Trading Old Cars Can Be Costly

By Michael Benifez

The car is probably one of the biggest money drains people waste their hard earned sweat on. Suppose there is a new car you want and an old one you want to get rid of. The dealer offers you the new one for $22,500 less $6000 for your old one in trade. You figure you can't do much better, but you may be wrong.

In the first place, it's very little trouble to put a three line ad in your local paper offering your old car for $8500. You might sell it for that yourself. In the second place you might get that new car for $20,000 cash if you try. If you trade you will lay out $16,500 and have anew car. If you sell and buy you will lay out only $14,000 and have the same new car.

How did you make that $2500 extra? By going to a little trouble. The dealer, you see, has to make an investment in that old jalopy of yours and take a chance on selling it. If you do it yourself he doesn't mind. You might very well scare up more cash for it and he doesn't mind getting cash instead of the trade-in. Try it. Cash is powerful!

The same thing applies to other items, particularly small boats, The dealer will take your old one in a trade, but if you sell it yourself at the beginning of the season you might very well get more for it. Just remember that when you accept the dealer's offer of a trade-in, he is only using that as a sales device. He rarely makes money on the used item.

He has to make an investment in it; to store and repair it; then to sell it in a separate transaction requiring more bookkeeping. He has to consider all that in the deal he makes you. Remember this also: no experienced dealer will ever pay you more than something is worth. A less knowledgeable buyer just might.

Incidentally, if you do trade in your old car for a new one be sure that the contract states exactly what the trade-in price is AND THAT IT WILL REMAIN THE SAME between the time of making the deal and the delivery of the new car.

What's more, don't turn your old car over to the dealer, not even the registration, until you have the new car in hand and it belongs to you. - 32534

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