Also, donít forget to notify your auto insurance company of any changes.
Trade In Your Old CarAdding a trade to the deal when buying a vehicle creates another point of negotiation to an already complicated process. Not knowing HOW and WHEN to negotiate your trade can cost you a lot of money. If you are trading in your old car to a dealership, you will want to be as prepared as possible in advance.
Things you need to know about Auto Dealerships and trade-ins
Know in advance how much your old car is worth
Best practices for negotiating your trade-in allowance
NEVER tell a Dealership that you have a trade-in until AFTER you have:
Sell your old car yourselfDetermine the asking price for your car
Be realistic. You won't get the same retail price dealerships offer unless your car is in pristine condition. Reputable Dealerships recondition used cars and many offer a limited warranty, which adds to the value. Unless you plan to recondition and warrant your old car, you will want to compare what private sellers are asking for vehicles as closely comparable to your car in:
Start your research with the local newspaper classified ads, local car or truck sales circulars and magazines. You can also check out many of the online used auto classified sites like:
Then get estimates of your car's retail value from several online auto valuating sources:
Make your advertised asking price close to the average asking price for similar vehicles. You can set it a little lower if you want to get more and faster response. You can set it a little higher if you want to leave room for negotiating the price, or you can set a FIRM selling price, which eliminates the negotiating completely but may limit the responses to your advertisement.
Decide how to sell your car and where to list your car
There are many options for listing used cars for sale. Many are FREE, some will you cost you, and some advertising sources will allow you to purchase advanced, highlighted or premium placement ads for greater exposure. When choosing where to sell your car, remember that selling a used car is a local phenomenon (usually within 25-35 miles of your location). Research what sources offer the best visibility for your local area before choosing a provider, especially if you are paying for the service. A few good places to start are:
A few tips for selling your old car safely, quickly and with less hassle
Use a buying service to find your new car and sell your old carIf you gravitate toward convenience over everything else, you may choose to enlist the help of a buying service. A buying service will shop for your new car and most will sell your old car as well for an additional fee. Many banks and credit unions have or are affiliated with buying services, so talk to your lender about who they might recommend. A few to check into on your own are:
With a little time, effort, research and planning you can add thousands of dollars to your trade-in allowance. But if you have the will and desire to sell your old car directly, you stand to make considerably more than that. Either way, following the recommendations in this article will help you get top dollar for your old vehicle.
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