Trading Your Car In Versus Selling It Yourself: Pros and Cons

It’s the age-old question: should you trade your car in or try to sell it on your own?

There are pros and cons for each choice and it really comes down to what suits your unique needs the best.

Here’s some food for thought.

Trading your car in
Let’s look at the main positive associated with a trade at the dealer.
  • It’s easy. You take your car to the dealer, they tell you how much money they’ll give you for your trade, that amount is put toward your new vehicle, and you’re done.
You’ll need to consider this factor, however. A dealer may not give you as much for your vehicle as you’ll be able to get selling it for yourself.

But there is an upside: You’ll only be taxed on the difference between the value of your trade-in and the cost of the new vehicle.

For example, if the dealer will pay you $15,000 for the car you’re trading in and the car you’re buying is $20,000, you only have to pay the sales tax for the $5,000 difference.

Private sale
The major pro that leads most people to sell on their own:
  • More money. A person who’s buying your car will be willing to pay you a price that’s much closer to what it’s actually worth.
Of course, there’s a pretty important downside to going this route.
  • Time. You may get lucky and find a buyer for your car right away. But you can’t count on that. You’ll have to find the time to let interested parties look at the vehicle, take them for test drives, and deal with banks on your own.
The bottom line
If you’re not in a rush to sell your car and get a new one and/or you have to get a certain amount of money out of it, it may be best to sell it on your own.

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in a hassle-free exchange and getting into your new car as soon as possible, trading your vehicle is your best bet.

Whatever way you decide to go, let the folks at Serra Auto Park help you out!