Should I trade in my car or sell it privately?

February 2nd, 2023 by

keys passing from one hand to another

Trading in your car to a dealership vs selling it to an individual 

Trading and private sale are both great ways to make some money off a vehicle you no longer need. There are some distinct differences between the two options though, as you’ll see below. If you do decide to go the trading route, we’d love to buy your car here at Carl Black Hiram in Hiram, GA.  

Value your trade-in vehicle

Three main differences between trading and selling a vehicle 

The decision between trading and selling your vehicle will hedge on a few main points that you’ll want to consider. There are pros and cons to either choice, so you’ll have to weigh your options. Check out the list below to learn about their main differences.  

  • The timeline
    For trading a car, the timeline can be started and finished in one day. You’ll need to take your vehicle and the appropriate papers to a dealership, and they’ll take it from there.
    Selling a car yourself can vary in time. It’s possible to sell your car in a day, especially if you have a buyer lined up. If not, you could be looking at weeks or even months of waiting for the right person to happen by.  
  • The effort
    Trading a vehicle in is generally less effort, as you can have a team member guide you through the process, tell you what documents to bring, and complete some steps for you.
    Selling privately means you’ll have to work out these things yourself, including changing the registration to the new owner. You’ll also potentially have to interact with more than one person as you search for a buyer for your vehicle. 
  • The selling price
    Trading to a dealership generally gets you a lower price than selling individually. You can get a free estimate from a dealership before you decide if you’d like to sell your car to them. The money can be applied directly to your next car purchase.
    Private sales can make you more money, especially if you’re good at bargaining. Many individual buyers will try to talk you down, so setting your price high is often expected.  

Benefits of trading in a vehicle

three people by a car at a dealership indoors

How to set up a test drive


Posted in Used Cars