When you buy a new vehicle, you’ve got a number of options for what you can do with your old ride. You can trade it in to the dealership towards your new purchase, or you can try to sell it privately. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you could simply donate it to charity. Today we’re looking at these main courses of action to help you figure out which one is right for your specific case.
What to do with Your Old Ride
Trade it In
One of the most common things to do with your old vehicle is to simply trade it in to the dealership. This is the least hassle and most immediate way to get value out of your vehicle. The dealership will offer you a portion of what the old vehicle is worth, usually as a credit towards your purchase of a new vehicle to them. This is why it’s called a “trade-in,” as you’re trading the car for a portion of its value.
Trade-ins offer a variety of attractive features for some buyers. Firstly, it’s really easy. As long as your car is in reasonable condition and isn’t too old, the dealership will just make you an offer on it. Secondly, it’s much simpler to just drive your car onto the lot, trade it in, and drive off with the vehicle you wanted. Finally, some dealerships offer incentives or deals during sales event that can give you a lot more value for a trade-in, making them more attractive during some seasons that others.
Typically, you get less value for a trade-in than if you were to just sell the car yourself and then bring that money to negotiate for a new car. When you’re trading a car in, the dealership has you at a disadvantage, because they know you really want the new car and you’re just ready to drive away in a new ride.
Sell it Yourself
A much more direct way to make money from your old ride is to just sell it yourself. Keep in mind, however, that this will involve a bit more legwork. You’ll need to list the car for sale, be ready to show it to prospective buyers, and be able to go out with them for test drives. Then, you’ll have to haggle over the price with the buyer, because that’s just how car sales go, sadly.
This offers some advantages over a trade-in, though. When you’re the one selling, you’ve got the power of denial. If someone gives you a lousy offer, you just tell them to beat it. You’re able to sell the car at whatever pace you’re comfortable with, and when you get the right offer, you can sell to the highest bidder. It’s more difficult, but it nets you a better overall value.
If you want to avoid all of that nonsense and just do something good with your old ride, you can give it to a charitable organization. This is great for your community, as it means that a person in need can get a car, as well as being good for you come tax time. That’s right: automotive donations are tax deductible.
If you don’t feel like getting lowballed by dealerships or having to let strangers drive your car around, you can simply give it to charity. This is a great way to recoup some money back from your old vehicle while avoiding a lot of the hassles of the other two methods. Of course, this requires you have the money for a new car up-front, as you won’t see the value from this technique until the next tax season.