Many car owners who wish to sell their cars do so through car dealers.

Dealers cater to a wide market and have the experience and resources to sell different types of vehicles, brands and models.

To maximize your profits and ensure that you get the best deal for your car, here are tips for selling your used car to a dealership:

Always Do Your Research

Car dealers can give you a price for your car but it may not always be the best price.

Before going to a dealer, make sure that you know how much your car is worth.

The prices of used cars are generally based on the market value. This figure, however, is not fixed.

It can also be influenced by the current trend in supply and demand for a specific brand and/or style.

Another factor that can influence the prices of used cars is new car production.

If, for some reason, production slows down, you can expect the prices for used cars to increase.

Again, this occurs due to the law of supply and demand.

When there are fewer new units that are being sold, the number of trades’ decrease, which results in an increase in the number of purchases of used cars.

If you have a better idea about the market, the more likely you can negotiate a better price for your used car.

Know the Trade-In Value of Your Car

The trade-in value of a car is the value of the car if it was sold at a wholesale auction, provided it is in good to excellent condition.

One of the best resources to use to determine the trade-in value of your car is the Kelly Blue Book.

You can also research online since there are websites and online forums that could be useful for this issue.

The trade-in value is not likely to be the price at which the car dealer will buy the car from you but it is a good benchmark to use.

Your car dealer is likely to offer you a price lower than this.

Find out what the trade-in value is and then decide how much lower than this you want to go.

Keep in mind that while you may want to consider a price lower than the trade-in value, it should not be too low.

Do Not Be Afraid of Negotiations

When the car dealer drops an offer it shows that it is not exactly a fixed price, so feel free to negotiate.

Armed with enough knowledge, you should be able to use what information you know to your advantage so you can get a better price.

Dealers want to make money, and the best way they can do this is to try to get your car at a lower price so they can sell it with a markup price.

To give yourself much-needed leverage for negotiating, consider the following:

  • The condition of the car
  • The history of your vehicle
  • Any repairs and/or replacements made
  • How it was handled during your ownership

Although your personal feelings and opinion about the car will not matter much,

the type of care that went into taking care of the car will show in how well it still looks and performs.

Before driving it to the dealership, get the car ready for a good show.

Wash the car, vacuum the interior, take out all the trash, coins and other objects that have been stored in there for years and put a can of air freshener for good measure.

Dealers often pay to have a used car cleaned and ready for viewing.

If you bring in a clean car, they may offer more if they do not have to spend a cent to get your vehicle detailed.

Get More Than One Quote

One of the most important tips for selling your used car to a dealership is this: shop around.

Do not make the mistake of turning over your car to the first dealer who makes you an offer. Talk to several dealers and bring your car along for an appraisal.

From there, you will be able to make an informed decision that will benefit you the most.

Featured images:

License: Royalty Free or iStock


Jason McLean is a freelance writer from North Chicago, who enjoy’s outdoors, reading and spending time with family.