Driveo | A Better Way to Sell Your Car in San Diego
Driveo is a cool way to instantly sell or trade in your car for more money. Our online based process is very simple. It only takes a few minutes to tell us about your car with our easy online form and receive a quote from us. Everything you need to know about how to sell your car for more money or trade it in to a dealer and avoid common mistakes and risks along the way!
When you realize it’s time to sell your car, what’s the best way to get the job done? In part, it depends on your ultimate goal. Some people want to get the most money possible for their ride and don’t mind putting in the extra time and effort it takes. Others need to get rid of their car as quickly as possible and are less concerned about getting top dollar for it. Many people fall somewhere in-between, wanting to get the best mix possible of both speed and price. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, we’ve watched far too many people fail to reach their goal because they made the wrong choices. Based on what we’ve seen people go through, here are the 4 worst ways to sell your car.
1. Trying to Sell Your Car Without Knowing It’s True Condition
When a person requests a quote from Driveo for their car, they have to tell us enough about the car and its condition for us to come up with a quote. The condition of a used car is the single most important piece of pricing puzzle. This is why we also have to see the car in-person at Driveo to give it a thorough inspection before we finalize the deal. It’s pretty common for people to think their car is in better shape than it really is. When that happens, the quote needs to be adjusted to reflect the car’s true condition. And yes, in some cases, it feels like people intentionally try to hide or ignore some of the things that are wrong with the vehicle. This is why one of the worst ways to sell your car is without knowing its accurate condition. It can set you up for disappointment on the price you hoped to get, and could land you in other kinds of trouble.
Our advice to you when you sell your car is to be very thorough in describing your vehicle’s condition, and completely honest about any issues it may have. At Driveo, we have qualified mechanics on hand to quickly inspect your car and let you know if there are things you missed in describing its condition. But if you’re trying to sell your car privately on your own, a prospective buyer may or may not have the knowledge to identify any issues of concern. You might think to yourself that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. But it could end up hurting you. How are you going to handle an unhappy buyer because the car has problems they and maybe even you didn’t know about? You could find yourself in court if the buyer decides to sue you, and no one wants to go through all that hassle.
2. Failing to Accurately Determine What Your Car is Worth
This is related to the previous one in an obvious way. If you haven’t taken the time to fairly and thoroughly assess your car’s true condition, then there’s no way to accurately determine what your car is worth. And if you don’t know what your car is worth, then you can’t set the right price! At Driveo, we’ve got all this down to a science because it’s what we do day in and day out, each and every day. We know how to quickly determine a vehicle’s trade-in value based on both wholesale auction prices and local market research to see what people have been paying for similar cars. We do similar research to figure out what the car might fetch in a private sale. A Driveo quote is typically more than what you’d get on a trade-in deal, but usually less than you might get when selling privately.
3. Skipping Essential Steps When You Sell Your Car
Lots of people decide it’s time to sell their car and think it’s going to be easy because all they have to do is do a quick listing online and wait for great offers to come rolling in. Then they wonder why it doesn’t work. Doing a private sale on your own, if you want to have any chance at success, involves a lot more time and effort than most people realize. And there can be some serious headaches and hassles along the way as well. Doing it right involves the following:
Cleaning/Repairing: Your car has to look its best, which means a deep cleaning or professional detailing job. You should also take care of any regular service that’s due (or overdue), and make any key repairs that might make people not want to buy your car.
Documentation and More: There are things buyers want to see, including the title, service records, repair records, a vehicle history report, all keys, remotes, and so on. Find
Advertising: The best description of a car is one that gives as many details as possible about features and condition, as well as why you want to sell it. Check out our article, How to Advertise Your Car for Sale. Not every site offers free listings, so you may have to pay a fee.
Photos: If you’re only going to post one or two photos of your car, don’t even bother. People expect to see anywhere from 12-24 high-quality photos of all angles, inside and out.
Meeting Buyers: Making appointments for people to look at your car and take it for test drive can be a hassle, and even put your safety at risk. Do it right by learning about The Failsafe Test Drive Appointment.
Paperwork: Getting all the final paperwork right is essential. If you don’t do this right, all kinds of bad things can happen. Learn more in our article, All the Paperwork You Will Need. You will also need to plan on at least one trip to the DMV to do everything right.
You can see why many people decide a private sale is way too much work to go through, not to mention risky. And even if you do all that work, there’s still no guarantee you’ll be successful. This is when Driveo starts to look like a very appealing option when it’s time to sell your car.
4. Settling for a Bad Trade-In Deal
Why are trade-in offers always so low? In part it has to do with how car dealerships work. They make surprisingly little profit on selling new cars. This is because everyone these days knows the “invoice” price – what the dealership paid for the new car. So everyone wants to get a price as close to that as possible. But if you’re looking at used cars on a dealer lot, you have no idea what they paid for the car, do you? You can bet that it’s marked up significantly so they’ll make a good profit on the sale. In other words, a dealership is always looking to pay as little as possible to acquire a use car so they have plenty of room to mark it up. This is the quick answer to why trade-in offers are always so frustratingly low.
Why do so many people settle for so little money on a trade-in offer at a dealership? It’s mostly because of the speed and convenience factor. You just read a summary of everything you should do if you want to sell your car privately on your own. It’s a lot to deal with. All of that goes away if you trade your car in at a dealership. And many people are also loyal to a particular make and/or model, so they’re going to buy their next car there as well. It’s super-fast and incredibly convenient. It can all happen in a matter of hours as opposed to weeks when selling privately.
But this is where Driveo really shines! As an experienced, professional car-buying service, we offer you all the speed and convenience of a dealership, but will put more money in your pocket than you’d get on a trade-in offer at a dealership. Learn more about our process on the How it Works page, contact us if you still have questions, or jump right in and get your fast online quote that will be good for a full 30 days!
In the brave new digital world of the 21st century with more of life happening online than ever before, the old ways of selling your car seem woefully outdated. You can still put a “for sale” sign in your car window, and you can still place ads in the classified section of your local print newspaper. These traditional ways of selling your car still work for many people, but you’re definitely missing out on much larger audience if you’re not exploring your many options to get the word out to all the people and places looking for used cars online. But we have one important piece of advice for you to keep in mind: Avoid automatic quotes when selling your car!
What are Automatic Quotes?
We draw a very important distinction between FAST online quotes and AUTOMATIC quotes. And yes, this can get a little tricky when you’re looking online at various places that want to buy your car. Here are a few selections of what you’re likely to see:
Competitor 1 says you can “Receive and instant offer in seconds.”
Competitor 2 promise a quote in 20 seconds.
Competitor 3 promises you can “Get a real offer in 2 minutes.”
These quotes are generated so quickly it’s reasonable to assume their entire quote process must fully automated. We think this is not the way to go. You want a real human doing real market research about your vehicle and what it’s worth. Why? Because no matter how good a machine is, human beings well-versed in the local used car market are going to have a better sense of local values and local demand trends around particular vehicles. Coming up with a fair and competitive quote is more than just the science, there’s an art to it as well, and that takes a human touch.
