Selling Your Vehicle: Private Party vs. Dealership

July 8th, 2021 by

Kansas City Ford Dealership

Get a Fair Value for Your Trade-In at Our Kansas City Ford Dealership

Using the vehicle you currently own as a down payment on a new or new-to-you one is a smart financial decision, especially if you don’t need multiple vehicles. You already have equity in your car, truck, or SUV, so you might as well take advantage of it.

There are two obvious ways you can use this equity in your favor: by selling your current vehicle to a private party, or by trading it in to our Ford dealership near you and putting its value toward a better ride.

People who choose either route will find that they’re not without pros and cons. The one you pick largely depends upon your end goal and the amount of time you want to spend transferring the title to a new owner.

What Does It Mean to Sell “Private Party” Versus a Dealership?

When people choose to sell their used cars to private parties, it means they make their vehicles available for sale to any individual who may be interested in purchasing it and exchange money and the car title with the purchaser.

When people sell their used cars to a dealership, they are either using it as a down payment toward a different vehicle, or selling outright. Some car dealerships will purchase a vehicle outright if they feel it will be a good fit in their inventory, but others won’t. Others will only allow trade-ins. In general, if you sell your car to a dealership, you are looking to get money out of your vehicle and leave without purchasing another vehicle from the dealership.

How to Sell Private Party

If you choose to sell your vehicle to a private party, the responsibility is yours to get it sold! This means you’ll need to list your car for sale in a variety of places so that people see that it’s available.

First, you’ll need to research the fair market value of your vehicle based on its condition, features, and mileage. Then, clean it up so that you can show it off. Some people recommend a full detail, but others say cleaning it out, vacuuming it yourself, and wiping down the surfaces quickly is adequate.

When your vehicle is clean, you’ll need to take photos of the vehicle to generate interest. List your vehicle for sale in multiple places, such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

If you’ve priced your car fairly, you’ll probably get phone calls asking to come see the call. You’ll have to coordinate times for people to stop by and take your car for a test drive. Consider the type of collateral you’ll want someone to leave with you should they take your car on a test drive, and whether you’ll want to ride along. Some people may even want to take your car to their mechanic to be looked over.

Should someone agree to purchase your vehicle, you may have to deal with them haggling for a lower price. You’ll also need to follow your state’s laws for transferring your car title over to the new owner and make sure their form of payment is legitimate. You don’t want to accept a check payment and have it bounce in their bank account, for example.

The biggest reason many people choose to sell their used vehicles to a private party is that they often can get more money for their vehicle than they may if they chose to trade it to a dealership. However, consider that you’ll have had to spend money cleaning your vehicle and potentially paying to list your vehicle for sale, too.

You’ll also want to account for your time. How many hours did you spend preparing to list your vehicle, listing it, and meeting with potential buyers? Are you willing to put up with the hassle? Do you have the time? Perhaps it isn’t always worth it to you to do the work necessary to make a little extra money.

Trading Your Vehicle to a Car Dealer Near You

If you intend to buy a vehicle from a car dealership, you can quickly and easily trade in your current ride and put its trade-in value toward your down payment.

When you visit the car dealership near you, bring in the vehicle you’d like to trade, along with its title, your driver’s license, and its insurance card. If you find a car, truck, or SUV on the lot that you want to buy, the car dealership employee you’re working with will help you navigate the trade-in process.

While you’re at the dealership, an on-site appraiser will look over your vehicle. Then, using current fair market value data, generally from Kelley Blue Book and other reputable sources, the appraiser will make you a trade-in offer. If you accept the offer, you’ll sign some paperwork and proceed with your vehicle purchase.

The car dealer will handle nearly everything for you when you trade in your vehicle, although you may need to complete additional paperwork through the Department of Motor Vehicles to fully transfer your license plate to your new car, truck, or SUV.

If you have any questions about the process, be sure to ask while you’re still at the dealership. The staff there are experts on what to do.

Remember that the offer you get on your trade from the dealership may be a little less than you were hoping. That’s because the dealer has to consider how much money they’ll spend either reconditioning your vehicle to re-sell it at their used car dealership, or the amount they’ll have to invest on getting the vehicle to an auction, if it doesn’t meet their criteria for resale.

What you get in exchange is essentially a hands-off process that is taken care of for you, without stress or hassle, and no need to have a large amount of money to exchange hands between strangers.

The Final Verdict on Your Used Car for Sale

The route you choose to take in order to part with your current vehicle is ultimately up to you, but if you’re looking to save time, hassle, and personal effort, trading it to the dealership where you’re buying a new vehicle is your best choice.

Get Fair Market Value for Your Trade at Zeck Ford Near Kansas City

Experience what it’s like to buy your next new vehicle from a dealership with the best customer service rankings and no-pressure personal shoppers when you visit Zeck Ford in Leavenworth, Kansas. Our Ford dealership is near you if you live in the greater Kansas City metro area, and is conveniently located at 4501 S. 4th Street.

Our transparent pricing lets you know exactly how much you’ll spend on a vehicle, and you’ll never have to haggle to get our best deal, including when you’re trading in your vehicle. We call it the Zecksperience, and there’s nothing else quite like it in the area.

When you’re ready for a new ride, shop our online inventory and pay us a visit (or complete your purchase online from the convenience and comfort of your own home)! One of our personal shoppers is ready to help you drive off down the road in a vehicle you love.

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