Trade-in Versus Private Sale 

Get The Most From Your Used Vehicle

September 7, 2021

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When it comes time to retire your vehicle, you may find yourself deciding between whether to trade your vehicle into the dealership, or to sell it yourself. While there are pros and cons to both options, when deciding whether to trade in or sell privately, consideration of these pros and cons is key in making the right decision for you.


There are two huge benefits to trading in your vehicle at the dealership; saving on taxes and on time. In Ontario,  shoppers who trade in a used vehicle for a new one only pay the tax on the difference in price between the two. So, if your trade-in value is $10,000, and your new vehicle costs $30,000, you’d only pay sales tax on the difference – or $20,000 in this case.


Trading in at a dealership makes it the dealership’s responsibility to have the car certified, re-licensed, reconditioned, inspected, and sold. This reduces your workload. With this option, you wont need to advertise the vehicle, answer questions or spend time arranging test drives and viewings with potential buyers. You save tons of time and headaches by only having to deal with one person, at one business.


On the downside, dealers generally offer the wholesale value of a trade-in, which could be less than what a consumer might get selling privately. If you’re on the fence between trading in and selling privately, consider determining the approximate value of your used vehicle as a trade-in, by speaking to a sales representative or using, versus its value if sold privately, by searching used car listings of similar models in similar condition in your area. Perhaps you discover that your local dealer will offer you $14,000 for your used Civic, and that you can sell the same vehicle privately for $15,500. In this example, the difference of $1,500 represents the cost of trading the vehicle in, versus selling it privately. This would be the cost for your time of selling the car, including advertising it, showing it to potential buyers, and handling all legal and transfer of ownership responsibilities.


When trying to determine the value of a trade-in, consumers should understand it can be affected by numerous factors including the vehicle’s popularity, its condition, mileage, colour, even the time of year or locale. There are a few ways that owners can assist in the evaluation process, such as;

  • Make the dealer aware of recent repairs/improvements made to the vehicle (e.g. new tires or new brakes), this could increase the value of the vehicle because it will decrease the dealer’s re-conditioning costs.

  • Know the current condition of your vehicle. Much needed repairs could bring down the value of the vehicle, whereas low kilometers will normally increase its worth.

  • Understand a trade-in’s value can be negotiated and may vary between dealers


At Queensway Honda, we will buy your used vehicle even if you do not purchase a new one with us! Fill out our online forum to get a trade-in valuation from one of our professional sales representatives today!