Automotive guides


Car Buying Tips

Sometimes, when purchasing a new car or importing a car, the most difficult thing that one must establish, is what to do with your current car. There are some options available. One option is to trade the vehicle into a dealership.

According to, trade-in vehicles are valued by dealerships, for its resale or auction revenue. Dealerships will be glad to take your trade in and make the process very easy for you as the shopper. There usually isn’t any bargaining with trade in value but if the dealer’s assessment isn’t fair, give haggling a shot. The decided amount for the trade in is deducted from the cost of the vehicle you are purchasing. Trading in a vehicle, versus selling privately is much more convenient. Legally, the dealer accepts your trade in as is, and cannot contact you if the vehicle breaks a week later.

Once the trade in is complete, it is the dealer’s responsibility to prepare the car for resale and work out its’ pricing details. Another benefit of trading your car in is a sales tax reduction. The buyer is only required to pay sales tax on the difference between the trade in value and the purchase price of the new vehicle. For example, if the dealer gives a buyer $10,000 for trade in and the new vehicle is worth $20,000, the buyer only pays sales tax on $10,000.

One negative aspect of trading in your vehicle is that you will not receive as much for it if you were privately selling it. However, the benefits mentioned above might be worth the lower value to a buyer.

When selling a vehicle yourself, you will likely receive top dollar. If you are obtaining your next vehicle from a private party sale, this is definitely your best option. A lot of time is consumed with preparing a car for sale; repairing any broken parts, cleaning and detailing the inside and outside of the car, and making sure the paperwork is in order. (Be sure to obtain the private party sale value before you advertise or offer the car to anyone.)

Advertising costs may also be expensive. Whether purchasing an ad in the local paper’s classifieds section or in a used car publication, costs vary and can add up quickly. If the vehicle does not sell quickly, consider the amount of money you will spend on long running ads.


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As a mechanical engineer turned blogger, Charlie provides readers with a technical, yet accessible look into the world of automotive engineering and design. His insightful posts make complex car technologies understandable.