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Used car value: should I sell it or trade in?

Used car prices may vary depending on the year, make, model, body style, conditions of use, mileage, location where the vehicle is sold. This is why you need to use a trusted appraisal tool: Kelley Blue Book is certainly the most trusted source in the business, an indispensable resource of information used by both consumers and the automotive industry.

As a pricing and sales guide, Kelly Blue Book is paying attention to vehicle age, trim, market conditions, features and mileage. KBB’s price assessment will vary according to the condition of your car, on a four-level scale: fair, good, very good and excellent. But, now… do you want to get rid of your old car, but you don’t know if you should trade it in with a dealer or sell it?

Your used car: trade it in or sell it?

There is no sure answer, but there are certainly some things to take into account in order to make the best decision. The greatest difference between selling and trading in a car is that, if we consider the trade in, any money you get will have to go towards the price of a car from that dealer. For example, you notice they are selling a vehicle you want, then a trade-in might be the best option, however, if you want to buy a car elsewhere or don’t want a new car at all, you’d better sell it. Selling the car to an online shopper will help you get a great price and is just as easy as trading in the car. Many buyers will collect the car directly from you, so all you have to do is compare quotes and finalize the sale. If you want a quick sale but don’t want to be limited in your choices for your next car, this option is definitely preferable to trade-in.

More money or less time?

Selling your car privately usually means getting more money than if you trade it in with a dealer or sell it to an online car purchase service. Very true, especially for the newest or most popular cars on the market, even if the difference will be less pronounced the less your car is worth. The price difference isn’t because dealers and other buyers will try to offer you a bad deal, but simply because they need to be able to make a profit on the car when they sell it in the future. It’s up to you to decide whether the extra money you might get for private selling is worth the extra time and effort you’ll have to go through, which we’ll cover in more depth in the next sections.

Instead, selling to a dealer will always allow you to place your car in less time; he will help you sort out the trade-in and get your next car at a lower price. As we have already mentioned, selling to an online car buying service can be as fast as negotiating.

In summary, to get the best price for your car privately, the first thing you need to do is do some research to figure out the approximate value of your car. Next, you will need to post your car on online sales sites, providing detailed information on its condition along with a nice photograph. At that point, there will be potential buyers who will want to inspect or test it, others who would like to negotiate the asking price or arrange for a loan or financing.

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