Trading In vs Selling Your Used Car: Which Is Better for Car Owners?

Car Advice    •

Motorist Singapore Used Cars(Photo Credit: Flickr)

In Singapore, a car can be one of your biggest assets. This means that buying and selling are always very important decisions—you want to make the best choice so that you get the best value.

When changing cars, most car owners have two choices with regard to their previous vehicle: either sell it, or trade it in with the same dealer they're buying the new car from. With such a major transaction, it's essential to think through all the pros and cons before deciding. Luckily, we're here to weigh up the options for you! We've compared trading in and selling in terms of price, convenience and timing so that you can find out your best option.


1. Car Price

Motorist Singapore Cars For Sale(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Let's start with one of the most important considerations—which option can bring you a higher value? In general, selling the car will definitely bring you more money than trading in. Trade-ins have to be done with the same dealer that you're buying from, which means that you don't have much leeway for bargaining and are likely to give away your car for less than market price. If your car is still in good marketable condition, you will probably lose a significant amount of money by trading in. However, if your car is worn and needs serious repairs, it's unlikely that you'll be able to sell it for a good price. At the very least, you'll need to fork out added repair expenses to get it back to market standards. In this case, it may be a better idea to do a trade-in. You'll get the car and all its maintenance issues off your hands, plus the money can be used immediately to offset the downpayment for your new ride!

Basically, in terms of value, the option you should choose depends on how marketable your car is at that point of time. A good way to find out your car's marketability is to get a valuation—this will tell you how much you can potentially earn from selling and compare that with your trade-in offers.

Verdict: Selling: 1 Trade-in: 0.

As long as your car is well-kept and doesn't need thousands in repairs, you can definitely earn more through selling!


2. Convenience

Motorist Singapore Second Hand Cars(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Another thing to think about is the hassle involved in changing cars. Selling can be a very tedious process. You have to invest in advertising your car, and meet up with multiple dealers and private buyers in order to find the best price. Once you've found your buyer, there's still a lot of haggling and paperwork to be done. Even though you might earn more money by selling, you also waste quite a lot of time and effort. On the other hand, a trade-in is hassle-free. You settle your old car and get a new car all in one day, and with the same dealer, so there's no need for any advertising or searching. Plus, the dealer will handle the paperwork for both your new and old car. So in terms of convenience, you definitely save trouble with trade-ins.

But wait! What if there was a way to have the convenience of a trade-in but still get the high offers of selling? If you sell your car with a third-party platform, you won't have to worry about advertising, bargaining or sourcing for the best price! Simply submit an enquiry, and your car will be advertised for you in an online bidding system where interested buyers place competitive offers. In 24 hours, you can obtain the highest offer on the market for your car, without even leaving your house

Verdict: Selling: 1 Trade-in: 1.

A trade-in is definitely much more convenient and straightforward than handling the complicated selling process (unless you have the help of a third-party platform).


3. Efficiency

Motorist Singapore 2nd Hand Cars(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Finally, which method is most efficient in completing your transaction? In the midst of your busy lifestyle, it can be quite burdensome to have this big matter hanging unsettled. In this aspect, trade-ins definitely win out over selling. Selling your car can take up to months if your car is in poor condition or if market demand is low. Moreover, as your car depreciates, you could be losing money for every day of delay. Trade-ins, however, are immediate and can be completed on the day itself. There's no need to worry about depreciation or maintenance. If the make and model of your car is not popular on the market, trading in might be the better choice for you.

Verdict: Selling:1, Trading-in: 2.

A trade-in is done in a day, while selling can take months if your car isn't marketable.


So what's the final verdict?

While selling will fetch you a higher price, trading in is definitely more convenient and efficient. The process of selling can be quite troublesome if you're doing it yourself. On top of that, it can take a very long time, depending on the market demand for your car. If you're planning to use the money from selling to settle the new car's downpayment anyway, it may be a good idea to just do a trade-in. However, for those who really want to earn more through selling, a third-party platform is the ideal option to obtain high prices, but also cut down on the hassle.

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