Developing a top-notch computer model that includes multiple machine learning algorithms is not a small challenge, nor is it inexpensive. Developing even one good machine learning algorithm is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Companies who offer automatic quotes for your car don’t tend to talk about how the quote is actually created. In other words, you really have no idea if an automatic quote is any good or not.
Here’s another way to think of it: A car is often the second-biggest investment a person makes in their life, outranked only by purchasing a home. So think about selling a house. When you want to determine what your home is worth, would you let a machine learning algorithm automatically determine the value of your home? Of course not! There’s a reason the home appraisal industry is worth $9 billion – because when it comes to selling your home, you want a trained, licensed professional helping determine your home’s value. Is the traditional home appraisal industry threatened by automation? Yes, but it’s not a serious threat yet because the computer models have to get data about the house from someplace. If the only data available is through public information that hasn’t been verified, an automatic process for home valuation will only ever be considered a very rough estimate.
Now, let’s bring this back to cars. The same general ideas apply. An automatic quote is only as good as the data entered into the computer model, namely by you. Car owners tend to view their vehicles through rose-colored glasses, meaning they tend to think their car is in better condition than it really is. And this greatly affects any quote because the computer model has no way to learn about your car’s true condition. Combine that with the unknown quality of the computer model to begin with and automatic quotes start to look less and less like a good way to sell your car. We suggest avoiding them.
Fast Online Quotes are Better than Automatic Quotes
At Driveo we provide you with a fast online quote for your vehicle, but our process is not instantaneous and it’s not automated. Using our simple online form, you give us the basics about your car (year, make, model, middles, condition). Then a real person at Driveo is going to first look at recent auction transactions to get a basic sense of what most dealerships would offer you if you were going to do a trade-in deal with them. Then we do some local market research to find out what people have been paying for cars like yours in private sales. This tells us how competitive the local market is for your particular kind of car. Of these two numbers, the trade-in value is going to be the low number and the private sale value is going to be the higher number. A Driveo quote is going to fall somewhere in-between those two numbers. You’ll get more than a dealership would pay, but less than you might be able to get selling privately on your own.
Like most places, a fast online Driveo quote is still just an initial quote. We still need to take a look at your car in person to make sure its condition is accurate, which could result in an adjustment to the quote, either up or down depending on what we find. You may or may not agree that our quote meets your expectations, and that’s fine. Some people think any offer that doesn’t match or exceed their car’s “book value” must not be a good quote. Keep in mind that book values are just guidelines. They are not set in stone and can’t reflect local market fluctuations. Others are disappointed when an offer doesn’t meet or exceed what they still owe on their car. That’s a frustrating situation to be in, but your car’s actual value has nothing to do with what the outstanding balance on your car loan.
But there’s another even more important advantage of the Driveo quote over the competition. Quotes from most car buyers are only good for 7 days. A Driveo quote is good for 30 days! This gives you plenty of time to shop around and see if you can get a better offer from someplace else. If you do find a better offer, we ask that you give us a chance to beat that offer. In fact, we love doing that! Learn more about how this works on our We Beat Offers page, then send in the offer on our Upload an Offer page.
We also recommend that you take some time to read customer reviews of the some of the other places mentioned throughout this article. You’ll be surprised by some of the terrible experiences people have had trying to sell their car through those sites. At Driveo we believe no one should go through that kind of hassle when selling their car.
If you’re ready to sell your car in the greater San Diego area and want to avoid places offering automatic quotes, we invite you to visit the Driveo website to learn more about how easy it is to cruise in and cash out with a smile on your face!
Selling your car privately takes a lot of work to do it right. In a previous article we revealed tips to write up Car Listings that Sell Your Car Faster, so we won’t cover that ground again here. Instead, this how to advertise your car for sale article focuses on what you’re going to do with that awesome listing you’ve already written, along with the many fantastic photos you’ve taken of the car you’re selling. There are lots of choices and decisions to make here, but after reading this article, you’ll know exactly what you should do.
Multiple Options are Better to Advertise Your Car for Sale
A lot of people won’t even take the time to think this part of the private sale process through. After all, it’s so easy to just go online and create a free listing to advertise your car for sale on Craigslist, right? Yes, that’s true, but selling your car on Craigslist brings up a whole other set of issues and concerns. We’re not saying you shouldn’t list your on craigslist – lots of people do and find success – but we are saying you should go into it with your eyes wide open so you’re not surprised by things that happen. Find out more from our What to Expect When You Sell Your Car on Craigslist article.
What we do recommend is that you avoid putting all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes. If you want to have the highest chance of selling your car for a good price and fairly quickly, you’ll want to use multiple advertising options to get your listing in front of as many people as possible.
Old School Ways to Advertise Your Car for Sale
While it’s true that more and more of life seems to be online these days, there are still millions of people who can be reached through the old-fashioned ways of advertising your car for sale. And you might just be pleasantly surprised at how effective these old-school methods can be.
Word-of-Mouth. People used to say word-of-mouth is always the best advertising. Believe it or not, it’s still true. When it’s time to sell your car, get the word out to family, friends, colleagues at work and your social media network. It won’t cost you a dime and you might be pleasantly surprised at how many people in your various social circles will be interested.
Window Sign: If you need to keep driving your car while it’s for sale, you can always add a “for sale” sign to the window that also lists your phone number. Just drive around like you normally do and you’ll be advertising your car for sale everywhere you go. And it’s free!
Put Your Car on Display. If you don’t need to drive the car, put it on display. If live someplace where a lot of people drive by, or have access to a place like that through a friend or relative, you can write pertinent information prominently on the windshield, such as year, price, mileage, and your phone number. Stores like Walmart and Walgreens both carry “window markers” in various colors so you can make an attractive window message advertising the car for sale. Once again, this is also free.
Local Print Publications. You can put classified ads in your local daily newspaper or other print publications – many places have at least one free weekly community-based publication that serves this purpose well. You will have to pay for your listing, but they’re often not very expensive. And you’ll be reaching a lot of people right there in your local community.
Online Advertising Options
If you want to use the power of the Internet in our increasingly digital world, there are all kinds of options to advertise your car for sale ranging from free to surprisingly expensive. One advantage of online listings is that you typically have the option of uploading a series of photos to really show off both the outside and inside of your vehicle. Here are some of the most common options for online advertising.
Craigslist: When you list your car for sale on Craigslist, you get to write up your best description of your vehicle and also add in as many photos as you’re allowed. Right now, Craigslist allows up to 24 photos of your car, and since it’s free there’s no reason not to include all 24. Visit any car dealership website and you’ll see the series of photos for each car people are used to browsing through, so just mimic those with your own car. And your listing is completely free.
Facebook Marketplace: One advantage of using Facebook for a free listing is that when a person expresses interest, you’ll be able to visit their Facebook profile, giving you a way to vet a potential buyer more than you can in the very anonymous world of Craigslist. The same is true from the buyer’s perspective – they’ll be able to see if you’ve sold other things on the FB Marketplace and what kinds of reviews you’ve received.
eBay Motors: When eBay offered a marketplace for selling cars back in 2000, it quickly became the biggest online car seller because it was basically the first one to do it. With all the other online options available today, it is no longer popular. But it’s still a good place for selling collectible cars as well as auto parts. For a one-off listing for your vehicle, you don’t pay anything to create the listing. You can go for an auction-style listing or a fixed-price listing. If your car sells for $2,000 or less, you’ll pay eBay $60 and if it sells for more than $2k you’ll pay $125.
