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Tips on Selling Your Car to a Dealer

Date posted: 07/22/2012

by Kathy Teel on
in Buying & Selling

4273 Tips on Selling Your Car to a Dealer

Selling a car to a dealer is much easier than trying to sell it yourself. Dealers specialize in auto sales, after all.

Still, before you walk into the dealership and hand over the keys, be sure to take the following steps to save yourself time, money, and a headache later on.

Know the Trade-In Value of Your Used Car

Used cars have trade-in values. The trade-in value is the amount the used car is worth, all things being equal. Find the trade-in value of your used car in the Kelly Blue Book or a similar publication.

While a dealer will generally offer you less than the trade-in value based on the overall condition of the used car, it shouldn’t be too much less. Walk into the dealership with a realistic idea of how much the used car is worth, and how low you’re willing to go.

Visit More Than One Car Dealer

Visit a number of dealerships in your area and speak with a dealer. Get an idea of how their trade-in policies work. Policies differ from place to place.

Get Several Appraisals Before Selling Your Car

Get a car appraisal. by each car dealer and get an idea of how much they might be willing to give you for your used car.

You want this appraisal to be as accurate as possible, so be sure to disclose any problems with the car. Be aware that this isn’t a hard-and-fast deal you’re making; you’re simply getting an idea of which dealership will give you a better deal.

Contact the Same Salesperson

Once you’ve spoken with a number of used car dealers and received several appraisals, contact the dealership you’ve chosen. Be sure to speak with the same salesperson as before, since he or she is already familiar with the car. Salespeople have more discretion than they let on, and a different salesperson isn’t bound by the informal agreements made by another.

Remember, nothing is final until the contract is signed.

Have you ever sold your vehicle a car dealer? What advice can you offer?

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About Kathy Teel

Kathy Teel is a freelance writer and editor, a sometime college instructor, and a perpetual student. She has written extensively in the areas of local law, business, politics, addiction and recovery, marriage and sexuality, parenting, education, and religion and spirituality. She is a founding member of her town’s community theatre and works with learning disabled children in her local school. She makes her home in Missouri with her husband, another writer/ editor/ student/ actor, and her three incredibly talented children. Kathy has been writing for a living since 2006, and would love to consider new projects. Contact her at More articles by Kathy Teel

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