If you’re looking to get a new car then you probably want to get rid of your old one. In some cases, selling privately is a good idea. For some less desirable vehicles, trading in at a dealer may get you better value for money. If your car is very old and is not in good shape then it may be that you would be better off selling it for scrap.
The first starting point should be to consider “how can I find out my car’s value in LA“. There is a list called the ‘Redbook‘ that provides guideline car valuations for most vehicles based on the make, model and mileage, as well as options, and that even factors in regional classifications too. This can be an invaluable guide to what you can expect to get for your car. It will help you figure out whether to sell privately or to go to a dealer.
One look at the Blue Book will show you that in general, if you can be bothered to sell privately, you will get more money – especially for cars that are in very good condition. Dealers prey on people who are money rich (they can afford to buy a car after all) but time poor. They buy at low prices from people who lack the knowledge, confidence or time to deal with time wasters and hagglers, and who just want to get rid of a car as easily as possible. If you know what your car is worth and want to try to get the best possible deal then you may be better off selling it yourself. Knowing your car’s value in LA will help you to shut down people who will drive a hard bargain, and ensure you get the fair market value for the area.
Trading In Can Complicate Matters
Trading in an old car might make buying the new car a little bit more complicated. If you want to haggle on the price of a car, then you don’t want to first of all have to drive up the value of the trade in. Every point that you need to negotiate on will complicate matters, and you are giving the dealer leverage to argue with you on other details.
There are some things that you can do to get a better deal, though. Firstly, when you’re buying a new car you should work out the price of that new car first. Only once you have actually reached an agreement on the price of your new car should you even bring up the fact that you have an old one to trade in. There is no obligation for you to disclose the fact that you have a vehicle to trade in. If they ask you up front, then you should simply say that you don’t want to talk about the price of a trade in until there have been some terms agreed for the car that you are buying.
Once you have a price that you are happy with, you can discuss the trade in. Do this armed with some knowledge of what your existing car is actually worth. You can do this by getting a third party to evaluate the value of your car. There are some companies, such as CarMax, that will evaluate a car and then make you an offer – and that offer will stand for seven days. The offer that CarMax gives you should be considered the lower bounds that you would accept from a dealer. If the dealer refuses to offer you a trade in price that is the same or higher than what CarMax has offered, then you can just sell to them and know that you’re getting a more reasonable price. There are other options too – Kelley Blue Book connects sellers with dealers, and while you ar not guaranteed an offer from them, you can get a list of dealers that are potentially interested in your car – and that gives you another option for selling at a price that is very close to or equal to true market value.
If you’re still not happy and you know you have a good car, then you can put the car on the market to see if any private buyers are interested. Price it above what the dealers have offered, but below the retail price of a car from that model and year, and there’s a high chance that you’ll get a quick sale.
This strategy works best if you can afford to pay outright for the car that you’re buying from the dealer, or you are happy with taking out an auto loan for the value. If you’re in a position where you don’t need the cash from the car right now then you’re better able to negotiate. If you’re not in that kind of position – if you are struggling for money and want to sell desperately – that makes life harder, but you should never reveal that to the dealers that you are negotiating with, because it will weaken your position.
Junk Cars and Cash Offers
With junk cars, your best option is to look for a compant that will make you an offer over the phone. There are some companies that will accept any car, even sight unseen – and they will even come and to it for you. You can simply call these companies up, tell them the make, model and year of your car, and they will then make you an offer and then come and pick it up – often the same day, and give you the cash.
Depending on the age of your car, and the make, the offer that you might get for a junk car could be as little as $100, but sometimes the offers can range into $1000 or more. With this sort of thing the best thing to do is check the Kelley Blue Book prices first – and if the prices are in the hundreds of dollars range, call one of the junk car companies in your area and see what they will offer. If they are offering a price that is within the range in the blue book, then take it – because you’ll probably waste more time trying to sell your car to a dealer or a private buyer, and time is money.
You will still need to have proof of ownership of a car when you try to sell a junk vehicle, because the junk dealers need to check that they’re not towing away a third party’s pride and joy. So make sure you’ve got all the documentation handy.
Do shop around before selling to a junk car company – because offers can vary massively. Make sure that you have everything in place before they come out – if you can’t show current title for the vehicle, then either they won’t take it or they’ll give you less money for it because they’ll have to go through more paperwork themselves. Make sure that your driveway is unobstructed, and that the car is in a position where it can be moved. Everything you do to make the transfer easier will help to save you time, and hopefully mean that you get more money for your car too. Whether you go the junkyard route or the private seller route, or sell to a dealer, you can get good money even for older cars that you think that no one would ever want to drive.