CarGurus: Of all the different online car marketplaces, CarGurus supposedly gets more web traffic than any of them. One big advantage of listing with this site is that they will assist with the paperwork, which is one of the biggest hassles of all when selling your car. Your listing is free and allows for six photos. If your car sells through their site, then you’ll pay them $99. Keep in mind that shoppers will automatically see how your car’s price compares to other similar listings on the site.
Cars.com: When you advertise your car for sale on this site, it might be picked up by related syndicated sites and affiliate sites (such as AutoTempest), putting your ad in front of more eyes. But it’s also a hugely popular platform, so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. The site’s Basic Package is a free listing good for 30 days (with free renewals) but only allows five photos. The Plus Package doubles the photos and timeframe for $20 and the Premium Package allows 15 photos and 150 days of run time.
We aren’t going to try to present some kind of comprehensive listing of your online options because there are just too many of them. But some others that people seem to be talking about a lot these days include Autotrader, Driveo, Carvana, Vroom, and CarMax.
Sell Your Car Quickly and Easily for a Great Price at Driveo – No Advertising Needed!
Here at Driveo our goal is to help you sell your car in whatever way is best for you. On our Driveo Blog pages you’ll find articles full of all kinds of great tips for selling your car. We provide guidance on all the different ways you can sell your car, including trading it in at a dealership, selling it outright to a dealership, selling privately on your own, or selling it to a car-buying service like Driveo. Why do we do this? Because we want you to know what’s involved in each option so you can make an informed decision. We’re also confident that once you’ve taken the time to explore all your options, you’ll see what it makes so much sense to cruise in and cash out at Driveo. You can get a fast online quote that’s good for a full 30 days, which gives you time to get other offers – and we love to beat other offers!
Visit our How it Works page to learn more about our process, and our Why Driveo page for the many benefits you’ll reap when you choose us. You can also see how we stack up against other options on our Compare Driveo page. We even answer the biggest question most people want to know about: How Does Driveo Come up with its Offer? We think when you know everything about the how and why of what we do at Driveo, you’ll see why it’s such a great option for people in the greater San Diego area who want to sell their car quickly and easily for a price that’s hard to beat – and all without the hassles and headaches of trying to sell your car privately on your own!
Owning a car can be an expensive proposition. In addition to the overall purchase price and the cost of financing with a car loan, there’s insurance, maintenance, repairs, and fuel. Add all of that up and the average total cost of owning a car is $700+ a month. Granted, this figure is an average, which means plenty of people are paying a lot more for their ride and others are paying a lot less. Either way, the rise of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft have a growing number of people wondering if they should just ditch their cars altogether and rely on ride sharing services to get around. It’s a tempting idea, but before you go for it, you should step back and take some time to consider your options and how your choice will impact your daily life and routines. This article will give you advice on how to go about making this decision.
Car Ownership versus Ride Sharing Services: Think it Through
The thing you don’t want to do here is make a snap decision that you regret later. This is easy to do when you see all the articles online claiming ride sharing is cheaper than owning a car. You have to keep in mind that these vague, broad claims should never be trusted at face value. There are many things that make your situation unique, so you want to consider everything about your own situation before making such a big decision. Why? Because selling your car is a big deal. The last thing you want to do is get rid of your car only to discover a few weeks into your new lifestyle that you made a big mistake. Then you have to go through the pain of finding and buying a new ride. That’s a lot of pain to go through just because you didn’t take a little time fully think through the decision!
It’s All About Your Unique Situation
The very first thing you should look at is your daily commute to work. If getting to your job can only realistically happen with a car, then ride sharing services probably aren’t going to work for you. But if you have a way to get to work without driving a car, then you can take the next step of examining your driving habits. Take a look at how much you drive in miles, how often you drive, the length of time you spend in the car, and for what purposes. These are all important pieces of the puzzle. Why so many details? If you’re going to seriously consider ride sharing services like Uber to replace owning a car, you need to make sure your actual driving needs are going to be covered.
Let’s say one of your major driving needs is getting to a grocery store once a week to stock up on food and supplies and it’s not easy to get to any other way than driving. It’s easy enough to catch an Uber to get to the grocery store, and hopefully easy to catch another back home with all your purchases. You could pay for the driver to wait for you, but if you’re only shopping once a week, it’s going to take some time, which will cost you in terms of a per-minute charge. Either way, though, it could work for you.
When you go out clubbing with friends, ride sharing services are an ideal way to get there and back (especially if you enjoy a few drinks), functioning essentially like a taxi at a lower cost.
But what if you’re a “weekend warrior” type who loves to get out of town for different activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing, and so on. Unless you’ve got friends you can rely on for such outings, you need your car to have the flexibility and freedom to go where you want when you want, and room for gear as well. And this is what it really comes down to for a lot of people: How much freedom and flexibility are you willing to give up in order to not bother with owning a car? If you live in an urban area and are not a weekend warrior and really only need a car a few times a year to go visit friends and family, you can easily get by without owning one by using ride sharing services and then just rent a car on those occasions when you need to drive out of town on longer trips.
Consider the Costs of Both Options
Besides figuring out if an alternative to car ownership can work for you in terms of the kind of driving that meets your transportation needs, then you have to figure out whether it makes financial sense. This is why you need the numbers around how much you drive, both in terms of miles and time. Uber charges a base fare plus a per-minute charge plus a per-mile charge. In order to crunch the numbers and do the comparison, keep a log of your car driving numbers, either for a week and then multiply by four or for a whole month. You can then translate that into a cost for a ride sharing service like Uber to come up with a monthly cost. Compare that to your accurate total monthly cost of car ownership (car payment + insurance + maintenance + fuel). You might be surprised at what you see. For some people, the finances will be in favor of car ownership while for others it will be in favor of using ride sharing services.
Now you’ve got all the information you need to really make an informed decision. You’ve figured out how essential (or not) the freedom and flexibility of car ownership is to you and can now add in an accurate financial comparison to decide what’s right for you.
If you’re not the kind of person who’s going to go through that much planning and analysis, it might be worth your while to try an experiment where for a couple weeks or a month you don’t drive your car and instead use ride-sharing services – you’ll know pretty quickly which one is best for you because you’ll discover all things that work in favor of one option over the other from your actual experience of trying both.
Additional Options Besides Ride Sharing Services
If you’re really considering ditching your car, explore all your options. You’re not just limited to Uber and Lyft when it comes to alternative transportation. If you live in an urban area where everything you need is close by, you can also consider walking, biking and public transportation. There’s also car sharing services like ZipCar and Car2Go. With those services you’re not catching a ride with a driver, you’re actually doing short-term rentals of a whole car all to yourself that you get to drive for short periods of time where you pay by the minute or hour. Making a go of this option really depends on how many of the vehicles are available in your area and how high the demand is, both of which drive whether or not it’s going to be convenient for you when you need a car.
