When selling your old car, most people say that their first priority is to make the most profit they possibly can. Of course, it is also important to consider the amount of time that can be spent on the entire process.
The vast majority of people who sell their car do it at a dealership. Dealerships are easy to access, convenient, and typically offer a decent price for the vehicle, even if it isn’t the highest price. On the other hand, dealerships will pressure you to buy a new vehicle and they can be very hard to negotiate with.
Practically every town in America has a car dealership. While many of them specialize in selling a particular brand of vehicle, all of them are willing to buy used cars of any type. Even if the car you have to sell is of a brand they carry on their lot, many dealerships will buy the car and sell it to another dealership or a car auction.
Being able to take your car to any dealership and have it appraised and purchased is a real time saver when compared to selling the car on your own, otherwise known as a private party sale. Selling a car to a dealership can take about fifteen minutes, whereas selling the car on your own can take weeks. Dealers are typically ready to make an all cash offer (or give credit towards another vehicle) and they can easily handle the government paperwork involved in transferring over ownership of the vehicle.
Selling to a dealership is also much safer than selling on your own. Dealerships can easily be checked out through the local Chamber of Commerce, and many towns have laws in place to protect sellers. On your own, you will have to check out each potential buyer individually. Ask for identification from anyone interested in buying the car. Also make sure to call the buyer’s bank to verify the funds are available for any checks that are written. If you are dealing in cash, be sure to have a friend available to back you up, and immediately deposit the funds into your bank account.
Of course, there are several big disadvantages to selling your car at a dealership. In exchange for all of the convenient advantages, a dealership can take a pretty significant portion of the potential sale price. According to kbb.com, a dealership selling price typically runs between five and fifteen percent less than the price a person could get a on their own.
The convenience of being able to quickly sell your vehicle might be worth this price deduction if you could walk away from the sale with cash in hand. Unfortunately, a dealership will not want to just a buy a car from you, they will also want to sell you one as well. Since selling cars is where a dealership makes their money, they will do everything they can to convince you to use the money from the sale to buy a car from their lot.
In addition to this pressure, a car dealership can also be hard to negotiate with. Many dealerships employ an appraisal expert who can quickly figure out the car’s potential selling price. From this number, they determine the absolute highest amount they will be willing to pay for the car. For a dealership, there is no emotion in the negotiation process. This can make it difficult to get a higher price for your vehicle.
Because a dealership has to consider the resale value of the car along with their own carrying costs, a seller has to be prepared to walk away with less than what they could get by selling on their own. Instead of relying on psychological tricks, the best way to get the most for your car is to show that the car has features that could increase its selling value. Be sure to point out any modifications that increase the car’s value. Also be prepared to accept less money if the appraiser or mechanic deems that there are necessary repairs on the car.