Trading in Your Vehicle vs. Selling Privately

It is hard to know if you should sell your vehicle privately or trade it in. This is because it is believed that you will get more money for your car when you sell it yourself. In many cases this is true, depending on who the buyer is. We are here to give you some advice to help you make this decision an easier one.

There are three types of buyers for your vehicle:

  1. Someone you know
  2. Strangers
  3. car dealers

The way you interact with each type of person or buyer will be different than the others.

  1. Someone You Know
  2. The whole process of selling your vehicle is easier when you know the person you are selling to. First you need to come up with an asking price. You can do this by checking Canadian Black Book and see what the average asking price is of your car. You take into consideration the kms and condition of your vehicle and come up with a price. Once this fair price has been determined and your friend also thinks it is fair, your vehicle is sold.

    However, there are many people who don't like selling to friends. This is because if something goes wrong with the vehicle you may feel guilty or be blamed for it. There is a certain level of trust when you sell to a friend. Make sure you are clear about the issues that could arise. Also if you take care of your car and your friend knows this, that peace of mind is worth the money.

  3. Strangers
  4. The same starting place for selling to someone you don't know is looking at prices on Canadian Black Book. You also need to consider how you are going to advertise your vehicle. You can do this via your local newspaper's classifieds or online through Kijiji or Craigslist for example.

    Selling online is a delicate balance between having the lowest price (because you are competing with more people) and the best value (or condition/low mileage). Have patience and be willing to show your vehicle to any interested buyers.

  5. Car Dealers
  6. When you do a trade-in you are selling your vehicle to the dealer at wholesale price. This means the dealership is offering what they would have to pay for a car like yours at a dealer auction. Dealers never pay retail for a vehicle, but the bill of sale may look like you are getting retail, depending on how your discount (if any) was applied to the offer of purchase. Here is an example of what this may look like:

Example A Example B
new retail car price 43,000 43,000
discount 0 2,000
sale price 43,000 41,000
minus trade-in 13,000 11,000
total paid 30,000 30,000

In example A the buyer is getting "retail" for their trade-in. In example B the buyer is getting "wholesale." In example A the amount shown for the trade is inflated by $2,000. This is what's called "over allowance." In example B you can see the discount is shown as such, rather than just being added to the amount given for the trade-in. (As is the case in example A.)

Now you know that a dealer will always make money from a trade in. You just have to decided if you want to take the time to sell your vehicle privately or use it towards your newer vehicle. We welcome you to call or stop in and ask any questions you like. We are here to coach you and help you with your car purchasing experience. You know you will be treated like family at Legacy Ford Rimbey.

Disclaimer: Pricing is subject to change without notice, actual price may vary; installed options may also vary by dealer. Price does not include applicable license fees, insurance, registration, tax, freight / delivery, PDI or administration fees. Warranty may subject to change without notice, actual warranty may vary. Specification may change without notice. See dealership for final pricing, warranty, and availability.

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