If You do Decide to Sell Your Car, Choose Driveo!
We think it’s a good idea to think twice (or even three times) before you ditch your car in favor of ride sharing services or other alternative forms of transportation. It’s not a decision you want to make on a whim without fully thinking through all the different angles of what’s involved. Picturing yourself giving up on the trials and tribulations of car ownership in favor of ride sharing services feels great, but the act of selling your car is a whole other thing you have to do if you decide to go for it. How you choose to go about selling your car makes a big difference to how many hassles and headaches you experience in making it happen.
You can sell your car outright to just about any car dealership, which is fast and easy, but doesn’t typically put as much money in your pocket as you might want to get. You can do a private sale by owner to try and get more money for your ride, but there’s a lot involved in a private sale if you want to do it right.
But there is a third option we want you to know about, which is Driveo, a car-buying service that eliminates all the things that can go wrong with a private sale while giving you the speed and convenience of selling to a dealership, but also putting more money in your pocket. We love beating competitors’ offers, and our fast online quotes are good for 30 days. If you’re in the greater San Diego area, you won’t find an easier way to cruise in and cash out than Driveo!
Here’s a question we hear surprisingly often that seems to stump people. If you find yourself in a situation where you won’t be driving your car for an extended period of time, should you sell or store it? The answer that’s right for you depends on the specifics of your situation. This article will walk you through the main things you should consider before making a decision.
1. Deciding to Sell or Store Depends on How Long and the Costs Involved
One of the first things you should consider is how long you will not be driving the car. If you’re talking about a couple months, by all means store it, although it’s always better for a car to be driven at least on a weekly basis. But a couple months without driving shouldn’t be too hard to recover from – you might just need a jumpstart if the battery’s charge has lowered, and be sure to check all fluids.
If you’re going to not drive it for more than two months there are a lot more things to consider in to answer the sell or store question. One of the more common scenarios here is people in the military who are being sent on an overseas deployment. The average length of overseas military orders is three years. Storing a car for that long is a bad idea, not only for the car itself, but also for your wallet! Storage fees vary widely from place to place, but a closed unit big enough for a car is going to run you anywhere from $150-$400 per month (don’t even think about leaving it outdoors for that long), which means anywhere from $1,800-$4,800 per year. If your car is paid off or close to being paid off, you’d probably be much better off financially by selling the car and putting the funds into an interest-bearing savings account of some kind. After all, does it really make sense to have thousands of dollars tied up in a car you’re not even going to use for an extended period of time?
If you’re still making payments, you should still look at whether or not you can sell the car for enough money to pay off the balance and still put some cash in your pocket. If you don’t, then you’re going to still be making car payments and adding those storage fees on top of that. Ouch! But even selling the car at a loss may make more financial sense than the storage fees you’ll pay over an extended period of time.
Keep in mind that storing a car for a year or more practically guarantees there are going to be substantial repair costs to fix everything that deteriorated over time, which could end up being hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
2. What Kind of Car and What it Means to You
The kind of car and what it means to you are also things you want to consider when trying to decide whether to sell or store. Any car that’s less than five years old is going to keep depreciating in value, so you have to consider how much value is being lost through depreciation, as well as the physical deterioration that happens when a car sits undriven for a long time. The only time this doesn’t apply is if the car in question is a collectable vintage, classic, or antique vehicle. These sorts of cars are the ones that might actually increase in value over time, which might make the cost of storage worthwhile.
Sometimes a vehicle has such sentimental value that you just don’t want to let go of it. Again, you’ll have to weigh the costs involved in storing it versus your sentimental attachment to it to decide whether to sell or store it.
If you’re going to be travelling abroad for a long-term work assignment and you love your car and will need one while away, consider shipping it to where you’ll be. Shipping, registering, and insuring the vehicle in your destination country will be expensive, but so is storing it! Do a real cost comparison of both options – especially if you’ll need a car where you’re going.
3. Cars are Meant to Be Driven Regularly
You’ve probably seen the stories online of people who discover grandma’s car. It might be more than 10 years old but has a ridiculously low number of miles because grandma only drove it to church on Sundays and maybe the occasional outing to the grocery store or nearest buffet restaurant. Maybe she didn’t drive it all the last few years. It appears to be in perfect shape, having been used so little – it feels like anyone’s dream used car, right? Except that it might not be. Granny cars often have a host of problems from being driven so little. It’s like having a thoroughbred horse and never running it – bad idea! Cars are meant to be driven regularly. If not, they develop all kinds of issues.
When a car isn’t driven for an extended period of time, moisture and condensation build up and cause all sorts of problems. Corrosion sets in throughout the engine because the moister never gets burned off like it does when the car is driven. As a car sits unused, all the plastic and rubber parts can suffer from drying out and cracking. The various fluids that keep a car running smoothly deteriorate over time. Tires develop flat spots, and sometimes they won’t straighten themselves out. Seals crack. Hoses develop leaks. Gas goes bad. Batteries lose their charge. All these are things that are less of an issue when a car is driven regularly. If you store your car for a long period of time, you’ll not only be paying a lot in storage fees, but you’ll also end up dishing out a lot of money to fix all the things that are wrong with the car when you finally take it out of storage. This is something a lot of people have found out the hard way.
Ideally, a car should be driven for at least 20 minutes once a week, or every two weeks at a minimum, including some speeds above 50 mph. This allows the engine to heat up enough to evaporate any condensation and moisture from the engine and exhaust, and also “wakes up” all the other systems of the car to keep it in good running condition.
4. A Third Option: Loan it Out to Family or Friends
One option not covered by framing your decision as sell or store is to let someone use your car during the time you’re not going to be driving it. You can ask the person to pay a monthly fee for being able to use your car, which would help off-set some of your monthly car payment if it’s not paid off. You also get the benefit of the car being driven like it’s meant to be, so you’ll avoid all those problems that happen when a car sits unused for too long. Keep in mind, though, that this kind of arrangement can go wrong in all sorts of ways. The person who uses your car may not take care of it the way you would. Maybe they’re not as safe a driver as you thought they’d be and they crash it. Although letting someone else drive your car makes sense for keeping it in use, it opens up a new round of potential issues that could wind up causing more headaches than you want to deal with.
Time to Sell? Choose Driveo!
As you can see from everything listed above, making the decision to sell or store your car is more complicated than you might have thought. After weighing all the different factors, if you decide selling makes the most sense, then your work is just beginning. Now you have to figure out how to sell your car. One of the easiest ways to get the job done is to sell it outright to a dealership, but this tends to put the least amount of money in your pocket. You could decide to sell it yourself privately, but that’s going to involve a lot work and potential stress to do it right, and still without any guarantee of getting what you want. Find out more about what’s involved in a private sale in our previous article, Know the Risks When You Sell Your Car Privately.
