Okay, let’s say you have successfully completed the process of buying a new car on Carwoo! Congrats, but now you’re going to have to figure out something clever to do with that old car, preferably something that might net you a little profit. Or at the very least, leave enough left over for a tank of gas in your new ride.
You may not know what your options are, but here are two very distinct routes you can take for ushering out with the old and in the new. They each have pros and cons, so I’m not particularly suggesting one over the other. It’s about what is the best fit for your situation, and how you plan on gittin’ her done.
Although you may not be able to get as much money for your car as you would in a private sale, doing a trade-in can help you avoid some of the many possible wrong directions that a car sale can go. It’s really just about convenience – lots of dealers will take a trade-in car and deduct its value from your new car price. They’ll look at the car’s condition, its make and year, and offer you a price based on that. Make sure you’ve consulted the Kelley Blue Book and know the approximate value of your car, and that you’ve done your best to vacuum up all the stray fruit snacks on your carpet. Be a stage mom to your little pageant princess and have her looking her best for the trade in.
Another reason to trade in your old vehicle is so that the dealership assumes responsibility, meaning that they have to do all the repairs and ensure that the car is in sellable condition before it goes on to its next owner. You don’t have to field any pissed off calls from the guy down the street who bought your old Honda and had the “Check Engine” light go on just as he was driving away.
Trading in your old car can offer some tax benefits too. In most states, you’re only paying sales tax on the difference between the cost of your sweet new ride and what the trade-in value of your old car was. In states that have ridiculously high sales tax, that’s a number worth factoring in to your overall car spending budget.
You know the joys of Craigslist – finding a sweet table for your new apartment on short notice, and reading over the hilarious and sometimes sweet Missed Connections. If you’re looking to unload your old car before inking a deal on a new car, Craigslist is one place to start.
A private-party sale, as they’re referred to in industry lingo, will definitely net you the most money for your old car, but it definitely involves some work. This is best for people who have the time to invest, not those that are looking for a quick turnaround on the process.
You’ll have to prep the old girl for sale, and that means more than just getting it detailed. Don’t be the guy that leaves the repairs for the next owner, you should look at all the minor work that needs to be done and take care of that before you even snap the first photo.
Place the ad. Take excellent, fashion photography style photos. No one wants to buy an old banger, entice them! After the ad is placed, be prepared for all sorts of people to want to come by and test drive, and plan accordingly. This is like dating – several people will want to court at the same time and you’ll be making lots of small talk. If you don’t like meeting strangers, than this option is not for you.
Once the deal is done and the check is cashed, you’ll need to transfer the title and registration, and then take yourself out for dinner and a glass of wine, because that was hard work!
Got any stories of trading-in or selling on Craigslist? We’d love to hear them in the comments.