Should you trade in your car? Go with your gut!

Do you keep telling yourself to trade in your car when it's time for an upgrade? Be done...

Do you keep telling yourself to trade in your car when it's time for an upgrade? Be done with it! Then the little devil voice pops up and says, "Don't do it! Sell it on your own! You'll get more money!" You're not alone. Many car owners struggle with this option when heading to the car lot for a new vehicle. Well, here's a look at the pros and cons of this important decision.


  1. Trade in your car if you love convenience. Sign over your car title, agree on a value for the car and you're done. This is the best option for a hassle-free transition into your next vehicle. You drive onto the lot with an old car and drive away with your new ride. Simple.
  2. With the added value of selling on your own comes paperwork. This can be a little scary for folks who hate legal documents and feel uncomfortable filing paperwork with the local registrar. If you want to avoid this extra step in the sales process, trade in your car at the dealership.
  3. If money is a concern, ask the dealership if they offer a brand loyalty program. This popular option rewards customers who purchase the same brand of vehicle as the one they are trading in. For example, if you want to upgrade your old Ford compact car for a new SUV, the dealer may give you a bonus incentive to stick with the Ford brand.


  1. But, convenience comes with a cost. Most of the time you can get more money from your old car by selling it privately through a classified ad or by putting a sign in the window and parking it in a highly visible location. A dealership will only give you up to the Kelley Blue Book value of the car.
  2. If you really don't care about the amount of money you'll get for your older vehicle, consider donating it to a charity in Georgia. You'll feel rich inside by doing a good deed and know your old car will go to good use. As a bonus, you get to claim a tax deduction on the charitable donation.
  3. Why get rid of the old car? It might just be what your family needs in a pinch, especially if you have several drivers in the household. Or, if you have a child learning to drive, your old ride might be a good starter car to use during driving lessons.

Now it's time to make a decision. If you're going to keep your old car and sell it outright, swing by an auto repair shop in Atlanta to get a tune up. A current report card of your car's health is a bonus selling point for private buyers.

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