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Ask Bark: How Can I Get The Most For My Trade?

2015 Kia Sedona SXL front

Jonathan writes:

Hi Bark,
In the past, I’ve always bought used in the “golden zone”, i.e. two to three years old with under 45k on the clock. This has always served me personally well. I’m very good at getting a great deal on this end from the process.

What’s completely new for me is dealing with an existing vehicle We still owe on. Due to a family addition coming along, we’lso are moving up from this late-model SUV (I don’t would like to get too specific, however it’s a Game master product) that has regarding 55k racked up, but is in good shape overall. Tires have tons of take life, it’s mechanically sound, that sort of factor. We’re moving on to a Kia Sedona; my wife really dug one we kicked tires upon.?The minivan would be a late-model, purchased used – likely a 2015.?Where my personal kung fu is not strong is in dealing with trading in or even selling the existing vehicle.

There’s a lot of shifting parts here. First, even going with cynical value estimates I’d say we’re going to be $2,500 richer offloading this particular car, even trading in at the dealer. 2nd, the vehicle is not passed, but does have typical wear and tear and a few non-dramatic blemishes typical of a city hauler. 3rd, it’s a popular automobile that tends to sell well. Although our credit union has a car buyer service, as well as takes trade-ins, I’m not convinced they’d necessarily give us the best deal around the vehicle. I know any dealer can’t offer what a private celebration does, but I don’capital t want to give the vehicle away, either.

Given all that’s going on, how would you ensure the best boom for buck in my trade-in, and is the adage that a same-make dealer might offer more cash usually the case?

Also (and optionally available, of course, if you have time) I’d be interested in seeing exactly what you’d view as the target cost I could realistically wish arriving at for a used Kia minivan. Say the published asking price is 21k…what should I actually pay?

Great questions! Thanks for delivering them in. I’ll try to tackle them one at a time.

Based on your #vaguebook explanation of your existing vehicle, I’m guessing you possess an Equinox or Terrain. In the event that my guess is correct, you’re right?- they do sell well. Nevertheless, their scarcity is actually low – and therefore there are typically more of them in the markets than there are people looking for them. Despite what KBB might be telling you your car is worth, you’re probably not going to get that for it.

Will you get some more money at a General Motors dealer? Eh. Which tends to be more accurate at Hyundai and Kia stores compared to at GM shops. An Equinox has real value at most stores because people know what it is. A Sedona doesn’t have?the same value in a GM store it does at a Honda store, because a Game master customer isn’t necessarily convinced of the worth of a Kia.

However, there might be some serious tax benefits to trading in versus a private sale, depending on how sales tax is calculated in your state. This can be really worth real money to you. In addition, as our buddy Steve Lynch recently found, selling a car via Autotrader or Craigslist can be a genuine hassle.

So how will you get an accurate concept of what your car is actually?really?worth? There are a couple of ways:

  • You can take your car to your local CarMax and get an offer for it within thirty minutes. They’re surprisingly accurate, and it gives you a good baseline for where you can start negotiations on a trade-in.
  • There are some third party websites that will give you a “money offer” for your car.??The number they give you is somewhat artificially low -?consider it the wholesale value of your car, or exactly what the dealer would get for it at an auction. However, it is a real offer that you can decide to try a dealer and get a real check for, so long as your car matches the outline you entered on the website. This is somewhat of the “worst case” number, however occasionally?it turns out pretty well for the customer?– it’s actually the way i ended up selling my Boss 302 last year.

Now, that assumes that you’lso are selling your car with out considering the vehicle you’re purchasing. In your case, you’re looking at a Honda Sedona, which is also a low shortage car. Sedonas sit on lots for a long time. Like, a loooooooooooong time. So the real trade in number almost becomes irrelevant. They might be able to offer you a higher number than the CarMax quantity because they have more room to move on their vehicle.

My guess would be that you’lso are going to be offered the?very?competitive number on your vehicle if you’re taking a look at a Sedona you tell them which you’re focused on your trade number. For this reason dealers have used the actual “foursquare” method for so long?- it allows them to figure out what matters to you. In the event that you’re focused on the trade value, they’lmost all go high on that number, and then turn around as well as deeply screw yourself on either the price of your vehicle or the financing.

My advice is this – don’capital t focus on the trade worth specifically. Focus on the overall deal. Dealers rarely operate as a solitary business unit – the used car manager and new car manager are often each and every other’s throats. Sometimes vehicle dealers need to hide the money on the trade, and sometimes they’re willing to go light on the trade but deeply discount their car – it just depends upon what the budgets have the various departments.

As much as what you should purchase a lightly used Sedona that lists from $21K? I don’t understand what the trim level or the mileage is, so it’s difficult to say. However, nobody?should be paying that much money for a Kia Sedona LX, which is mostly what’s on the market. Based on the tools I have open to me, I’d say $19k is a good starting point.

So, in conclusion?- go to CarMax, get a price for your vehicle, negotiate a fair cost for their car, and enjoy your new van.

Got an issue for the Barkster? You know what to complete. Email him from [email protected] or find him or her on Twitter from @barkm302.

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