The good news for anyone looking to sell their car in the San Diego area is a third option: Selling your car to Driveo! We are a car-buying service that gives you all the speed and convenience of a dealership, but we put more money in your pocket than a dealership ever would. In fact, we often beat dealership offers by $1,000 or more! We even give you the opportunity to let us beat competitors’ offers. To see how Driveo stacks up against other ways to sell your car, check out our Compare Driveo page.
We’ve developed a process for buying cars that works really well for everyone involved. All you have to do is tell us about your vehicle by filling out a short online form. We do a quick round of market research to come up with a quote in minutes. If you like our offer, then you can come in to finish the process off and walk away with a check. But you don’t have to walk – we’ll gladly give you a free ride to any destination within San Diego County! You don’t have to come in right away, though. Every Driveo quote is good for a full 30 days (much longer than most competition), giving you time to shop around for a better offer, which we will be happy to beat if we can. If you’re ready to see just how easy it is to cruise in and cash out at Driveo, get your fast online quote now!
Have you ever seen any of those shows about home renovation projects? There are a ton of them, and they all have one thing in common. They love to show how the improvements made to the home increase its value well beyond the money spent on the renovation. A lot of people seem to think the same must apply to a car. A car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life, second only to buying a house. Most people assume adding the various aftermarket features they want will increase their vehicle’s value. Unfortunately, this is almost never true. In fact, aftermarket features often reduce car value. This article will explain what you need to know about aftermarket modifications.
Aftermarket Features are too Personal
Are you the kind of person who likes to personalize your ride? If os, then take a moment to think about what aftermarket features mean for your car’s value. When you add things that personalize your car, you’re automatically eliminating a whole bunch of potential buyers when the time comes to sell your car. Maybe you don’t care so much about that because you plan on driving this car to the bitter end of its useful life, but keep in mind how circumstances can change in your life. You may find yourself in a situation where you really do need to sell your car, and doing so quickly and for a good price is going to be a whole lot harder if you’ve added a lot of different aftermarket features.
The problem is that people have certain expectations when it comes to any given make or model of vehicle. They expect it to be what the manufacturer cranked out of the factory. But when you add aftermarket features, you’re modifying the vehicle into something that doesn’t match up with those expectations people have about the car, which will make them less likely to buy it or will want to get it at a much lower price. After all, your personal preferences are totally unique, and finding someone who wants that exact same set of preferences is next to impossible. You might love the aftermarket black wheels you put on the car, but most people won’t want them. Take a look around as you’re driving and see for yourself – very few vehicles will have those, which means most people don’t want them.
Going back the house versus car comparison, you can see the difference. People buying a home want to see that it’s been updated to reflect current trends in the housing market. Kitchens need to have the most popular kinds of countertops, such as granite or marble instead of laminates, tiles or hardwood flooring instead of linoleum, stainless steel appliances, and so on. But they also expect each home they look at to be totally unique in its look and features. The same simply isn’t true with cars – people expect the make and model they like to all be essentially the same except for the color and trim style.
There is one kind of vehicle where these rules don’t apply – collector sports cars, hot rods and so forth. That is a category of vehicles where people expect and want various aftermarket features that make a vehicle unique. But it’s not what people want to see in their daily-use car.
Avoid These Aftermarket Modifications
If you want to make sure your car remains an attractive option to most people that will fetch a worthy price when it’s time to sell it, you’ll want to avoid the following aftermarket features:
Engine enhancements: People who want to get more power and speed out their vehicle’s engine like to make aftermarket modifications that allow for more air and fuel. Your average driver, however, really doesn’t want or need anything beyond what the engine was originally designed to deliver.
Custom paint and parts: Spoilers, roof modifications, side skirts, custom paint jobs (like racing stripes) and other “body kit” exterior modifications are purely aesthetic, and most people won’t like them. They want the original look of the car to be intact. And definitely don’t add silly things like “eyelashes” to the headlights or vanity shift-knobs (skull, 8-ball, etc.). Also don’t attempt a DIY window tinting, which almost always fail.
Exhaust systems: Regular mufflers are meant to do what their name implies – muffle the sound of exhaust exiting the car. A side effect of muffling the noise is reducing the engine’s power output because of the restricted flow of gases. Some aftermarket mufflers are designed to let the engine exercise more of its power output – and are quite noisy as well. Most people don’t want a car that’s noisier than it was meant to be.
Lights: Whether it’s headlights or taillights, unique aftermarket lights are a bad idea. Most people don’t want them. They are often not installed correctly, leading to costly repairs down the road. Even worse, they may violate DOT regulations. And please, please do not add neon lights – a bad fad that has definitely run its course.
Wheels: In addition to very few people wanting anything different from what the car originally came with for wheels, it’s important to understand that custom wheel preferences change over time, creating a double-whammy effect. Most people don’t want custom wheels, and those who do might not want what you’ve put on your car. Remember spinners? The all-black or all-white wheels popular right now among a very small group of drivers may not be popular in a few years.
Enhancing Your Ride in Ways Buyers Appreciate
The good news is that there are several aftermarket features that won’t hurt your car’s value and might actually increase it. Most people will appreciate a sound system that’s better than the one the manufacturer put into the car. Alarm and anti-theft systems are usually a plus. Also attractive are any safety add-ons the car didn’t come with, such as parking sensors, rearview cameras, blind-spot warnings, and so on. Anything that makes a car safer will be welcome modifications to most buyers.
Get a Better Price for Your Car at Driveo
Most drivers will eventually have to sell their current vehicle. This article focused on aftermarket features and how they can affect the value of your car. Some can increase your car’s value, and many will decrease its value, so choose wisely with any aftermarket modifications you’re thinking about. Most people want and expect a car to be pretty much what the manufacturer made at the factory. Keeping your car clean and well-maintained is the always the best way to keep its resale value as high as possible.
But the other thing that affects what kind of price you get for your car is how you decide to sell it. It’s a well-known fact that selling or trading in to a dealership, although quick and easy, will typically result in the least amount of money you can get. Selling it privately on your own increases the likelihood of getting a better price, but it’s not guaranteed and takes a surprising amount of time and effort to do it right (not to mention plenty of stress and headaches along the way). But there is a better way!
We invite you to sell your car to Driveo, a car-buying service for people who need to sell their car in the greater San Diego area. We’re every bit as easy and fast as any dealership, but will put more money in your pocket. Check out how it works and then fill out our short online form to get a quote in minutes. And here’s the kicker: Our quote is good for a full 30 days! . This means you have plenty of time to get offers from other places. All we ask is you give us a chance to beat any other offer you receive on our offer upload page. If you’d like to see how Driveo stacks up as a way to sell your car, visit our Compare Driveo page. We’ve worked hard to come up with a process that works well for everyone. You’ll love how easy it is to cruise in and cash out at Driveo!
You’ve known it’s time to sell your car for a while, but you’ve been putting it off because you just didn’t feel like dealing with it. Now you’re ready to make it happen and you’re hoping to get some good money for it, but there are 4 things other than price you need to consider when selling your car. This article explains what those things are and why they matter.
