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The Best Places to Trade in an Old Car

The Best Places to Trade in an Old Car

There comes a time in every car’s life when it’s relationship with the current driver comes to an end; the driver then turns to the Internet to search for the best places to trade in a car. The best places, in general, are automobile dealerships and junkyards.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Owning a car leaves a lasting impression on the driver. As humans, we’re prone to making even machines an important part of our lives and identities. People know if you’re at home or at work by looking to see if your car is parked outside.

In some ways, your car is like a personal logo. Many people see the car and think of you. Haven’t you ever been driving with a friend who says something like, “Hey! My sister has the exact same car” or “Look at the car, I thought it was my boyfriend’s.” 

This personal attachment makes letting go of a car kind of a big deal. 

When you really hate your car, because it always breaks down, maybe you don’t want it in your life anymore. When you finally get rid of it, you will be set free once and for all.

Maybe you LOVE your old car! It represents you and your journey on this highway we call life. In fact, some people find it hard to let go of their first car or a car that was inherited when a loved one passed away.

This is because sentimental value clouds our business mindset. There comes a time when driving, repairing, insuring, and storing old cars just isn’t worth it. 

When that time comes, we ask, where is the best place to trade in a car? 

Whether it pains you to ask such a question depends on your current situation; nonetheless, it is a fair and honest question which deserves attention.

What It Means to Trade in an Old Car

If you are searching for information on the best place to trade in a car, then you should probably know how a trade-in works.

At many Chicago auto dealerships, trade-ins are accepted. This means that you can quite literally drive one car to the dealership and leave in another.

The dealer makes an offer on your old car and applies the funds to the purchase of your new car.

This could be great news if your car is worth a lot of money. People who are looking to replace a car that’s only a few years old really benefit from this model. 

Sometimes people even trade in a very expensive car, buy something cheaper, and come out ahead. 

Other drivers aren’t so lucky. If the car is very old, on its last leg even, then the trade-in value could be little to nothing. 

It all depends on what the automobile dealership is going to do with the trade-in. If you’re trading in a model that is only a year or two old, they’re probably going to check it out and resell it. They make the profit on the markup.

If the car is very old or damaged, they’ll send it off to a junkyard. It might cost them to do this, but getting you to make a purchase at their dealership is worth it.

It’s kind of a cool consumer magic trick.

The best place to trade in your car, then, is probably with a vendor that you find reliable and that has a car you want on the lot. 

It also doesn’t make sense to trade in a car if you don’t have another one you want to buy on that particular lot. That would just be a sale, not a trade-in.

Where Should I Trade in my Car?

When asking “Where is the best place to trade in my car?”, what you might really be meaning to inquire is where should I trade my car in?

The obvious answer is at a car dealership.

However, the question of which isn’t so clear!

First of all, you should look for a dealership that is honest and fair. You’re not going to enjoy the process very much if they low ball you on the trade-in and mark up the final price tag. You’ll feel like you got swindled.

You should also consider a local place. You might want to support your local economy. For example, in Chicago, there are many places to buy, trade, and sell cars on famous stretches on Cicero Avenue and Western Avenue. They often have staff members who speak different languages.

If you live in the area, you might feel comfortable dealing with a neighborhood facility. If you don’t trust the car dealers in your neighborhood, you can head to the suburbs to find larger lots filled to the brim with brand new cars in the latest makes and models. 

Another question might be just how far your car is able to go! 

If you don’t like the local dealerships, but you know your car can’t handle a summer road trip through the Chicagoland area, your options are more limited.

A great way to sort the bad from the good when it comes to places to trade in a car in Chicago, or any other city for that matter, is to read reviews left by real people on the Internet.

When strangers on the web leave reviews of their experiences, they usually do it for one or two reasons. The first reason is that the service was awful.

The other reason could be that the service was phenomenal. In this situation, the customer is doing work to ensure everybody gives the dealership a go. 

You can get a good idea of the quality of the service at a dealership by reading online reviews. If there are a slew of bad comments, stay away if you can.

Another common way of finding a reliable place to trade in a car in the twenty-first century is by putting the question to social media. You could ask your own network or post the question in a community group. You’re sure to get many interesting responses!

