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?