Why You Should Consider Things Other than Price When Selling Your Car
You’re sitting there on the couch watching your favorite TV program, but you’re not really enjoying it. The problem is the voice somewhere in the back of your mind saying it’s time to sell your car and get a new ride. It started out very quietly at first, maybe a month or two ago. You were starting up your car and it took a couple tries before it got going. You didn’t think much of it at the time, but a voice in your head said it might be time to consider getting a new car.
A week or two later you were picking up a friend you hadn’t seen in years. When your friend got in the car and said, “Wow, you still have this car? You’ve been driving this one forever,” you realized it really had been a long time. That same voice in your head said, “See, everyone else seems to know it’s time to sell your car.” The voice has been growing louder and more insistent, and now even you agree. It’s time to sell and you hope you’ll get a good offer. But to be successful in selling your car, you need to think about things other than price.
If all you think about is price when selling your car, you could end up wasting a lot more time and energy than is worth it. You might experience all kinds of hassles, headaches and stress. You could also end up getting scammed or even putting yourself in harm’s way if you’re not careful. The worst combination of all is when you experience some or all of that and still end up getting far less money for your car than you were hoping for. A better approach is to take a little time to consider all the things other than price that matter before you decide how you’re going to go about selling your car. Below are 4 things to keep in mind that don’t have anything to do with price.
Among the things other than price, time is the one people underestimate the most. If you focus only on getting the highest price possible when selling your car, you’ll probably try to sell it privately on your own. After all, everyone says private sales fetch higher prices on average. But everyone also knows that time is money in today’s world, and if you want to be successful in a private sale, you’ve got your work cut out for you because it takes a surprising amount of time to do it right. Here are 10 different pieces of the private sale puzzle that each take up your precious time:
Repairs: You don’t want to put a lot of money into repairs, but if you don’t take care of a few of the obvious things, potential buyers will be turned off. And yes, you have to be totally honest and up-front about the condition of the car so you don’t wind up getting slapped with a lawsuit from an unhappy buyer after the sale.
Cleaning: Your car has to be as spotless as possible to attract buyers. Dirty cars don’t sell. You can do this yourself, but to get the interior and exterior looking like new, you’ll have to shell out the cash for a professional detailing job.
Photos: When you look at any dealership site, you’ll see the series of photos of each vehicle you should take. More is better in this case, typically at least 20. If you look at the Auto City inventory page, most of our listings will have 26 photos!
Copywriting: Then you have to write up a detailed description of your vehicle in a way that will appeal to potential private buyers. This is harder than you think if you want to do it right. You have to include all the right details and also be personable and relatable in describing why you’re selling and so forth.
Advertising: There are more ways than ever to advertise your car, both online and offline. Some of them you will have to pay for while others are free. You have to choose which places make the most sense for you and then get your listing up and running in each one.
Screening: Then you’ve got to be prepared for a flood of contacts. Many of them won’t be serious buyers, but some of them will, and some of them are just looking to see if they can scam you. You need to know how to screen these inquiries, which takes time to both learn how and then do it. If you want to learn how do this part right, see our article How to Qualify Prospective Buyers When Selling Your Car.
Showings: If you do a good job of screening, you’ll still have potentially quite a few people who want to see the car in person and/or take it for a test drive. Setting up these appointments, dealing with no-shows and rescheduling, and then the actual appointments and test-drives all eat up significant amounts of time.
Waiting: The most frustrating part of the process can be waiting for high-quality inquiries to come in, or for interested buyers to make their final decision. While everyone has heard of stories of people who listed their car for sale on Craigslist and sold it within a matter of hours, those are exceptions to the rule.
Closing: If you’re lucky enough to get to the final stages of selling your car, you have to figure out the safest way to accept a payment to make sure you don’t get scammed, which everyone thinks would never happen to them, until it does.
Paperwork: Finally, you’ve also got to make sure you do all the right paperwork and verify that the buyer does the final steps as well. One slip-up on the paperwork can mean your sale isn’t as final as it feels, which can lead to legal issues down the road for which you might be liable. Plan on at least two trips to the DMV. Learn more about the right paperwork in California in our article Selling Your Car? Here is All the Paperwork You Will Need.
While the time involved in a private sale is a serious commitment if you want to do it right, there are more things other than price to consider that are even less pleasant to deal with.
If you’re already a busy person – and let’s be honest, who isn’t – the time it takes to do everything needed just to get ready to sell your car can cause you stress. Then when you start taking all the calls and emails from people who seem more interested in wasting your time than buying your car, your stress levels will rise even more. Low-ball offers cause more stress. Shady characters will stress you out even more. So you have to ask yourself – is all this stress worth the hassles and headaches? And keep in mind that there’s no guarantee all your hard work will pay off the way you want it to. The industry average for how long it takes to sell a used car is 60 days. Shocking but true!
The number of ways scammers have come up with to relive you of your car without paying for it is thoroughly depressing. Whether it’s giving you a bad check, paying with a forged cashier’s check, or giving you counterfeit cash, you’ve got to a know a thing or two about what to look for in order to protect yourself. To avoid being scammed, read our article about Safe Ways to Accept Payment When Selling Your Car.
Getting scammed is one thing, but finding yourself in danger of being attacked, hurt or robbed is another thing entirely. While these kinds of situations are relatively rare, they do happen. Craigslist turns out to be not only one of the most popular ways to sell a car, but also one of the most dangerous. Learn more by reading our article What to Expect When You Sell Your Car on Craigslist. This is where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. There are things you can do to protect yourself from danger if you’re willing to take some sensible precautions. Find out how in our article The Failsafe Test Drive Appointment, which includes a section about staying safe.
We’re not trying to scare you out of selling your car privately on your own. Thousands and thousands of people do it every year without anything bad happening. We just want you to know what’s really involved in doing it right and make sure you protect yourself in the process. Of course, you can avoid all the hassles and headaches of those things other than price listed above if you sell or trade your vehicle in to a dealership. It’s fast and easy, but will also pay you the least amount of money. For the best combination of speed, ease and price, sell your car to a car-buying service like Driveo if you’re in the San Diego area. It’s every bit as fast and easy as a dealership, but gives you more money for your car than a dealership. Learn more about how it works and then fill out our online form to get a quick quote in minutes that is good for 30 days. We make it easy to cruise in and cash out at Driveo!
Choosing how you to sell your car is more important than deciding where to sell your car. What’s the difference? You probably don’t sell cars very often, so when the time comes, you might visit a few different websites online to get some advice. If you take a look through some of the many forums about buying or selling cars, you’ll quickly notice a question that people ask a lot: Where should I sell my car? The answers will start rolling in fast and furious – Craigslist, AutoTrader, eBay Motors, and on and on goes the list.
Then there will be a lot of debate about why this or that option is better, people telling their sob stories about it not working out, and others telling their stories about how awesome it went for them. The next thing you know, you’ve wasted several hours without really finding out anything you didn’t already know. This article was written to help save you the pain and frustration of that experience because it’s going to lay out exactly what you need to know about choosing how you’ll sell your car.