How do I Find a Reliable Place to Trade in my Car?

When you want to find the best place to trade in a car, you’re going to need to consider an important factor, reliability. 

Let’s say you walk into a car dealership. Your old car is on the lot. How are you being treated?

First of all, are you being judged on the quality of the car you drove into the dealership? Secondly, are you greeted? Finally, is there an overly aggressive sales pitch? Be wary if you don’t like the answers to these questions.

One tip: Bring a car person with you. We all know somebody who knows a thing or two about cars, a mechanic, an auto parts sales person, a worldly aunt or uncle – bring them to the dealership to act as your go-between should the process seem overwhelming to you.

A situation that is two against one may be in your favor when it comes to dealing with trade ins.

If you want to ensure that your dealership is reliable, check reviews on the Internet. You will see all types of reactions. Social media pages and profiles listed by the dealership itself are questionable to an extent; they are biased.

If you feel like anything and everything is being said to give you minimum return on your trade-in and maximum return on their profit, keep looking for a reliable place to trade in your car.

There are enough places around town that you can find one that will treat you with respect as a client.

Is it Worth it Trading in my Old Car?

Is trading in the old car worth it? This is another common question asked by those who want information on where the best place to trade in a car is.

Trading in an old car is a personal question 

For example, if your number one concern in life is image, then trading in your old car will be worth it when you look very sharp behind the wheel of a new vehicle.

If you are rooting for green causes for our planet, then trading in an old car is absolutely worth it. You will remove a car that causes pollution from the road. If you’re really willing to go the extra mile, you’ll be trading in your old car for a transit pass, or at least an environmentally friendly vehicle!

Maybe you’re thinking in terms of dollars and cents. This requires a little math on the part of the vehicle owner. For example, an old car may not require you to carry full liability insurance. A new car will definitely increase the bill. Is a car payment doable right now? Are surprise repairs?

For some people, waiting to do the trade-in is a more responsible option. This could be the case of someone hoping to save money for a big deposit or someone working on their credit score. Everybody’s financial situation is different. 

Make the choice that’s right for you.

Trading an Old Car for Another Used Car at the Best Place

Some people want to know the best place to trade in an old car for another other old

Is this even possible? Yes! Check with the dealership before making the trek out there, though. You might get a rough estimate on how much they will give you. You can save yourself a trip if it’s a bad deal.

No bad deals! 

You might not be getting ahead on this kind of trade-in. For example, if you have a car that you want to trade in because it has engine troubles, the new used car you are thinking of taking on could be even worse! You never know with used cars.

Then again, if you want to trade in a twenty-year-old car for a five-year-old car, the decision seems more sensible.

One More Thing: The Best Place to Trade in a Car could be the Local Junkyard 

The best place to trade in your car could be the junkyard after all!

If you are ready to skip out on this whole ordeal of trading in the car, then perhaps another option better suits your needs. Call a local junkyard.

If your car is seriously a beater, very old, broken down, or an all-around rust bucket, then maybe the trade-in negotiations won’t be worth the hassle. You can call a junkyard to tow that old car away. They will often hand you cash, so at least you’re making a few bucks on the arrangement.

At the end of the day, it’s obvious the real winner in the trade-in scheme is the car dealership. The whole process is a sales angle (which may be to your advantage, may not).

For example, sometimes car dealerships guarantee a minimum value to a trade in – say a few thousand dollars. That means they are willing to buy your car for up to 10x what’s it worth to make the sale. In some way, they’re still profiting or they wouldn’t do it.

Selling to a stranger in a community advertisement takes time, energy, and money. It isn’t that safe, either. You will talk to a lot of strangers in the process; most won’t end up buying.

Abandoning your car is no option either. The VIN will be tracked to you, and you’ll end up paying fines.

At the Finish Line:  Best Places to Trade in an Older Car

If you were hoping for names and numbers of the best places to trade in old cars, you can continue clicking around on search engines to find one near you.

There are plenty of reliable dealers out there. Read the reviews to be sure.

If trading in your car sounds like a headache, then call a junkyard to tow it away instead.