trade-in-clunker

Why You Should Consider Trading in Your Old Car

Trading in a car at a used car dealership is a great option for getting rid of an old car. However, many owners forget that this option exists, or don’t consider it a worthwhile option.

When wanting out from under a car you no longer want, the owner may think the only or best option is to sell it himself, but a trade-in does have its advantages. The benefits of a trade should not be ignored, as in many ways it is superior to selling the car yourself and saves the hassle of advertising it online or in the paper and wading through potential buyers, who may or may not be serious buyers.

Deciding to Trade it in 

A trade-in at a dealership occurs when the dealer takes someone’s current vehicle and uses the money given for the car toward a newly purchased vehicle. The value of the old vehicle is subtracted from the cost of the car the person purchases, unloading the vehicle from the owner and reducing the overall financed amount for the new vehicle, which lowers payments.

The majority of dealerships accept trade-ins, yet a surprisingly small percentage of car owners take advantage of this offer. Instead, they choose to sell their old cars on their own.

Here are the top 3 reasons why trading is a better option than selling a car on your own:

  • You don’t have to pay the car off first: For those who have not yet paid off their vehicles, trade-ins are excellent options. When selling a car on your own, the vehicle must be paid off before selling it to another person. If your personal finances do not allow for this, the car cannot be sold. However, it can be traded. Dealerships accept financed cars because they pay off the loan themselves. If the remainder of the loan on a car exceeds the amount offered for the car in the trade-in, this amount will be added to the loan used to purchase the new car from the dealer. This is a small price to pay for selling your financed car.
  • There is no period of paying insurance on multiple vehicles: If you buy a new car before selling an old one, there will be a period of paying insurance on two vehicles. This is a costly added expense that is eliminated by trading in a car. Insurance on the old vehicle will transfer to the new one, keeping costs down to premiums on only one car.
  • You save a great deal of time: Selling a car individually can take a great deal of time. I’m sure you’d agree that you would rather spend your time doing other enjoyable activities. Trading in an old car is simple and requires no time meeting with potential buyers. Drive up in one car and leave in another: that is the essence of the ease and satisfaction of a dealership trade-in.

Generally, the price given for a trade-in will not be as high as when the car is sold to an individual buyer. However, if this is considered alongside the three benefits listed above, a trade-in will likely prove the best option for your vehicle and your budget.

  63 Comments

  1. Tyler   •  

    If I have a car I currently owe on can I trade it in and have negative equity rolled into my drivetime loan? I am approved for $22k, so if I buy a $14,000 can I have some wiggle room to roll negative equity in right? My local dealer said no… I was ready to buy until I heard that.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Tyler – The value of the trade can certainly be applied to your down payment and loan. However, your local dealership can provide you with the accurate trade-in value of your vehicle. Give them a call and let them know how much you owe, and they can give you more information.

  2. Trezlynn   •  

    I have a Toyota Camry with Drivetime and I still owe. Could I trade in my car

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Trezlynn – it’ll be dependent on a few things. Contact your local dealership and they’ll be able to tell you how you can trade in your current vehicle.

  3. eric   •  

    We still owe on our current car and we have had nothing but problems do you take vehicle’s that have some problems I have a 2006 Chevrolet impala and we have had it only 22 months and our dealership is over pricing us for repairs can we still trade it in with these problems

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Eric – we’re sorry to hear this! In order to better understand and give you an accurate trade-in value, please call your local dealership. They’ll let you know exactly what we’ll be able to do and next steps for you. Again, we’re sorry to hear that you’re not having a good experience with your current dealership and we hope we can help!

  4. Jasmine   •  

    I have a 2005 Ford Taurus that my mother gave me that she bought from drivetime. If I trade it in, would it be my down payment to be able to get a 2008 Chevy Impala?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Jasmine – it can definitely be put toward your down payment for the 2008 Chevy Impala, but there are a few other things we’ll have to look at (the condition of the vehicle, monthly income, etc.), and the Ford Taurus would have to be in your name, unless your mother goes with you to our dealership. Definitely contact your local dealership and they’ll give you a more accurate down payment number based on your information.

  5. Thomas   •  

    Can I transfer or have someone take over my car payments? Switching it into their name etc.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Thomas – you can look into refinancing your loan and you would be able to transfer the loan payments that way. Give our Customer Relations team a call and they can work with you – 1-888-418-1212.

  6. Terrance   •  

    I have a 2003 ford explorer. Is it possible to trade it in for and F-150. And whats the process of doing it?

  7. Dameon Lewis   •  

    I currently have a 2012 Nissan Altima that is financed through Drivetime. If I wanted to do a trade in what would be the procedure?

  8. Chamiece Crutcher   •  

    Hi i have a 03 chevy impala that is giving me problems n ive only had it since February of this year …. it was my first car purchase ever and me being s woman not knowing anything about cars got tricked into buying a lemon and now im stuck with a $265 car note and having to get everything fixed on it myself and it is very frustrating …… so is it possible to get another car if im still posting for this one

  9. Abigail   •  

    I’ve been having problems with my 2009 Kia Rio that I still owe a little over $6,000 on. Do you guys take trade ins people still owe on? And am I able to switch from financing with my credit union to finance through drivetime? I’m having problems finding another car that my bank will approve and it’s been such a nightmare because they won’t approve anything I find.