Forget About WHERE and Focus on Choosing HOW You’ll Sell Your Car
Here’s the problem with how this gets talked about online: Those answers people get when they ask where they should sell their car as listed above are fine if you’re planning to sell your car privately on your own. But what it you’re not up for that? After all, there are tons of reasons why it is often not going to be worth the effort and hassle.
Asking about where to sell your car is the wrong question! Before you start thinking about where, the first thing has to be choosing how you’ll sell your car. It may sound like it’s the same question, but it’s not. This will make more sense when you have a better understanding of the 3 basic methods for selling your car, which will be covered further on in this article. But before getting into those details, you have to give a little thought to what your primary goal is in selling your car.
Choosing How You’ll Sell Your Car Depends on What You Want
There are 3 basic methods you can use to sell your car. Which one you choose is driven primarily by what your primary goal is for selling. Your options here include speed, money, or both.
SPEED: Some people need to sell their car as quickly as possible. In some cases, this need for speed can totally trump any concerns about the money they get for the car. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I need to get rid of this car NOW and I don’t even care about getting top dollar for it,” then you fall in the group of people for whom SPEED is the all-important goal. This means you’re looking for the fastest transaction possible, and the price you get for the vehicle doesn’t really matter. Maybe you’re being deployed overseas or just got an amazing job opportunity and need to drop everything and move, knowing you’ll get your next car when you arrive with your signing bonus. Whatever the case may be, consider how important speed is to you.
MONEY: Other people don’t have any urgency at all around the speed of the process. Instead, they’re very focused on squeezing every last dime they can out of the car they are selling. Although lots of people like the idea of getting the most money they can when selling their car, most fail to realize how much time, effort and headaches go into making that happen. But if you’ve got the time and determination, there is a method more likely to achieve your goal than the others – although it is by no means guaranteed.
BOTH: If more people who want to sell their car took the time to think through their primary goal in selling and matching that up to the method of selling, then most would realize they want the best combination of speed and money they can get. Luckily, there’s a method best suited to that as well. People in this camp don’t need the process to happen at lightning speed, but they also don’t want it to drag on forever. And on the money part of the puzzle, they know they don’t want to put a huge amount of time and effort into the process to try and get top dollar but would like to not settle for the lowest amount possible either.
3 Ways to Sell Your Car: Choose Wisely!
Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for – the 3 basic methods available when choosing how you’ll sell your car, and how they match up to the 3 different primary goals described above. Here’s the rundown:
Method 1: Dealership. If the only thing that really matters to you is getting rid of your car as quickly as possible, selling it outright or trading it in at a dealership is a great choice. After all, every car dealership has built up an entire infrastructure and business processes all specifically geared towards not just selling but also buying cars. They can literally take your car off your hands in a matter of hours, and will gladly do so – especially of you’ve got a great car they can turn around resell for a tidy profit.
BUT (and this is a big but), there is a price you pay for the amazing speed of the transaction. And the price you pay is not getting very much money or trade-in value for your car. Why is that? Dealerships actually make much higher profits from selling used cars than new cars. Weird, right? But it’s true. These days, everyone knows what the dealer paid for a brand-new car from the manufacturer (the invoice price), and everyone expects to pay a final price as close to that as possible. This is why the profit margins from selling new cars are so small.
When you shop for a used car at a brand-name dealership, do they tell you what they paid for the car? Nope! Never! Dealerships always try to get your used car for as little money as possible so they can mark it up a lot and make a big profit. And car shoppers are none the wiser because they have no idea what the dealership paid for the car. Still, if you really don’t care about the money, then you can’t beat the speed of a dealership.
Method 2: Private Sale. If you fall in the group of people who care much more about the money you get for your car than how fast you can get rid of it, the selling privately on your own is probably your best bet. The operative words here are “probably” and “bet” – can you guess why? In the big picture, going the route of “for sale by owner” does, on average, result in the most money in the pockets of sellers. But there’s no guarantee it will work out for you that way. Selling on your own privately is much more of a gamble than most people realize. It will definitely suck up more of your time than you think, and could also give you some massive headaches along the way. Why is that?
There’s a lot of effort that goes into doing a private sale right to get the most money for your car. You have to figure out what it’s really worth and come up with the right asking price. Then you have to carefully craft a killer description and take a couple dozen professional-grade photos. After that you have to decide where you’re going to place your listing. Remember that where question that started this whole article? It’s back!
And all of those steps are the easy parts of the process! It’s when you start fielding all the inquiries you get that things get really tricky. Who is a serious buyer and who is just wasting your time? Worse yet, who is actually trying to take advantage of you with a scam? This is when many car sellers realize they’re in over their heads and pull the plug on trying to sell privately even though they’ve already invested a lot of time and effort into the process. Others will stick it out and maybe get the result they were hoping for, but many fail. Yes, there are plenty of private sale success stories out there, but those are the ones you’re more likely to see online. For every success you read about online, there are many more epic failures no one wants to talk about. Read our previous articles about how private sales can go sideways to protect yourself:
At this point in choosing how you’ll sell your car, you might be wishing there was a third method available that could avoid the extremes of methods 1 and 2. There is, so read on!
Method 3: Car-Buying Service. The third method is selling your vehicle to a car-buying service, and it is the only one that can give you the best of both worlds – the speed of a dealership but with more money going into your pocket than you’ll ever get from one. Like a dealership, a car-buying service has developed its whole business model and infrastructure around buying cars, so they can do it just as fast as any dealership. But they also realize how important it is to give car sellers more money than they would get from a dealership, which is what makes this an attractive method to many people. Beating dealerships is core part of their business concept, so why not take advantage of it?
A car-buying service ends up being the best method for anyone selling their car, and you’ll realize this if you think about it. You know it’s going to be a lot less stressful to sell your vehicle to a car-buying service than trying to sell it privately on your own – not to mention a whole lot safer as well. But the beauty of a car-buying service is that it’s also every bit as fast as any dealership. So even if money isn’t your primary goal, why not go ahead and get more for it at a car-buying service while enjoying the same speed you’d get at a dealership? It really is the best of both worlds!
San Diego Car Sellers: Choose Driveo!
The really good news for anyone looking to sell their car in the greater San Diego area is that a homegrown car-buying service is available to you where you can literally cruise in and cash out on the spot! It’s called Driveo, and it’s even a cut above other car-buying services in San Diego County and beyond! The process is simple and fast:
Tell Us about Your Ride: Fill out our short online form to tell us about your car and its condition.
Get a Quote in Minutes: Based on your information, we’ll give you quote in minutes. But it’s not automated – we actually do the market research to come up with a real offer.
Cruise In, Cash Out: If you like our offer, make an appointment to bring your car in. We’ll do a final check to physically verify the condition of the car and make any necessary adjustments to our offer – whether up or down – and then cut you a check on the spot.
Catch a Ride, on Us: We’ll even give you a free ride anywhere you need to go in San Diego County!
But there’s one more reason why Driveo is the best choice for selling your car. This reason is especially good for people who don’t have to get rid of their car super-fast. When you get a quote from CarMax, it’s only good for 7 days. Every Driveo quote is good for 30 days! This means that you’ve got plenty of time to do as much shopping around as you want to try and get a better price – but make sure you give Driveo a chance to beat that better offer. We love to do that. Click here to get your online Driveo quote in minutes!
