Automotive

When to trade in vs privately sell your vehicle?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 24th, 2019 2:48 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes

When to trade in vs privately sell your vehicle?

Most of the people I have talked to have strongly encouraged me to sell my 2010 Honda Civic Sedan privately & not do dealer trade in. But given I would need to some minor repairs to do on it before I can make it sellable, I think trade in is better idea to save myself from the hassle of dealing with people nagging me for tiny things about the car.

I have about ~104k on the car and thed reason I want to get a new car is that I want to get something nicer for my wife who's about to join me here very soon.
Last edited by binarynumber on Jun 23rd, 2019 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
23 replies
Member
Jan 21, 2011
264 posts
104 upvotes
Just make sure you put “as is” in your add, but you can a do a rough estimate online to see what the dealer might give. I know how you feel but I would always try to sell first.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
lamin wrote: Just make sure you put “as is” in your add, but you can a do a rough estimate online to see what the dealer might give. I know how you feel but I would always try to sell first.
One of the Mazda dealers I talked to gave an estimate of ~4500 on the car & told me straight up that it would need some repairs that would probably cost around ~1500.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
13007 posts
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Oakville
binarynumber wrote: One of the Mazda dealers I talked to gave an estimate of ~4500 on the car & told me straight up that it would need some repairs that would probably cost around ~1500.
lol, common tactic to lowball you is to say it needs work. Also remember that the dealer doesn't charge themselves what they charge you.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
engineered wrote: lol, common tactic to lowball you is to say it needs work. Also remember that the dealer doesn't charge themselves what they charge you.
Let's just say I decide to go ahead with trading in my car with dealer, what can I do to navigate that tactic? Though in reality I would try to sell my car privately I guess.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
13007 posts
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Oakville
binarynumber wrote: Let's just say I decide to go ahead with trading in my car with dealer, what can I do to navigate that tactic? Though in reality I would try to sell my car privately I guess.
Make a counter offer.
The good thing about selling to a dealer you're buying from, is that it can reduce your purchase price, so you pay less tax on the new car, so be sure to take that into account in the difference you can get privately vs dealer.

Check the wholesale prices on VMR and BlackBook to see what you could expect from a dealer. Check the retail value for private sale (or auto trader).
http://www.vmrcanada.com/
https://www.canadianblackbook.com/
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
engineered wrote: Make a counter offer.
The good thing about selling to a dealer you're buying from, is that it can reduce your purchase price, so you pay less tax on the new car, so be sure to take that into account in the difference you can get privately vs dealer.

Check the wholesale prices on VMR and BlackBook to see what you could expect from a dealer. Check the retail value for private sale (or auto trader).
http://www.vmrcanada.com/
https://www.canadianblackbook.com/
That's a good idea. Though I have decided I am probably going to wait till next end of this year because of discounts on previous year's models, I will keep researching to make sure I have my numbers ready when I go in.
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2187 posts
1425 upvotes
Markham
binarynumber wrote: That's a good idea. Though I have decided I am probably going to wait till next end of this year because of discounts on previous year's models, I will keep researching to make sure I have my numbers ready when I go in.
You can also get the dealers to evaluate your old car. Pit them against each other there especially if they're not that far from one another.

When it came to my sister's negotiation for her then 2017 Impreza, went to 3 Subaru dealers all within the GTA. Went to negotiate a discount on the new car first. Got 3 offers, first dealer was low balling the old car and refused discount...but had the right car for test driving. 2nd dealer didn't want to discount the new car but offered a high trade-in value. 3rd dealer which was where she got the new car from, offered discount on the new car and a mid-pack valuation, we mentioned the high trade-in offer of the 2nd dealer as it seem this deal was falling through...to secure the deal it was a case of directly match Dealer#2 while keeping new car discount intact. She shook hands when it was agreed.
Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2004
962 posts
270 upvotes
Vancouver
For a lower value vehicle I would try to sell it privately, tax savings will probably be less than the amount you can get by selling it privately.

Are the repairs mechanical or cosmetic? If cosmetic don't even bother as people looking at cars in that price range don't really care.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
JeganV wrote: You can also get the dealers to evaluate your old car. Pit them against each other there especially if they're not that far from one another.

When it came to my sister's negotiation for her then 2017 Impreza, went to 3 Subaru dealers all within the GTA. Went to negotiate a discount on the new car first. Got 3 offers, first dealer was low balling the old car and refused discount...but had the right car for test driving. 2nd dealer didn't want to discount the new car but offered a high trade-in value. 3rd dealer which was where she got the new car from, offered discount on the new car and a mid-pack valuation, we mentioned the high trade-in offer of the 2nd dealer as it seem this deal was falling through...to secure the deal it was a case of directly match Dealer#2 while keeping new car discount intact. She shook hands when it was agreed.
I am probably going to do this. Gotta decide which car I want first :D
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
someone16 wrote: For a lower value vehicle I would try to sell it privately, tax savings will probably be less than the amount you can get by selling it privately.

