• Direct2Wheels

Pros and Cons of Selling Privately vs Trading in

It is time to sell your current vehicle and get something new, or newer, to better serve your needs. But the question remains: sell privately or go to your local dealership and trade in for something new?

There are reasons to choose either option. As with everything in life, how you choose to sell your vehicle has pros and cons you must consider.

Private Sale

A private sale means you are selling your vehicle yourself. With this option you are in control and don’t take it in to a dealership for a trade in or sale.

Private Sale Pros:

- Depending on the vehicle (demand from shoppers, condition, etc.) you may be able to sell for more money.

- Control over the process. From bill of sale to arranging a viewing or test drive, you decide everything surrounding the sale.

Private Sale Cons:

- Taking time to clean, take pictures and advertise your vehicle

- Making appointments with people that don’t show up

- Having strangers to your home and test driving

- Negotiating and haggling on price

- Inability to provide financing to people / waiting for their financing to come through

- Paying out liens before the vehicle is sold

- Limited ways to protect yourself against fraud (trust between seller and buyer)

- Making payments on loans and insurance while you are trying to sell


Trade-in or Dealership Sale

With this option, you take your vehicle in to a dealership and they buy your vehicle from you. Here you have the option of trading in your vehicle for a new one or selling it right to the dealership. Right now especially, many dealerships are eager for trade-ins or to buy your pre-owned vehicle.

Trade In Pros:

- Dealership takes care of cleaning and advertising and the resale process

- Liens are taken care of by the dealership

- Quick and easy

Trade In Cons:

- Dealerships have to factor in reconditioning costs before they can sell the vehicle. These costs include an inspection and possibly repairs as well as detailing. Inspecting the vehicle and some repairs are a requirement by law and AMVIC regulation. These costs factor in to how much they can pay you for the vehicle.


What it comes down to is how much your time is worth to you. Sometimes a sale can be quick and easy if your vehicle is free of all liens, sometimes it can be time consuming and frustrating dealing with people that don’t show for appointments and haggling with strangers. You also have to consider where your comfort level is. Many feel uncomfortable having a stranger come to their house to buy their vehicle, in this instance going to the dealership may be a better option.

We suggest, if you are up to it, to try selling privately first. Get a feel for the market and specifically the interest in your specific vehicle. If it sells, great! If not, stop in and we’ll help get you the best value for your vehicle. Full transparency and no hassles. Talk to our team today.