Automotive

How do you make sure you're getting a fair deal on your trade in with a dealership?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 21st, 2019 11:50 am
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes

How do you make sure you're getting a fair deal on your trade in with a dealership?

For personal reasons, I want to replace my 2010 Civic but I still have a bit of outstanding on it. Yes I could pay off the lien & sell it off privately but after much thinking I would want to trade it in instead. Basically I just don't want the hassle of negotiating the selling price. Also, I have a positive equity on the car so I am good on that front.

So my question, how do I make sure I am getting fair deal on my trade in when I go to the dealer? What scams I should avoid?

Moreover, I am looking at 2019 Honda Civic Sedan EX to replace the old one.
34 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 26, 2007
5076 posts
2692 upvotes
Toronto
Only scam with dealer trade-in is they will low-ball you like $1000 for your old civic. Best to drive around to all the dealers in town and sell to the guy who gave you the best deal.

Example, MB offered $5k more for my junker then Nissan. I was real insulted when nissan did that even when I was a repeated customer.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
2388 posts
2258 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
It's not a scam they're just trying to make as much profit as possible (as they have to turn around and sell your car). Just like how you're not scamming them by negotiating a lower price on a new car.

Look on autotrader for what private owners are getting for similar condition/mileage to know ballpark what its worth. For example, just traded in my sisters old truck.. Autotrader had private sales for about 10,000-13,000 depending on condition and mileage. Hers was not great condition and high mileage so we figured we could get about 10 used privately. Dealership offered 8.5 which was decent so we took it. You also have to factor in you only pay tax on the difference if you're buying new so that made it close enough. If they had offered 5 we would have sold it ourselves. Selling privately you'll get more money but its a PITA in my experiences.

If you're buying a new car they'll usually give you a better trade-in value because they want to make the sale. So just go to all the different Honda dealerships and see who treats you the best. Compare total out the door price as they sometimes make it confusing with what they discount.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
24751 posts
3053 upvotes
Montreal
Sell it privately and deal with the inconvenience. Or trade it in and take a haircut to save your hassle. The choice is yours.
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2018
1553 posts
1498 upvotes
GTA
Rather then negotiate on the trade in, negotiate on the 'out the door price'. The amount you will write a cheque for after new car cost, fees, taxes less your trade in.

If the dealer senses a little higher trade in value will close the deal you will not get much discount off the new car price. It is a game they play making you think you got a good deal when in reality you did not. Go to a few dealers and get their best out the door price. My experience has been the dealer that offered me the highest trade in value was not the best deal.
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
DaveTheDude wrote: Rather then negotiate on the trade in, negotiate on the 'out the door price'. The amount you will write a cheque for after new car cost, fees, taxes less your trade in.

If the dealer senses a little higher trade in value will close the deal you will not get much discount off the new car price. It is a game they play making you think you got a good deal when in reality you did not. Go to a few dealers and get their best out the door price. My experience has been the dealer that offered me the highest trade in value was not the best deal.
Any tips on the how to negotiate on out the door price? What information should I obtain before hand?
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
mr_raider wrote: Sell it privately and deal with the inconvenience. Or trade it in and take a haircut to save your hassle. The choice is yours.
I am okay with bit of haircut but I am hoping it won't be a big one. As for selling it privately, I have a few repairs to do on it even before I can sell it & pass it for safety.
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
peteryorkuca wrote: Only scam with dealer trade-in is they will low-ball you like $1000 for your old civic. Best to drive around to all the dealers in town and sell to the guy who gave you the best deal.

Example, MB offered $5k more for my junker then Nissan. I was real insulted when nissan did that even when I was a repeated customer.
Yeah that's what I am afraid of. Bit of a noob question, at what point they start appraising the trade in? When an offer is made?
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
Ecsta wrote: It's not a scam they're just trying to make as much profit as possible (as they have to turn around and sell your car). Just like how you're not scamming them by negotiating a lower price on a new car.

Look on autotrader for what private owners are getting for similar condition/mileage to know ballpark what its worth. For example, just traded in my sisters old truck.. Autotrader had private sales for about 10,000-13,000 depending on condition and mileage. Hers was not great condition and high mileage so we figured we could get about 10 used privately. Dealership offered 8.5 which was decent so we took it. You also have to factor in you only pay tax on the difference if you're buying new so that made it close enough. If they had offered 5 we would have sold it ourselves. Selling privately you'll get more money but its a PITA in my experiences.

