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10 Steps for Selling Your Car

3 Decide Whether to Trade-in or Sell Yourself

Once you know the true condition of your car, the next step is to decide whether to sell it yourself or trade it in to a dealership -- since the value of your car varies depending on which method you use. There are pros and cons to each option:

Why Trade It In?
  • Fast and convenient
  • No costs for listing and selling
  • No personal calls/emails at home
  • Pay less sales tax on your new car
Why Sell It Yourself?
  • Negotiate directly with buyers
  • Usually get more for your car (about 15-25% more)
  • No dealer overhead cost

Your decision may ultimately come down to whether you have the time or inclination to do the selling yourself, or whether you prefer the convenience of letting someone else handle the process.

To get a sense of how much more you can expect, compare the Kelley Blue Book Private Party Value and Trade-in Value. The difference could be the deciding factor.

Another option is to get an instant offer from AutoTrader.com, which can be redeemed immediately at a participating local dealer, often with no new car purchase required. The online offer can serve as a starting point for the price you can get for your car today. It's a great option that just gives you more information about the value of your car. And there's no obligation once you receive an offer.

Tip:

A vehicle with an unusual color or aftermarket features may ultimately sell for less than a vehicle that's desirable to a larger audience. But if you're willing to put in the time and effort to find the buyers interested in your special features, your car's unique appeal could actually bring in more.

Next Step 4: Increase Your Car's Value

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Seller's Resources

Get the Blue Book Value
Place an online ad
Research, shop and compare