Waste Not, Want Not: All About Vehicle Trade-Ins

all about trading in your vehicle 

Most people will drive several different cars over their lifetime. When your family starts to grow, your commute changes dramatically, or your car no longer suits your needs, you may want to upgrade quickly. One of the easiest ways to change vehicles is through dealership trade-in.

In this blog, we explain how the trade-in process works.

How Do Regular Trade-Ins Work?

A standard trade-in consists of a simple process that can take only a few hours to complete fully. In a straightforward trade-in, you bring your car to a dealership with a trade program. The dealership assesses the car's condition and paperwork before making an offer.

If you accept the offer, you can sign away the title of the car. Then the amount offered by the dealership is applied to the cost of your next vehicle.

The benefit of this type of trade-in is that the value of your current car can help you afford the financing for a car that would otherwise be out of your price range.

How Do Trade-Ins Work With Cars That Are Under Lien?

If you do not own your car outright, you may still be able to trade it in, depending on the regulations in your state and the policies of your chosen dealership. In most cases, the dealership's offer for the car can also be applied to your loan.

So, for example, if you owe $2,000 on your car and the dealership offers $4,000 for the trade-in, that offer covers the remaining loan balance and gives you $2,000 toward your next vehicle.

Even if you owe more on your car than it is currently worth, you may still have the option of trading your vehicle in. In this situation, the remaining cost of your loan is added to the price of your next vehicle. So if you owed $6,000 on your car and the dealership offered $4,000, the remaining $2,000 would be added to your new car loan.

If you are upside down on your car loan, you may need to check that your dealership is still willing to take a trade-in. Some dealerships consider these arrangements to be too risky to take since a larger loan increases your chances of not being able to pay.

If you decide to trade in your car while it's still under lien, you benefit from getting the vehicle that you need without having to wait for the end of your loan term. This step can help you get a newer, safer, and more efficient vehicle that better fits your household size right away instead of putting the investment off.

How Does a Trade-In Compare to Selling a Used Car?

When you're ready to upgrade from your current car, you may also have the option to sell. Some vehicle owners choose to sell their cars because they can potentially get more money for the vehicle than they would in a trade-in.

However, trading in the vehicle is a much simpler process that can be completed within one to two business days at maximum. If you want to get out of your current car and into a better model quickly, trade-ins are often a quicker, more streamlined option.

In some cases, your dealership may also offer a discount on your next vehicle as an incentive to trade in your current car.

Which Factors Affect Offers?

When you bring your vehicle to a dealership for a trade-in, you'll receive an offer on the car. This offer typically comes without obligation, and that means that you do not have to accept the offer if you aren't satisfied. You may be able to do some negotiation, but you should keep in mind that the offer you receive will likely be similar to that of any other dealership.

The offer is based on an appraisal of your car and on the dealership's situation. Factors that could raise or lower your offer include:

  • Brakes and suspension condition
  • Current dealership inventory, such as cars in the same class as yours
  • Engine condition
  • Maintenance history
  • Mileage on the vehicle
  • Tire condition

To get the best possible price for your car, ensure that the maintenance and paperwork is up to date.

Check with an appraisal service like BlueBook to determine the ballpark price you can expect for your car. This step can also help you decide on your budget for your next vehicle so you can look through your dealership's inventory ahead of time.

You will also want to thoroughly clean the car and make any needed cosmetic repairs. If the dealership can resell your car more easily, you're more likely to get a better price for the vehicle.

Considering a trade-in? Get an idea of your car's value with the Young Automotive Group using our trade-in calculator. The online estimate is free, and the price we quote for you is valid for one week with no obligation to you.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory
Tags: trade-in

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