Is a car trade in the way to go? Whether you are buying new or used, many people choose to sell or trade in their car for extra money. The money can be used as a down payment or to lower the price of the purchase of a new car. Here are some issues to consider.
Should I trade in my car?
If you have a car trade in, make sure that you know the wholesale and retail value are for your trade. If you are going to trade a car in, understand that you will never get as much for the car in trade as you would by selling it on your own. Dealers cannot give any more than wholesale value for your trade less the to cost to recondition the car. Even if your car is in the best of shape, reconditioning can still run $500.00 or more. Costs involved are smog check & certificate, safety check and detail at the very minimum. There are on line resources that can help you determine the approximate wholesale & retail values of your trade.
Should I sell my car to a private party?
You will almost always get more money selling your car to a private party. However, selling a used car to a private party has many risks. You will have strangers coming to your home to look at it. All of the paperwork needs to be prepared including DMV documentation, so that liability does not remain in your name. This should be done before you drop your insurance coverage on the automobile. In California, as well as some other states, you have to make sure that the car has a current smog certificate. More often than not, it is rarely worth the hassle and risk of selling the car on your own. Even if you sell it a family member or friend, if something goes wrong, it will be your fault notwithstanding your relationship with them.