Like the 1962 song by Neil Sedaka says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Of course, he was talking about love and we’re talking about cars, but it can be hard to admit it is time to let go of a beloved car. One of the many decisions factors about knowing when it’s time to sell your car is deciding whether to fix up or break up with your trusty ride. This article will mention two different ways to approach this issue.
Compare Repair Costs to the Car’s Value
One way to decide the issue is to compare what you’re facing in costs to keep your car on the road versus what your car is actually worth. The idea is that when the costs of keeping the car going outweigh its value, then it’s time to let it go. But there are some specific things that need to go into this calculation to get it right. Learn more about this in our previous article, How to Tell When It Is Time to Sell Your Car. It will give you everything you need to know to approach the issues from this angle.
Compare Repair Costs to Replacement Cost
While it’s useful to know if repair and maintenance costs are getting close to or exceeding your car’s value, that’s not the only way to make the decision to sell or not sell. Keep in mind that if you sell your car, you’ll need another one, right? It makes sense to look at your repair and maintenance costs versus what you will have to spend on a replacement car.
It’s easy to see how can misunderstand the situation they’re in. Let’s say you’ve had a car for years and years and suddenly you discover it needs $1,600 of repairs in order to keep it going. As you’re driving around, you start tuning in to ads for great cars with monthly payments of $300-$400 a month. Avoiding the big repair bill you’re facing now with a great new ride for a fairly reasonable monthly payment can seem like a very attractive option, right?
If you take a conservative approach to this situation, the general rule of thumb is that it’s almost always better from a long-term financial perspective to do the repairs on your current vehicle. This is especially true if you’re thinking of going with a brand-new car as a replacement. They are very expensive, even though the monthly payment feels manageable. Remember you’ll be making that payment for years to come. Thanks to immediate depreciation, you’ll also be owing more than the car is worth for at least several years.
Here’s how to make sense of the decision point in terms of numbers. If the repair costs you’re facing exceed a year’s worth of monthly payments for the kind of replacement car you have in mind, then it really is time to break up, not fix up.
The American Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) has a fascinating tool that helps you compare the total cost-per-mile of your current vehicle (repairs included) with the total cost-per-mile of your chosen replacement car over a five-year period. As the site says, “You might be surprised to learn that your current car actually costs less to drive than a replacement.” Check out this Fix or Trade Calculator and see if it helps you make the decision of whether or not to sell your car.
This approach depends, obviously, on what kind of replacement car you have in mind. New cars are expensive. A newer used car, however, in good shape and with low miles can be a lot less expensive while still giving you the reliable transportation you need, with a fewer repair bills than your current vehicle.
When you decide it is time to sell your car, whatever the reason, we invite you to come to Driveo and see how we buy cars. We make it as easy to cruise in and cash out as it is at any dealership, but we’ll put more money in your pocket than a dealership will give you. You can even get a fast quote online that’s good for a full 30 days, which is better than you’ll find anywhere else. We do this because we’re confident that once you see how good our offer is compared to others, you’ll be back to sell your car to Driveo!
Time to sell your car? The first decision you have to make is how you’re going to sell it. You have four basic options:
1) Sell it privately on your own,
2) Sell it to a car-buying service like Driveo,
3) Trade it in at a dealership towards your next ride, or
4) Sell it outright to a dealership (not as a trade-in).
In this article, we’ll give you some tips if you decide to go with the fourth option of selling your car to a dealership.
Why Consider Selling Your Car to a Dealership?
If you’ve read any of our previous articles on this blog, then you should already know that sellers tend to get the most money when they sell privately, a bit less when they go with a good car-buying service, and the least amount of money when they trade in or sell outright to a dealership. So why would anyone take the option of selling their car to a dealership?
It tends to boil down to speed and convenience. Dealerships know the process well and can make it happen for you in a very short amount of time – like a matter of hours – unlike selling privately on your own, which can drag on for weeks and sometimes even months. The dealership will handle all the paperwork for you and you’ll be on your way in no time (assuming you lined up a ride since you’ll no longer have your car).
Why Does Selling Your Car to a Dealership Get You Less Money?
A lot of people want to know, though, why selling to a dealership results in the least amount of money. The reason is because many brand-name dealerships tend to make more profit selling used cars than selling new cars. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. You won’t find dealerships admitting this either – it’s kind of a big fat secret hiding in plain sight. It’s very easy to comparison shop with new cars that have to have all their information front and center on the window sticker. And now that consumers know that “dealer invoice” is what the dealership paid to get the car, every buyer’s goal is to get as close to that number as possible. The result is that profit margins on the sale of new cars, especially the less expensive models, are very small.
By contrast, the used car portion of a dealership’s lot is a lot murkier. Because of the huge variation in the makes, models and years available, not to mention variation in condition from vehicle to vehicle, it’s a lot harder to comparison shop. And you have no idea what the dealership paid to acquire the car, so you don’t have a clear window into the profit margins either. This is all to say that dealerships want to pay as little as possible to acquire a used car so they can mark it up enough to make a great profit, and no one is the wiser. This is why trading in or selling your car to a dealership tends to get you the least amount of money among all the methods for selling your car.
Tips for Getting More Money When Selling Your Car to a Dealership
Even though dealership are looking to pay as little as possible for your car, there are still things you can do to squeeze a few more dollars out of the process, such as the following:
Know Your Car’s Value. If you have no idea what your car is worth, you have nothing to use as leverage to try and get more money for it. You can get a general sense by using online tools such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book, but what you really want to be armed with are examples of what cars similar to yours have sold for in your area.
Clean it Up. Have you noticed how often used car descriptions on dealership websites mention how clean they are? The dealership puts real time and money into detailing a vehicle so it looks its best before it hits the lot because every car shows better when it’s clean. The dealership will be more impressed with your car and its resale potential if it’s already clean, which might get you a slightly higher price.
Fix it Up. You have to be careful with this one. You don’t want to put a lot of money into fixing things because you won’t necessarily make it back (like you would with home repairs and improvements). But the dealership is going to look at every flaw and then drop their price by a lot based on those, so if you can eliminate some of them for a little money, it can be worth it.
Get Multiple Offers. Go to several dealerships to get offers because then you can use that information to see which one wants to try and beat the others.
Want More Than You’ll Get Selling Your Car to a Dealership? Choose Driveo!
If the speed and convenience of selling your car to a dealership appeals to you, but you’d really like to get more money for it than most dealerships are ever going to offer, then you owe it to yourself to come see how we buy cars at Driveo. We offer all the same speed and convenience as a dealership, but we can usually give you way more money than a dealership. Check out our Compare Driveo page that shows you all the ways Driveo is the best way to sell your car for more money. Our fast online quote gives you an offer in minutes that is good for 30 days so you can see how much better you’ll do with us. Show us a better offer and we’ll try to beat it! You can cruise in and cash out at Driveo with ease. And if you have questions about the how and why of what we do, just visit our common questions page!