Author: Curtis Farrell |
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Probably, it will, even if you don’t want to buy a new car in return. However, don’t sell your old car to the first dealership nearby – the diversity of offers will surprise you.

Make Preparations

What is the first thing you should do before going to a dealership? Consider what type of car do you have – its model, year, mileage, technical benefits. Look up the trade-in value on Kelley Blue Book for the precise figure to bargain (it’s the best way to estimate the price for the old car without intermediaries). If it is quite old with lots of imperfections, you should think about repairing the most gruesome issues in advance because nobody wants to buy junk.

What Dealership Should You Go To?

It is wise to contact the dealership that specializes in the manufacturer of your vehicle in the first place. If you want to sell 2008 Mercedes-Benz, go straight to a Mercedes-Benz dealer to check what they can offer to you. Try several Mercedes-Benz dealerships, because their offers will definitely differ. Nevertheless, other dealerships will also consider to buy your car, if it is in good shape and represent their competitors. For instance, if you want to sell Acura, the Lexus or Volvo dealership may be interested as well. They could sell your car to someone that is comparing their product to an Acura and vice versa. If your car is pretty old (10 years and older), the only real chance to sell it is an off-brand dealership that specializes in used cars. Another useful tip is that most dealerships have the used car manager – go directly to him, because the regular sales managers will do no good.

Will a Dealership Buy My Car?

This one you might sell only to off-brand dealership that specializes in used cars.

The Math

Most car dealers will sell your car at a wholesale. So, apparently, their best offer to you will be no more than 75% of the wholesale book value on a car. Let’s count: the wholesale book value on your car is $20,000, so the best offer you will get will be around 20,000 * 0,75 = $15,000. If your car worth less than $20,000, the percentage will be changing not in your favor. Be ready for it. Don’t be shy to bargain or contact another dealership. Some of them may sell your model better than others, so their offer will be slightly higher. Unfortunately, you’ll have very little negotiating power if you aren’t trading in your car for a new one, but you can always try. There’re a lot of dealerships out there.

Is it the Only Option?

Of course not. You can list your car on specialized sites (Carrrs.com will work – here’s the form), make advertisement in local newspapers, or contact potential buyers and sell it by yourself to anyone who satisfies your pricing demands. In this case, you should have time to arrange meetings, verify payment and papers. You’ll have to convince the potential buyer that your car is worth buying. It is not so easy as you might think – imagine that it is you who buys the car. Will you buy it for the price you are asking? In other words, it takes time, but likely you will get more money for your efforts. Another option is donating the car (especially, if it is hopelessly old) – it will lower your taxes and do some good. It is you who decide.