Better to Sell or Trade in My Car?

The good news is that you are in a position to upgrade your vehicle. The bad news is that you have to go through all the motions of making sure that process is efficient and effective.

A lot of prospective car buyers already own a car or truck. And usually no one wants to pay for the maintenance and insurance costs associated with keeping an older model. So it’s time to sell. But what is the best method, to trade in your vehicle at the dealership or to try to sell it by yourself?

Like a lot of things in life, there isn’t one clear answer. Both options may be beneficial, depending on your situation. A good place to start is by looking up the Blue Book value on your automobile. Now, remember, what you believe you have in a trade won’t necessarily be what the dealer thinks you have.

If you have a dealership in mind, it’s easy to head down to the car lot and simply ask them the value of your trade in. You don’t need to fill out a bunch of forms and get suckered into buying right on the spot. If they can’t give you a quick and honest evaluation, then that should be a red flag right there.

Next, search online for others selling a similar version of your automobile. It doesn’t matter if it’s across the state or country, you are just trying to get a gauge of how much others are selling a similar vehicle. If the numbers are close, go with the dealer. It’s easier and you can do it all at once.

If you feel that the dealer isn’t giving you the best price, then you will need to put in the extra work to sell your car. There are many free listings online, such as, so you don’t have to pay to advertise. Also, if it is an older car, try to not sell it to a friend or family member, because if something were to go wrong, beyond your control or expectation, then you may get unjustifiably blamed.

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