Selling Your Car or Trading It In: Which One Should You Choose?

A woman is shown standing next to a red vehicle while using a cellphone.

Some decisions in life are easy. You look at two items on a menu and choose the one you like better. You are given an opportunity to make money, so you go to work. But what happens when you are confronted by a decision that has no easy answers? This is what happens when you look at your current vehicle and say to yourself, “I need to sell my car.” Deciding to get rid of the vehicle you are currently driving is the easy part. You may want a different kind of vehicle. You may desire something new, maybe a hybrid or electric vehicle with exceptional fuel economy. There may be any number of reasons to sell.

Now that you have decided to sell your car, you must choose between selling it for cash or trading it in for a new vehicle. This is an easy question if you no longer need a car. You would just sell it for cash and get on with your life, but the hard part is replacing your current vehicle with a new one. Will selling it for cash work better, or should you trade it at the dealership? At Future Ford of Sacramento, we help drivers like you with this decision every day. We feature an incredible inventory of new and used models, so if you are selling us your existing car for cash or trading it in for your next one, we will give you the best deal possible. This is what sets us apart from our competitors.

The Benefits of Selling Your Car for Cash

There are several reasons to sell your car for cash instead of trading it into your dealer. If you are not planning to buy another car, then selling it for cash is the right thing to do. But even if you are looking to buy another car, you can usually get more money when you sell it yourself rather than trading it in. This is because buyers will often pay more in the private sale of a vehicle than they will get in trade-in value from a dealership.

Each used vehicle has a market value. This is the maximum you will get in a sale, especially if the car is in good condition and has low mileage. Generally, a used car’s value depends on the make, model, year, condition, and mileage. The more recent a model, the more it will be worth. In addition, certain brands and specific vehicles command more money. These are the ones that come from automakers with a reputation for reliability, dependability, and longevity. If you have one of these models, you will get more when you go to sell it than you would with other makes and models.

A private buyer is more likely to give you more money than a dealership since the dealer needs to make a profit on the resale of your used vehicle. When you sell it yourself, you can look at what dealers are pricing the same used vehicle and sell it for slightly less. This will often still be more than you will get with a trade-in of your used car. The other major benefit of selling your car is that you will get paid in cash. Instead of rolling the value of your used car into your next one, you can use a portion of the cash as a down payment and often still have some leftover to use for other things in your life.

A white piggy bank is shown on the dashboard of a vehicle.

The Downsides to Selling Your Car for Cash

Even with the potential for more money that comes with selling your car for cash, there are still some problems unique to doing this yourself. First of all, there is a lot of work involved in selling a car. You have to place ads, answer phone calls, and deal with potential buyers. Not everyone you will be dealing with will be reputable and trustworthy. This raises other issues, like what you will have to do to get your car back if you sell it to someone whose check bounces. There is also the problem of what will happen if something goes wrong with your car after you’ve sold it to another person. You may have to refund some money or, if there is a major problem, you may even get sued. Beyond these headaches, you will also have to devote a great deal of time to selling your car. If you are working a full-time job, this could end up eating into your weekends and other free time.

Selling your car yourself can also mean doing a great deal of paperwork. Depending on where you live, there may be forms that have to be filled out and filed with your local DMV or other government entity. When you trade in your car, you don’t have to deal with this either, as this will be taken care of by the dealer who has acquired your car. Finally, you may get less money than you hoped for. Depending on local demand and market conditions in your area, you may have trouble finding a buyer willing to meet your price. As a result, you could have to settle for less. As a result, you may end up with less money than you need to make a down payment for your next car. If this happens, you may end up with no car at all.

The Benefits of Trading in Your Car

The best reason to trade your car into a dealership is that it is hassle-free. You may have to haggle with the salesperson a little to get the best deal, but once you have settled on an amount, the dealership will take care of the rest. They will contact your insurance company, the local DMV, and any other applicable agency to handle all of the paperwork. All you have to do is hand them the keys when the time comes. It is also a much less time-consuming transaction. Once you’ve chosen a vehicle you want from the dealer, the dealership will arrange to inspect and appraise your current car. This can all be done in an hour or two, which is much quicker than dealing with strangers looking to test drive and eventually buy your existing car in a private sale.

When you trade in your car, the value that you get from the dealership will be used to make a down payment on your next new or used vehicle that you are buying from the dealer. This is even if you are financing the acquisition, like a lease or loan. In most places, this money is taken off the price of the vehicle you’re buying, reducing the tax on the deal. This is not the case if you’ve sold your car and are using a portion of the money for a down payment. Trading in your current car also means you will be getting another vehicle from the dealership in return. Whether you are getting one that is new or used, the fact is that you will end up with the vehicle you want as a result of this transaction.

A customer is shown handing their car key to a salesman after selling their car.

The Only Drawback to Trading in Your Car

The only downside to trading in your car is that you may end up getting less than if you had sold it privately. Private buyers will usually pay more for a used car than a dealership looking to profit on the resale. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will get paid what you want for your car if you go through the hassle of selling it privately. In fact, there is no guarantee that you will find a buyer who wants your car. Ultimately, one of the main benefits of selling or trading to a dealership is that it will be a hassle-free experience, with each step being handled by the dealership.

Make the Selling Process Stress-Free and Work With Us

There is no correct answer to this question. Instead, depending on your personal circumstances, you need to figure out whether selling your car or trading it in for a new one works better for you. If you are considering trading in your vehicle to a dealership for a simple and stress-free transaction, we welcome you to bring your vehicle into Future Ford of Sacramento., Our knowledgeable team will give you a great deal on your old vehicle that can be used towards a new ride from our fantastic selections of new and pre-owned models. Why deal with the complications of selling your vehicle yourself when you can simplify the process with us? Come in today and let us help you get a great offer on your car and help you get behind the wheel of a new one you’ll love.


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