Selling Car Privately vs Trading It In: The Answer Will Surprise You

selling car privately

As thrilling as it is to own your car, most car owners will tell you that at times owning a car can be a bit stressful. After the honeymoon phase of ownership with a particular vehicle, car owners usually find themselves sick of paying increasing gas prices and routine car insurance fees.

And given the average age of a car on the road is just over 11 years, most people fortunate enough to own a vehicle typically dread paying maintenance fees and repairs. Every time they take their car to a mechanic for an expensive job, they ask themselves one question. Should I just get a new car?

If you find yourself asking this question at this very moment, then you’re probably considering your options with your current vehicle. You’re debating whether it’s better selling a car privately or trading it in? Keep reading and will shed some light on which option is best for you.

Pros of Selling a Car Privately

The obvious benefit of selling a car privately is you have a greater chance of getting someone to purchase your vehicle for your envisioned asking price. More often than not, when people attempt to sell their car to the dealer or trade it in to the dealer, they aren’t given what they hoped for.

Another pro with this private option, is you get cash in hand. As soon as you turn over the keys, you get your money.

The Cons

If you have a set asking price for your car in mind, it’s probably going to take time to sell it. Often times, selling a car private is a waiting game. So if you’re looking for a quick sale, you may find this process frustrating.

Also, this option places a lot more responsibility on your plate. You’ll be responsible for advertising your car, researching the legal process for selling a car, and vetting potential buyers.

Pros of Trading a Car In

Convenience, convenience, convenience. That’s the biggest benefit of just trading your car in.

You just have to go to the dealer, sign your name a few times, and then boom. Your headache of an automobile is gone, and the trade-in value of your old car has been put toward your new one. 

The Cons 

Value, value, value.  That’s what you are typically giving up when you trade in your car. When dealers place a price on your car, they don’t use the retail value as a guide. Instead, they use a wholesale value which undoubtedly will be less money.

So What’s the Best Option for You?

The answer to that all depends on your realistic preferences and expectations. If you’re looking for more bang for your buck and have the time to wait for your car to be sold, then selling a car privately is probably a better option for you.

However, if you’re looking to get into a new car ASAP, and don’t have time to advertise and vet buyers, then trading in your ride may actually be the option for you. Plus, if you need money from your present car to be used as a down payment for your future vehicle, then again, this is a pretty good option.

If you have any further questions about selling a car privately, selling a car to a dealer, or trading in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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