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Car Trade-In vs Private Sell

Inevitably, the time for you to get rid of your current car will come. While car enthusiasts wouldn’t mind keeping an old car around for ages, most people treat cars as a method of transportation at best. The other thing is that as car ages, problems begin to surface, existing technology becomes obsolete meaning that old cars lag behind when it comes to convenience. The government understands this obviously, hence incentives are provided to encourage folks to change cars every so often. However, when the time comes for you to get rid of your car, you might ask yourself: do I figure out a way to sell it, or should I just trade it in?

Nowadays, trading in is a very common practice. Most people don’t have the time nor the effort to spend on selling a car privately. Therefore, trading in is an offer provided by most used car dealers, but what are actually the advantages of trading in your car to the dealership in contrast to selling it yourself?

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1. Convenience

The main benefit of just trading in your car is just that – be done with it. Obviously, when you trade-in your car, you are delegating all that hassle and responsibility of dealing with all the paperwork and hassle to the dealership. In exchange, dealers will treat that as equity towards your next car purchase.

The simple fact of the matter is that selling a car isn’t all black and white. You think it’s a straightforward process, but dealers have to make your old car roadworthy, bring it up to a marketable state and put it up for sale. These are all selling processes you’d have to go through as well unless you’re looking to sell as-is for cheap.

Obviously, dealers have standard as well. Any reputable dealer curates their own inventory, they won’t just take in a potentially hazardous rusty clapper. You’d have to get your car scrutinized and examined before they would take it. However, nowadays trade-in value tools are readily available online or car appraisals can be done the same day, and you can look one up online which will provide a rough guide as to what you can expect out of your car. You shouldn’t be too startled when the appraised value comes if you enter well-read and prepared.

Trading in also means that you spend more time looking for the car you want and worry less about handling the selling process. It may also provide you with a worthwhile bargaining tool when it comes to closing the deal.

2. Tax reductions

Depending on where you live, trade-ins can also provide significant tax deductions on your next car purchase. In some places, you actually only pay sales tax for the due difference between your current trade-in value and intended prospect.

For example, your car is appraised for trade-in at $10,000. The car you’re looking to buy is worth $30,000. This means that the difference between your trade-in and purchase is $20,000. Therefore, you only need to pay taxes out of $20,000. This is another significant advantage for those people who trade-in their car in some places. Ask your local dealership about this.


Needless to say, there are times where trading-in your car simply makes no sense. If you own something that’s particularly exotic, then you might not get what you want when you make a trade-in. The rule of thumb is that if you have a car that’s deemed to be too risky for sale, you will either be turned away or offered an insulting deal. On the other hand, if you have a regular vehicle, then it might be the best option. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Lebada Motors for more clarity.