Will a dealership buy my car?

If you need or want to sell your car, you might be wondering, “Will a dealership buy my car?” The answer is, maybe. Read on to find out more.

Do I need to buy a car from the dealership so they can buy mine?

No. That is a separate process called trading-in. A car dealership may still buy your car, truck, or SUV without you having to purchase a vehicle from them.

Young couple shaking hands with sales agent after a successful car buying.

Advantages of selling you car to a dealership

A major advantage of selling your car to a dealership is that they are most likely able to do the transaction quickly and with a lot less hassle than a private buyer (whose check is in the mail). It’s what car dealers do every day.

Cash in wallet
Get cash for your car quickly by selling it to a dealership.

Being experts in this field, the staff at the dealership will also be able to guide you through the paperwork process. If your vehicle is financed, the dealership can work directly with the finance company to pay it off on your behalf.

If your car isn’t perfect, it may save you from having to pay upfront for any repairs.

It saves you from dealing with tire kickers, flakes, and generally sketchy people when selling privately.

Disadvantages of a dealership buying my car

You’ll most likely be offered what is called actual cash value (ACV for short) or maybe less. The dealership will have to inspect the vehicle through their workshop and fix any repairs that need to be done to make the vehicle safe and up to their required standards and /or state laws.

Any maintenance items will need to be brought up to date, tires and brakes need to be brought up to standard, and any bodywork damage such as dents or dings. The car, truck, or SUV will also need to be cleaned and detailed. All of this is a cost associated with selling the vehicle, which is why you may be offered less than a private party price.

How do I get a dealer to buy my car?

Get in touch with your preferred dealership by giving them a call and ask for the sales manager or general manager. Ask the manager if they’d consider buying your vehicle.

Will a dealership buy my car. Man standing by car with inspection sheet on clipboard.
Take your car to the dealership for them to look at.

They will probably ask you questions like the year make model mileage, and condition. If it’s a car that interests them, they will ask you to take the vehicle to the dealership so they can have a look at it or have you send them some photos and details.

What documents do I need to sell my vehicle to a car dealer?

You’ll need to have the registration, title (in your name), and proof of identity. If the vehicle is financed, it’s a good idea to have the loan paperwork or the loan number and the 10-day payoff amount. Call your lender to get the payoff amount. Some lenders hold the title (depending on which state you are in) until the vehicle is paid off, in which case you won’t need to bring the title to the dealership, and they’ll have you sign a power of attorney.

What If I owe more than the car is worth?

If your payoff amount is more than the car’s value, you’ll have to pay the difference. You can arrange to pay the difference with the dealership.

How will a dealership decide if they want to buy my car or not?

Many factors will come into play when a dealership decides whether or not they want to buy your vehicle. Some of those factors will include the current market, supply, demand, and the vehicle’s condition. Other factors include; any title problems, desirability, brand, vehicle history, and the age/mileage of the car.

Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. She has driven hundreds of vehicles, not only new cars but beaters without heaters, fast cars on fire, slow cars in snow, off-road trucks in the mucks, and old pickups with pups. She’s driven heaps of Jeeps, miles in muscle and once took her gran in a car from Japan. Lauren is a member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press Association.

lauren@trustedautopros.com