If you're buying a new car they'll usually give you a better trade-in value because they want to make the sale. So just go to all the different Honda dealerships and see who treats you the best. Compare total out the door price as they sometimes make it confusing with what they discount.
That's my plan, I am hoping to email different Honda dealers to see if I can get a good deal on both the car & trade in.
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
On a different note, any Honda dealerships you guys recommend? Any contacts would be helpful :)
Sr. Member
Sep 13, 2012
930 posts
501 upvotes
Vaughan, ON
When someone asks if it’s a “scam” I read that as someone basically saying I’m too lazy or unwilling to put in the work you tell me whether I should move on the deal or not? Do your research, invest the time to see what selling privately would yield vs trading in as is while receiving tax back on top. The dealers make more on used inventory so they’re always eager for stock; however it’s a cost/benefit to you ultimately.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
5722 posts
4361 upvotes
Educate yourself on what your car is worth. Autotrader/Kijiji would give you an idea on private sale.

VMR Canada and Canadian Black Book will give you an idea of trade-in value.

You have a 9 year old Civic, if everything in top shape without accident, I think it will probably worth $3-$4K private sale but I expect you will get a very low ball $1K or $2K. It's too old for dealer to resale so they won't give you much as it will just end up with a wholesaler anyway.

As for bargaining, you are looking at $1-2K margin on the new Civic + financing/leasing kick back. Unhaggle will give you invoice and incentives on the new car. You go for best possible price 1st before mentioning trade in. If you say trade-in upfront, they will give you less discount and try to hide it in margin.

IMO, you won't get much trading in something that old. You will get at least $1K+ more if you sell private vs trade in. It's up to you to decide if that hassle is worth it.
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2018
1553 posts
1498 upvotes
GTA
binarynumber wrote: Any tips on the how to negotiate on out the door price? What information should I obtain before hand?
Start with getting an idea of your trade in value using Black book.
https://www.canadianblackbook.com/

Then consider the usual discount off a new car without a trade in is about 3 to 5%. For a 2019 it should higher since it is a model year older.

Once you have an idea of what the out the door price should be go to different Honda dealers. Play one against the other. See if the next dealer can beat the last dealer’s offer. They don’t like using out the door pricing as they like to confuse buyers, but they will if you insist. Don’t worry about the BS fees they add on. Just worry about the final net amount.
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
Xtrema wrote: Educate yourself on what your car is worth. Autotrader/Kijiji would give you an idea on private sale.

VMR Canada and Canadian Black Book will give you an idea of trade-in value.

You have a 9 year old Civic, if everything in top shape without accident, I think it will probably worth $3-$4K private sale but I expect you will get a very low ball $1K or $2K. It's too old for dealer to resale so they won't give you much as it will just end up with a wholesaler anyway.

As for bargaining, you are looking at $1-2K margin on the new Civic + financing/leasing kick back. Unhaggle will give you invoice and incentives on the new car. You go for best possible price 1st before mentioning trade in. If you say trade-in upfront, they will give you less discount and try to hide it in margin.

IMO, you won't get much trading in something that old. You will get at least $1K+ more if you sell private vs trade in. It's up to you to decide if that hassle is worth it.
I went to a Mazda dealership few months back & they offered me around 4.5k on trade in. Unfortunately the car has an accident record (which for life of me I don't know why it didn't show up in carfax when dealer checked) & I will have to spend some money on it to make it sellable.

I am bit familiar about the price actually so I am expecting around 5k on trade in.
[OP]
Member
Feb 10, 2018
235 posts
39 upvotes
100Pacer wrote: When someone asks if it’s a “scam” I read that as someone basically saying I’m too lazy or unwilling to put in the work you tell me whether I should move on the deal or not? Do your research, invest the time to see what selling privately would yield vs trading in as is while receiving tax back on top. The dealers make more on used inventory so they’re always eager for stock; however it’s a cost/benefit to you ultimately.
Is it wrong in being lazy & asking around? It's my first car & I don't have much experience with the market.

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