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Trading your used car vs. selling it privately — what’s right for you?

When it’s time to upgrade your vehicle, you’ll probably face that common dilemma. Should you trade in your car or sell it on your own? Your answer will depend on your car’s condition and the amount of time you have to sell it.

Trading your used car vs. selling it privately — what’s right for you?
Trading your used car vs. selling it privately — what’s right for you?

Photo credit: The Nest

When it’s time to upgrade your vehicle, you’ll probably face that common dilemma. Should you trade in your car or sell it on your own? Your answer will depend on your car’s condition and the amount of time you have to sell it.
According to an article on the J.D. Power website, popular-model cars in excellent condition with desirable features and low mileage are ideal to sell privately. You’re also a good candidate to sell privately if you have your maintenance records available for potential buyers to review.
Selling your car on your own will usually net you more money than trading in to a dealership. However, selling privately will cost you more time. Private buyers will want to examine your car and possibly take it to their own mechanic. Buyers will also ask about your car’s service and maintenance history, along with any wear and tear and accidents in the car’s history. If you have the time to meet and negotiate with private buyers, this option could be for you.

Trading your used car vs. selling it privately — what’s right for you?

Photo credit: Jalopanik

On the other hand, if you need to sell your car quickly, or if it’s not in top shape, you might want to consider trading it in to a dealership. Dealerships will take vehicles in any condition, even those that need to be towed. According to the J.D. Power article, trading in to a dealer is quick and easy. You can do it on your schedule, whenever you’d like, and the dealership takes care of all required paperwork.
However, the dealership will offer you less than what you’d get from a private sale. The dealership spends time and money on paperwork and preparing the vehicle for sale or auction, according to the J.D. Power article. But if you want to purchase a newer vehicle from a dealership, your trade-in could reduce or replace your down payment.
Dealership Plus Online Resources Can Offer Best of Both WorldsWhen you’re ready to trade in your car or test drive a newer vehicle, make sure to visit an Earnhardt Auto Centers dealership. With 24 locations around the Valley, northern Arizona and in Las Vegas, Earnhardt offers a vast selection and can make an offer on your trade-in too. Visit any Earnhardt Auto Centers location today!

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Carolyn Sostrom is a long-time Arizona resident who loves desert sunsets, warm weather and zumba. As a writer, she’s covered technology, medical and travel topics.

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