Are the repairs mechanical or cosmetic? If cosmetic don't even bother as people looking at cars in that price range don't really care.
someone16 wrote: For a lower value vehicle I would try to sell it privately, tax savings will probably be less than the amount you can get by selling it privately.

Are the repairs mechanical or cosmetic? If cosmetic don't even bother as people looking at cars in that price range don't really care.
Umm, it's 70 percent cosmetic I would say.

- The passenger side inner fender liner needs replacement.
- There are few chips & signs of rust in some places

The other repair coming is replacement of rear brake callipers.

Also, there's a history of collision on passenger side of car which was mostly cosmetic again but it was not my fault :(
Deal Addict
Sep 1, 2004
4470 posts
2989 upvotes
A friend got a 100k km A4 with intermittent turbo issue. A VW pay him good money to trade in, so he rather do that than selling private for a couple grand more.

Fast forward 3 months, VW sold that A4 to someone and sure enough turbo blown and has a huge repair bill that VW dealership actually fixed it pro-bono for the new owner.

90% of the time, selling private will net you more money but in the above case (semi lemon), trade-in would have been a LOT less hassle if dealer inspection doesn't find it.

Also, while chances are low, their is inherit risk in selling privately as well to random internet strangers:
https://calgarysun.com/news/local-news/ ... est-drives
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
Xtrema wrote: A friend got a 100k km A4 with intermittent turbo issue. A VW pay him good money to trade in, so he rather do that than selling private for a couple grand more.

Fast forward 3 months, VW sold that A4 to someone and sure enough turbo blown and has a huge repair bill that VW dealership actually fixed it pro-bono for the new owner.

90% of the time, selling private will net you more money but in the above case (semi lemon), trade-in would have been a LOT less hassle if dealer inspection doesn't find it.

Also, while chances are low, their is inherit risk in selling privately as well to random internet strangers:
https://calgarysun.com/news/local-news/ ... est-drives
That's one of my fears too. Also, can the buyer come back & demand money back if he / she is not satisfied? It's probably possible I guess.
Deal Addict
Aug 17, 2008
1005 posts
411 upvotes
www.vmrcanada.com which engineered also suggested will give you both "Wholesale" value and typical "Retail" value.

A new car dealer is generally going to offer 'wholesale" value for trade-in, as if they are reselling the car, they need to make a profit, and if they are not reselling the car themselves, it will go to auction where they would expect to get the wholesale value. If they offer more than wholesale on trade-in, that really means they are giving you a bigger discount for the new car purchase (a discount you could have gotten by negotiating aggressively on the new car price itself).

Look at the difference between wholesale and retail, and factor in the tax savings from trade-in and then assess whether it's worth the hassle to sell privately. It can be quite a hassle: set-up ad, clean car to make it look nice, repairs (unless selling "as-is"), taking calls, setting up meetings to show car, etc...
If your car is in good condition, you might consider whether anyone in your circle of contacts would want the car. This could include internal buy-sell ads for employees of the company you work for -- at least you won't have to deal with a back of tire kickers.

For me personally, it is not worth the hassle to sell privately on Kijiji for a low value vehicle. For a higher value vehicle the gap between wholesale and retail may make it worthwhile

This blog post gives you the range of options, with particular options for Toronto.
e.g. there are a couple of on-line service that will give you a quote for buying your car directly (will probably offer wholesale only, but doesn't hurt to check), and there are some consignment sellers,
https://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2012 ... n_toronto/
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2018
164 posts
22 upvotes
multimut wrote: www.vmrcanada.com which engineered also suggested will give you both "Wholesale" value and typical "Retail" value.

A new car dealer is generally going to offer 'wholesale" value for trade-in, as if they are reselling the car, they need to make a profit, and if they are not reselling the car themselves, it will go to auction where they would expect to get the wholesale value. If they offer more than wholesale on trade-in, that really means they are giving you a bigger discount for the new car purchase (a discount you could have gotten by negotiating aggressively on the new car price itself).

Look at the difference between wholesale and retail, and factor in the tax savings from trade-in and then assess whether it's worth the hassle to sell privately. It can be quite a hassle: set-up ad, clean car to make it look nice, repairs (unless selling "as-is"), taking calls, setting up meetings to show car, etc...
If your car is in good condition, you might consider whether anyone in your circle of contacts would want the car. This could include internal buy-sell ads for employees of the company you work for -- at least you won't have to deal with a back of tire kickers.

For me personally, it is not worth the hassle to sell privately on Kijiji for a low value vehicle. For a higher value vehicle the gap between wholesale and retail may make it worthwhile

This blog post gives you the range of options, with particular options for Toronto.
e.g. there are a couple of on-line service that will give you a quote for buying your car directly (will probably offer wholesale only, but doesn't hurt to check), and there are some consignment sellers,
https://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2012 ... n_toronto/
I didn't know about the other options to sell, thank you!

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