Trading in or selling your vehicle in Washington? Make sure to know the steps before committing to this process.
Trade in or sell my vehicle?
First, what is the difference between trading in your vehicle and selling your vehicle? Well, whichever one you choose, there are pros and cons to each. Let’s look at a few for each of these options.
If you are choosing to trade in your vehicle, you need to go to the dealership and you will be negotiating a fair price for your vehicle. Your first step should be to look at the Kelley Blue Book value of your car. Make sure to view the trade-in offer and not the private-party value. This will give you an idea of where your vehicle is valued. Keep in mind, this is just an estimate and should just give you an idea, you will not always receive this value. After that, make sure to clean your car and get any repairs done that need to be done. During this, be sure to look at new vehicles you would be interested in purchasing. Washington Honda has an amazing line-up of new and used vehicles that you can use your trade in value towards. Our outstanding sales and finance teams will make sure to help you with that process.
Pros of the Trade In:
- Less hassle: The process of transferring tags/titles, reregistering the vehicle, paying off the loan, etc. will be taken care of by the dealership.
- Reduced taxable sales price: Many states require that you only pay tax on the difference between your trade-in amount and the cost of the new car you are buying.
Con of the trade in:
- Lower offer: Dealerships need to make money on the car you trade in when they resell the vehicle. That means that they will have to offer you less for your vehicle than what you could potentially earn. Keep in mind though, the dealer is going to be taking into account the work they need to do on their end in order to sell your vehicle. This includes items like vehicle repairs, transferring of tag/title, reregistering the vehicle, etc.
Selling your vehicle privately:
If you choose to go this route, your payout has the potential to be bigger, but you are going to have to work for it. Again, when starting this process, make sure to look at Kelley Blue Book to find an estimated value. Make sure to look at the private-party value of your vehicle when doing this. After finding your value, make sure to take care of any issues the car may have. You are held responsible for any issues the car has when you sell it. Not disclosing this information can land you in major trouble. If you are able to find a buyer for your vehicle, make sure to complete all of the paperwork needed to transfer the vehicle to the new buyer.
Pro of selling privately:
- Higher sale value: Having the power to price your vehicle at the value you want is very rewarding, but you have to keep in mind that you have to find someone willing to buy your vehicle at that price and the buyer has to be able to trust that you have done what you were supposed to do to make it a smooth transition.
Con of privately selling:
- More work: Without a doubt, you are going to be putting in a lot more work with this option. You will have to gather documents, file paperwork, get the car in tip top shape for the buyer, find a fair price, screen buyers, possibly go on test drives, and deal with many other possible road bumps along the way.
Your Vehicle – and the documents that go with it
If you decide to trade in your vehicle, you’ll need to bring a few things with you to make sure the sale of your vehicle goes smoothly.
- A clean car. You don’t need to get it detailed – we’ve got one of the best teams of detailers in Washington right here at Washington Honda. They’ll go through the car before it moves along to the pre-owned market. Still, you want to make sure you have any personal belongings out (don’t forget to check the trunk) and it doesn’t hurt to at least tidy up and toss away loose trash. But wiping out the air vents? We got that.
- Service records. Beyond the vehicle history report, we love to see documentation of regular preventative maintenance, as well as major repairs that you’ve had to take care of over the years.
- Vehicle title and registration. We’ll need these papers to take ownership of your vehicle. We trust you, but we still have to make sure that the vehicle is yours to sell, free and clear.
- Loan information and Pay-Off Amount. Sometimes you don’t want to wait until your current vehicle is paid off – don’t worry, we can work with you on that. If you are still paying a loan, the company that owns the vehicle will want to get paid, and we’ll get the vehicle title from them.
The good news is that our team here at Washington Honda will take care of that transfer work, they’re pros at it. It’s a standard part of the buying process!
What should I do when I have sold my vehicle?
After your vehicle has been sold, take a look at our new and used vehicle lineup. Let’s get you into a new (or new to you) vehicle that you have been dreaming about. But, if that is the case, make sure you have everything you will need when heading to our dealership! You’ll want to run down this checklist before heading out the door. Make sure you have everything complete and together – it’ll help the buying process to move along that much faster.
- Your driver’s license. Common sense, and really, who leaves home without it? We’ll need to make sure you are a properly licensed driver, so make sure your license is not expired.
- Recent pay stubs. The banks and creditors we work with want to know that you are currently employed, and can afford the payments of the loan they’re extending. The last few weeks’ paycheck stubs or direct deposit receipts help us to show them that you are worthy of getting that loan.
- Credit score and history. This helps to dictate the loan terms we can get for you. In the old days, it was a bit of a process to go through – today, almost every credit card company, bank, or credit union offers documentation of your current and recent credit scores. Bring that along with you and we can help you find better loans, faster.
Odds and ends can go a long way to your car purchase experience. These are things that certainly will be helpful for you to bring along, and could end up saving you in the long run.
- A list of references. Some lenders want to be able to call and check with business or personal references in addition to pulling credit scores and reports.
- Pre-approved vehicle loans. Even though we have some great connections with banks and other finance sources here at Washington Honda, there’s always the possibility that your credit union, credit card company or bank can provide a better APR or help you get approved for a bigger loan. By getting pre-approved, you have something in your pocket already.
- Rebate Eligibility Support. Many carmakers, Honda included, offer a variety of unique discounts. From military service discounts to recent college graduate rebates, to customer loyalty discounts, there are plenty on offer. You’ll need the documents and proof to back it up though, so be aware of the individual requirements for each rebate.
When you come to make your purchase final, having all of these things on hand helps to make sure you don’t spend any more time at the dealership than you need to – not that we don’t like seeing your smiling face here, we just know you’ve got other things to do. They also help to keep you from making additional trips or missing out on potential savings.