How to Sell Cars to Used Dealers

by Daniel Dick

Selling your car to a dealer comes with advantages and disadvantages. If you were selling your car to another person you would have to advertise, wait by the phone, show the vehicle, and haggle with the buyer. When you sell to a dealer, those are all their problems. The downside is that you are unlikely to get as much money for your car from a dealer as you will from a private sale. The dealer needs to sell this car again at something close to market price, so they can't afford to pay market price to you.

Selling Your Car to a Dealer

Find out the real market value of the car. The IRS recommends using any of the nationally recognized auto trading guides. The National Automobile Dealers Association, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds all put out nationally recognized guides.

Assess your car. How often has your car been serviced? Is it in good running condition? These will affect the value of your car. Remember that the dealer is likely to only buy this car for less than the listed price.

Clean your inside and out. Try to get the smell out; there are several products that can do this.

Vacuum the inside of your car, remember to vacuum the floorboards and the trunk.

Find a dealer who deals in your model of car. You can usually receive a better price from a dealer who has your model.

Do not spend a lot of money fixing your car. The dealer may try to use this as a justification for a lower price, but he can get a car fixed at a much cheaper rate than you can. The $1000 dollars you can spend on repairs will not add $1000 dollars to the price the dealer will pay.

Stay firm in your negotiations. The dealer may offer you a trade in instead of cash. This usually nets you a higher value for the car, but it also can be used to muddy the negotiations. If you want cash, insist on cash.

Leave if you feel you can't reach a fair price with the dealer.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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