Selling a car privately vs trading it in

It’s probably the most common question I hear whenever someone is looking at getting a new car, should I sell my car privately or trade it in? The problem is, there is no definite answer to this question as it depends on a case by case basis. If you are in this situation, you should weigh your options out and look at all factors such as money and time, before making a choice. It’s also important that you figure out your answer on your own because if you ask the dealership they will definitely tell you to trade it in to them (so they can make more money).

Why sell your car privately?

  1. More money

This is the biggest advantage to selling your car privately rather than trading it in, more money! No matter what your vehicle is worth a dealer is only going to offer you 70-75% of what its worth for the simple reason that they need to make money. Dealerships have to factor in reconditioning costs, advertising costs, risk, and profit when they are taking in a trade. In order to factor those things in they have to create a spread for themselves on the car. Dealerships won’t take vehicles in on trade they can’t make money on.

  • More straight forward

You list your vehicle for sale, you get a buyer and you sell your car! The paperwork is straight forward and you’ll never have to deal with the buyer again once the vehicle is sold. The best part is, you have the power over who you will sell your vehicle to and what for.

  • Don’t have to buy a car

In order to “trade in” your vehicle you are expected to get a new vehicle, otherwise you are just selling your vehicle to the dealership. As much as dealerships try to make money on trade-ins they know it’s risky and they would much rather just sell you a car. That is why sometimes you trade-in might be a bargaining chip for them to sell you a car themselves.

Why trade in your car?

  1. It’s easy

When you’re trading in your vehicle you don’t have to go through the troubles of listing it or making appointments to meet prospective buyers. There can be a lot of hassle when selling your vehicle privately, and by trading it in you won’t have to deal with any of it.

  • It’s fast

Selling a car privately can take time. Depending on the make and model, it might take time to even attract a potential buyer let alone iron out a sale. By trading in your vehicle, all you have to do is agree on price, bring it to the dealer and sign it over to them, done!

  • Less risky

Selling a car privately can be risky and sometimes downright dangerous. Not only do you have to deal with people trying to scam you out of your car whether by using fraudulent payment methods or ID but you also have to worry about them trying to outright steal your car. When you trade in your vehicle, you’re dealing with a business and hopefully a reputable one that won’t sacrifice their name to try to squeeze a few bucks out of you.