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How to Trade In Car for Cash? Here’s How It Works!

How to Trade In Car for Cash? Here’s How It Works!

If you're looking for “how to trade your car for cash?” You need to understand your car’s value, shop for multiple appraisals, finalize the deal and keep copies of all paperwork. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

The whole idea of car trade-ins might not please everybody. Still, many people might find it's convenient, especially those who don't like to deal with complicated paperwork stuff and others who don't prefer to deal with strangers, their private properties.

So what happens in any trading is that you basically sell your car to the dealership and then put the money towards your brand new vehicle. The concept is very handy for those who have some ideas about brand new vehicles in mind. Once you trade-in your car, you get the benefits of dealing with only one party for selling your old car and buying the new one.

Also, there are benefits of getting some tax reductions as you trade-in your car. 

The process might be a little complicated for inexperienced car sellers, and the objective that this article is to walk you through “how to trade your car for cash?” We will provide you with all details necessary, and we will answer some of the FAQs related to the same topic. 

Will car dealers give you cash for your trade-in?

Before we dive into the details about how the trading works, many people wonder whether the dealerships provide them cash for their cars or not.

There is a common misconception that dealerships will only trade-in your car, and they will not accept your old vehicle unless you buy a new one. However, dealerships are willing to pay you cash for your car even without buying a new one. 

It's exactly like silent selling your car to any private buyer or a car removal company. However, who wants to sell his car to a dealership that will not pay him the top dollars for his car without getting the benefit of buying a new vehicle?

In most scenarios, people go the trading route just because they want to buy a new car. If you're trying to sell your car only, it is usually recommended to find a better method to pay you more for your vehicle because dealerships usually underestimate your car. 

Is it better to put cash down or trade-in a car? 

According to automotive experts, usually, it's recommended that you put cash payments down rather than trading in your old car.


This is because the dealerships will pay for your car what they will pay when buying a vehicle from the auction or the used car dealerships.

Thus, it will always be under what your vehicle can make when selling it to any other private buyer.

Unless you have no other options, it's better to go with cash payments than trading in your car if you were looking for the top dollars.

On the other hand, if money is not the top priority for you and you're looking more for a convenient method that can help you go through the process quickly and safely, dealerships are recommended. 

How much money do you get for trading in a car? 

In general, your offer will be below what you can get, and selling your vehicle using any other method.

Dealerships can make up to $4000 of every used vehicle on average, according to recent statistics.

Thus, don't be surprised when you get offered a number below your expectations.

That's why it's recommended that you spend time and effort reviewing your car's real value and checking online tools like Kelley Blue Book instant cash offer or Edmunds, who can provide you with an expected trade-in value.

It is also recommended that you spend some time and efforts shopping for multiple appraisals even if it will take you some time. These appraisals will give you an idea about how much to expect when trading in your car.

The nice thing about these companies is that they provide you with anyone in maximum value representing how much your vehicle can make. They can also provide you a comparison between how much you can make out of this car by selling it to a private buyer versus training it into a dealership. 

The one limitation about these tools is that they don't consider major problems because they only consider your vehicle's type and mileage. Thus, you need to subtract any major damages from what Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds provide you. 

It doesn't also hurt to consider looking into car removal companies like Cash Cars Buyer and get an idea about how much cash you can make from your car. You might probably get a higher offer by selling your car to Cash Cars Buyer while also using a convenient method. 

The cool thing about Cash Cars Buyer evaluation process is that it considers any major damage is in your car and provides you an exact number representing how much cash you can make out of this car. 

How do you trade-in a car that is not paid off? 

That is a great question. The nice thing about trading in your vehicle is that dealerships can even take care of any money you owe to a certain lender.

The process is very straightforward and does not require a lot of thinking.

Think about it this way: say that you have a 2012 Ford Focus, and your dealership decided to pay you $6000 for this car. Also, you still owe $2000 for this vehicle. Thus, your dealership will pay off the $2000 and provide you with $4000 towards your old vehicle. You can use this payment towards your brand new vehicle or get it as cash. 

Keep in mind that you need to reach out to the lender and read thoroughly through their policy in terms of use when it comes to owing money on vehicles. Some lenders might have certain fees if you decided to pay the loan early. Thus, this fee is something that you need to take care of, not the dealership. 

