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How to Save Money by Trading Your Old Vehicle for a New One

If you're in the market for a new vehicle, there are a lot of different options to consider. Should I sell my car privately? What if I trade in my car at the dealership? What’s my car’s value? These are just a few of the questions that might come to mind.  Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, and it’s important to do your research before handing over the keys to anyone. In the following guide, we walk you through the best ways to sell your car and get top dollar for your hard-earned ride.

Why Trade In My Car?

Here’s a scenario: You have a car that you’ve had for more than 10 years. It’s been reliable and trustworthy, but it’s time to get something new. You’re not quite ready to buy a new car outright, so what do you do?

Trade in your old car!

Are you wondering, “Why should I trade my car in?” You’ll be surprised how much money can be saved by trading in your old vehicle and purchasing a new one using the proceeds from the sale. Depending on the vehicle, you might get several thousand dollars back on your trade-in, depending on how you choose to sell your car. Don’t forget to factor this into your budget when buying a new vehicle, and read through our guidelines below for some additional tips.

How to Sell My Car?

Buying a new car is exciting, but selling your old one can be stressful. There are lots of things to consider, including how you want to sell it, whether you want to trade it in or sell it privately, and how much money you want to get for your car. To decide on the best way to sell your car and get the most money possible, take a look at some of the most popular methods below.

Take out an ad 

To advertise your car for sale, you can take out an ad in the newspaper, on Craigslist, or on a social media site like Facebook Marketplace. While you may be able to get top dollar with a private sale, the drawbacks are having to manage ads and paperwork, set up meetings, haggle with prospective buyers, and deal with the risk of meeting up with strangers or having them come to your home. 

How to sell my car privately? There are many reasons why you might want to sell your car privately. If you’re looking for a fast sale, you may be able to get quick cash by selling it directly to someone else. 

Go to dealerships

Can I sell my car to a dealer? If you have an older or used car that needs repairs, you might be considering selling it to a dealership. Dealerships buy vehicles from customers who don’t want them anymore, fix them up, and resell them at a profit. This keeps you from having to put money into repairs; for dealerships, they are able to keep their inventory fresh without having to spend money on buying new cars from manufacturers.

The downside of selling to a dealership is that you might not get top dollar for your vehicle – whereas if you sell it privately, you may make more. As with private sales, you are also not guaranteed a no-haggle sales process.

Turn to Car-to-Cash Companies

What’s another option? Selling online through a car-to-cash company is a quick and easy process. You can get an instant quote and easy cash when they pick up your car. With minimal effort and hassle, selling your car this way is a more technologically advanced means to get the most money for your car without any of the drawbacks that come with private or dealership transactions.

What’s the Easiest Way to Trade In My Car?

If you’re looking to get quick cash for your car, selling online through a car-to-cash company is a great option. In addition to the potential for more money offered on your trade-in, the process is quick, easy, and convenient. But if you’re not sure what to look for when you sell your car, here are some tips to make sure you get the best deal possible.

1. Figure out how much your car is worth

Get an estimate of how much your used vehicle is worth so you have that number in mind for your sale. Try checking similar models and makes through online local dealer listings to get a rough idea of your car’s value. 

2. Be realistic

Keep in mind that your car’s condition, mileage, available local inventory, and other factors will ultimately affect the final sale price. With SellMeYourVin, your offer is pending inspection, valid ownership, and any lien payoff information. However, note that this inspection process may even result in an increase in your offer if your vehicle is deemed to be of greater value.

3. Have your vehicle information handy

Knowing the make and model is not enough when it comes to getting an accurate valuation of your car. You’ll want to know the type of engine, what kind of accessories you have, and other details that can provide a better snapshot of your car’s true value and potentially increase the value of your car.

4. Use SellMeYourVin

Our free tool guides you through the process of determining your car’s worth based on information such as its license plate number, make and model, or VIN number. Knowing your car’s value ensures you are not undercut on any offers.

How to Prepare Your Car to Sell

Selling your car can be a time-consuming process — which is probably why you’re reading this article. Whether you choose to sell your car privately, at the dealership, or through an online cash offer, there are some ways to make the process smoother and increase the offers you get on your car.

Clean your car

The first thing that potential buyers notice when they look at a used car is how clean it is. If you want to get as much money as possible for your car, make sure it’s squeaky clean. Wash the interior and exterior, vacuum thoroughly, try to remove any stains on the seats, and wax the car to shine it up and help to mask any noticeable scratches and dents.

Get estimates for repairs

If you know your car needs work or requires new tires, consider getting an estimate on the costs of these upgrades. Knowing the approximate cost of any needed maintenance work can give you some leverage when negotiating the price.

Compare costs

Shop your car around to find the best offer. Compare the price you’re offered through a dealership (or several) versus selling your car privately or through an online cash marketplace. As long as you’re not in a hurry to trade in your car, conducting a little research can go a long way toward getting you top dollar.

Additional Advantages of Online Cash Sales

If you’re looking for the easiest way to trade in your car, you might find that an online cash offer is the best option. In addition to providing a simple, streamlined selling option from the convenience of home, online cash sales eliminate some of the sneaky sales tactics that can come into play when trading in a used car for a new one at the dealership.

For one thing, it can be problematic if you take your car to the dealership and let them know you’re looking to trade in your car and take home something new that day. Your salesperson may be inclined to blend your trade-in sale with the sale of a new car, essentially making you think you’re getting a good deal in one area while taking a hit in another.

When you sell your car through online cash sales, you separate these two transactions and eliminate the salesperson altogether. This helps to eliminate some of the questionable tactics involved with selling and buying at a dealership.

Final Thoughts 

If there’s one point we want to underscore, it’s this: do the research. You wouldn’t walk into a car dealership without knowing what you were looking for, so don’t expect to be able to sell your car without doing a little prep work first. And if you’re planning on selling your car online, know that we will be to help you every step of the way.

We’ve given you some steps to follow above, but if you want to sell your car quickly and efficiently, there really is no substitute for doing a little homework and planning out all of the details ahead of time. Try plugging your trade-in’s details into our online estimator to get the process started.

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