How to Sell a Car at a Dealership

Woman handing over car keys


How does selling your car to a dealership work—and is it a better option than selling your vehicle privately? We think so, and we’ll show you exactly how to maximize your return. Learning how to sell a car at a dealership can help you secure top dollar for your vehicle in far less time than you’d otherwise have to spend on the process, so you can focus on the fun parts of starting a new adventure.

How Does Selling Your Car to a Dealership Work?

Selling your car to a dealership is a simple, straightforward process. Find out what to expect and see why many Providence and East Greenwich drivers have come to appreciate the convenience that we offer:

  • Get Your Vehicle Ready: When preparing to trade in your vehicle, take some time to clean up your car, make small fixes, and top off on important fluids. It generally isn’t worth it to make major repairs, but a little bit of preparation can go a long way.
  • Do Your Research: Use tools like our own trade-in valuation form to find out what your vehicle is worth. We’ve partnered with KBB® to make sure that your estimate is accurate. You should also explore local markets, and databases compiled by trusted industry experts. Once you’ve had a look around, make a list of any features or qualities that make your vehicle stand out. It’s also a good idea to have a record of the maintenance and service that you’ve performed.
  • Get Your Paperwork Ready: Most dealerships will require a title in order to accept your trade-in, so you should have yours on hand. It’s certainly possible to trade in a car that you’re still paying off, but you should try to make sure that your vehicle is worth more than what you owe. Can you sell a car without a title? If you’re still paying off your loan and you don’t have access to the title, you should contact your lender before trying to trade the vehicle. They can provide the title to the dealership.
  • Make An Appointment: Although some dealerships will send someone directly to your home, most will require you to stop in and schedule a trade-in appraisal. This process enables us to eliminate the guesswork and offer a higher price for your trade-in vehicle.
  • Negotiate Your Price: Unlike some companies that promise an instantaneous offer, the offer that you receive from the dealership can often be negotiated. This is why it’s a good idea to do your research before stopping in. The more you can tell us about your vehicle, the easier it will be for us to find the perfect new buyer—and that means the negotiation process can benefit driver and dealership alike!

Can You Sell a Car Without a Title?

If you’ve purchased a vehicle with financing, your lender will most likely remain in possession of the title until you’ve paid off your loan. But when life changes and your needs change along with it, it’s important to know that you’re not necessarily locked in for the entire loan term. So, can you trade in a car without a title? Yes, you can—and when you trade in your car at a dealership, we can do the legwork of acquiring your title from the lender. Even so, it’s a good idea to contact your lender and let them know of your plans in advance.

It’s important to note that selling a financed car does not automatically remove your obligation to repay the loan. If the value of your vehicle does not cover the amount that you still have to pay, it might be best to wait and sell your vehicle when you’ve made more progress on your balance.

Why Should You Sell Your Car to a Dealership?

Stopping in for a trade-in appraisal gives you the chance to get a hands-on feel for available models and test drive before you buy, which is why many prefer the dealership experience to the experience of shopping on an app. And if you decide you’d like to buy online, we’re more than happy to accommodate you!

Still weighing the pros and cons of selling to a car dealership vs. a private owner? For many, selling to a car dealership is much more convenient. Selling privately could take weeks or months; selling to a dealership is quick, and you could leave with cash-in-hand in a matter of hours. Additionally, selling at a dealership is safer than selling privately, since you won’t have to meet with strangers, potentially in strange locations.

Here at Mercedes-Benz of Warwick, our trade-in offers are never contingent on whether you choose to buy a vehicle off of our lot. Should you choose to accept our offer, you can head home with cash in hand or apply the money directly toward one of our new or pre-owned vehicles.

Additionally, since taxes are calculated after we deduct the value of your trade-in from your purchase price, selling a car to a dealership has obvious financial benefits that don’t apply to private sales!

Sell Your Car to Mercedes-Benz of Warwick!

If selling your car to a dealership sounds like the right way to go, you should know that you can easily reach our location in Warwick from anywhere near Providence or Cranston. While you’re here, take a moment to apply for financing or explore more of our car buying tips online.

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