When should you not trade-in your car? 

It is very important to familiarize yourself with situations where it's not recommended to train in your vehicle.

For example, if you just purchased a car, it is never recommended to trade it in because your vehicle loses about 10 to 20% of its original value immediately after you walk out of the dealership. 

If the dealership did not provide you with a reasonable amount, you should move forward with a different method to get at least some profit out of this car.

Another important situation where it's not recommended to train it in your car is when you end up owing money. Let's go back to the 2012 Ford Focus vehicle example; Imagine if the dealership provided you with a $6000 offer and you still owe $7000 on this vehicle; you will end up paying $1000 to digital ship.

Thus, this is a total loss, and it's not the ideal situation for you because you can make at least some money out of this car if you sell it to a different buyer. 

Is trading in a car worth it? 

It depends. For example, if you're looking for a convenient method and you don't prefer to deal with strangers coming to your private property, trading in your vehicle to a dealership is a great option for you.

However, if you're looking for the top dollars for your car, don't think about dealerships at all because they will not provide you with any number close to what you're thinking of.

Instead, it was recommended that you check other options like online retailers, private buyers, or cash for cars programs like Cash Cars Buyer. 

How to trade your car for cash? 

By now, you have a good understanding of the benefits of trading in your vehicle and its main drawbacks.

It is now the time to familiarize yourself with the best steps you could follow to get the most cash out of your car when trading it in: 

  • Understand your vehicle's value 

The first step is to understand how much you can make out of this car. You can always reach out to the tools mentioned earlier, like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds, and have a good idea about how much to expect. 

  • Get your vehicle ready 

Once you have a number in the back of your head, it is time now to prepare the vehicle and have all paperwork ready. The last thing you would want to do is cancel a deal just because you don't have the title ready.

First, you need to put all paperwork necessary together, and if you don't exactly know what's needed to trade-in your car, you could reach out to the dealership itself and ask them or visit your local DMV website and check for the requirements in your state.

The other question that we get a lot of the time is how much effort you could put towards preparing your vehicle before trading it in? It is very important to balance how much is considered OK to prepare your vehicle versus how much is considered too much.

For example, you don't want to spend so much money installing a brand new engine just because you want to trade it in. Instead, you might need to check with the dealership and see how much they're going to offer you, knowing that you have a bad engine. Don't be surprised that there are a lot of dealerships that might accept your vehicle even if it has complicated engine problems. 

It won't hurt till you perform quick cleanup for your vehicle, and sometimes wax might be helpful as well to indicate that you've been taking good care of what's under the hood. The first impression is very crucial when it comes to selling a vehicle or trading it in. 

  • Received multiple appraisals 

Since trading in your vehicle will not get to the top dollars you're looking for, it is recommended that you spend time shopping for multiple appraisals.

Check online forums around your area and see what people are thinking about trading in vehicles on Reddit. You might get a good understanding of which dealerships will pay you the top dollars and which vehicles make or models get the most money.

While you want to go with the best offer, you also need to consider whether this dealership has a vehicle you're looking for. 

It is recommended that you trade-in your car to a dealership that does not carry the same brand because you don't want to have six other vehicles competing with your car on their lots. 

  • Finalize the deal and keep copies of all paperwork


Once you agree with the dealership, You can go ahead and finalize the deal by signing all paperwork.

Although dealerships are trusted when it comes to legal issues, it is recommended that you keep copies of all paperwork, especially if you trade it in a vehicle that has mechanical problems.

You need to take care of canceling your vehicle registration by visiting your local DMV office. You don't want to stay liable for anything that happens with this car.

Lastly, you don't want to forget canceling your insurance policy to prevent paying for a vehicle that you no longer own. Your insurance company will appreciate it and provide you with future discounts for you a brand new vehicle. 

Trade your car for cash: the bottom line 

As we mentioned earlier, trading in your vehicle is not a complicated process, but it does not provide you with the top dollars.

If you're looking for more money out of your used car, we recommend that you get in touch with Cash Cars Buyer.

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation, and we're willing to provide you with the most cash your vehicle can make around your area, plus free towing. 

For more information about our process, you can always give us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.