If you’re ready for some new wheels, you may be thinking, “Should I sell my car?” The other option is to trade in it, but the best choice is not always clear. 

This decision is not just a question of money, but of convenience. Although you may net more money selling your car yourself, it can take a lot of time and effort. If time is money, that could bring down the value of the cash you earn.

There are a lot more pros and cons behind selling a car and trading it in. To figure out which one is right for you, check out the guide below.

Trading in a Car

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Trading in a car has a couple of important pros, but it also has a con. The information below details what you should expect.

The Offer Amount

The biggest downside to trading in a car is the offer. Typically, trading in a car will net less money than selling it yourself. This is because the company needs to turn around and sell your car again. For them to turn a profit, they can’t offer you as much as someone who will purchase the car for their own needs.

The Convenience

One of the best pros of trading in your car is how easy it is. You don’t have to waste time meeting with countless potential buyers to get it off your hands. 

Of course, it does take time to visit a few companies to gather quotes. If you skip this step, it could mean losing money.

The Tax Difference

Car Ownership

There are some legal liability differences between selling a car yourself and trading it in. One of these is sales tax. For example, selling a car in Illinois requires the seller to fill out a report of sale form with the buyer. 

When trading in a car, however, this responsibility is lifted. Many states only require you to pay tax on the difference between your car’s value at trade-in and the new car you will buy.

Selling a Car

Seeling a car is hard work, but it might be worth it. Does it depend on what is most important to you — time or money?

The Offer Amount

Selling a car yourself may take more work, but that extra effort can earn you more cash. Usually, much, much more cash. You can potentially get thousands of dollars more. The trade-in value is often quite a bit lower than the Kelley Blue Book value. 

The Convenience 

The worst part of selling a car is the time and effort it takes. Not only do you have to meet with total strangers, but you have to collect and prepare are your own documents. A mistake in the documents could end up costing you a lot. 

Should I Sell My Car?

Renting a Car

If you’re wondering, “Should I sell my car?” making a pro and con list can help you decide. Figure out which pros and cons mean the most to you and use that to make your decision.

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