    • DriveTime   •  

      H Abigail – We sould be able to help you out! We do take trade-ins and you can definitely contact your local dealershipand they will be able to help you with your financing questions.

  10. Joyce   •  

    I have a 2008 Mini Cooper and ever since I got the car from you guys its been nothing but trouble. Would it be possible to trade it in at another dealership for another car?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Joyce – I’m very sorry to hear about this. You should be able to trade your vehicle in and you can contact your local dealershipand they will be able to help you out with this!

  11. Khalilah   •  

    I have a 2003 dodge Durango I have a title loan on it I owe 3100 it’s being giving me problems I only have 300 down payment all my money has being going towards fixing the durango. I make 4000 a,mont can you help me

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Dezire – I am very sorry to hear this. You can definitely give our Customer Relations Department a call regarding this and they will be able to answer any questions you might have regarding this. You can reach them at: 800-965-8043.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Khalilah – I am very sorry to hear this. You can definitely give our Customer Relations Department a call regarding this and they will be able to answer any questions you might have regarding this. You can reach them at: 800-965-8043.

  12. Liz   •  

    Can I use an older vehicle for trade without a title?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Liz – Unfortunately we can not take a trade-in without a title.

  13. Lakethea   •  

    I have financing with Drive Time on my current vehicle…but because of my growing family and repair cost I ready for a something a little bigger and hopefully needing less repairs. Can what I owe on the current loan be rolled into the financing on a new vehicle with Drive Time?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Lakethea – This will be dependent on a few different things. You can definitely contact your local dealershipand they will be able to give you an idea of when and how you can trade-in your vehicle for something that fits your growing family!

  14. kim   •  

    I have a truck that’s run right now but it sounds like the motor going. Can I use it as a trade in.

  15. Lee   •  

    I have a car that I bought but havent transferred the title. Can I trade it in to put the money towards a car I took out from the dealership? I have the title from the person who sold it as well as bill of sale. But we really just dont need or want it.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Lee – The title will need to be in your name in order to use the vehicle as a trade-in.

  16. martina   •  

    Can I trade a truck with clear title but under ex husband’s name.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Martina – The truck’s title will need to be under your name in order to use it as a trade-in.

  17. Claudious   •  

    Hi I got a 2004 Mercedes with a lease can I use that to get a car from drivetime

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Claudious – You will need to own the vehicle in order to use the vehicle as a trade-in.

  18. Cameron tuggle   •  

    I have a 1997 Ford Explorer that was wanting to trade in and was wondering how much I would be able to get for it?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Cameron – The amount you will receive for your trade-in will be dependent on a few different things. You can contact your local dealership and they’ll be able to help you out with this!

  19. Abram   •  

    I have a 2001 chysler sebring.
    I have only 1500 left to pay on it.
    The car has a leak somewhere in the cooling system. Just wondering if i can still trade it in.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Abram – This will be dependent on a few different things and you can definitely bring the vehicle to your local dealership. They will need to see the vehicle and they can answer any questions you might have regarding trading in your vehicle.

  20. Ashleigh   •  

    Is their a car that is considered too old to be considered for trade? Like a 1998 vehicle? It runs great just curious in general about the fact if Drive Time is looking for newer cars?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Ashleigh, head over to DriveTime.com where you can let us know more about your trade-in and we’ll see what see how we can help!

  21. Joe Hernandea   •  

    I have a 2015 Hyundai with 29,000 miles would it be wise to trade it in for a New 2016, since the moe milage I put on it will decrease the trade in value later??

  22. John chessari   •  

    I have a drive time car. that I am paying a note on the car has given me nothing but issues since I got car have had for about two years I recently got in a fender bender and was really wanting to trade in car before this happened please inform me of what my options are because I really want to keep doing business with you guys but do not want my current car anymore my phone number is 650-533-0018 please help me

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi John – We are very sorry to hear you have not been happy with your experience this far and we would like to help turn this around. You can definitely give our Customer Relations Department a call at 888-977-7153. They are more than willing to help you with any questions you have regarding trading in your current vehicle. Thank you.

  23. Chris   •  

    Can the value of your trade be all that’s required as a down payment or does it have to include cash also? If so, what are the factors that require cash along with the trade?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Chris – This will be dependent on a few different factors. I recommend contacting your local dealership to talk to one of our Sales Advisors about scheduling an appointment and looking into trading in your vehicle! Thank you – Tiffany, DriveTime Community Manager

  24. Renee   •  

    What all is needed for a trade in?
    And even after trading would I still be making payments?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hello Renee – I recommend contacting your local dealership to talk to one of our Sales Advisors about your options for trading in your current vehicle. They can help you schedule an appointment to see what your payments might look like! Thank you – Tiffany | DriveTime Community Manager

  25. Maddy   •  

    Hi, am currently financing a vehicle from drive time after three years can I trade for another car?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Maddy – I recommend contacting your local dealership to talk to one of our Sales Advisors about our trade in program. Thank you – Tiffany | DriveTime Community Manager

  26. Mickey   •  

    Hi drivetime! I have a 2000 Honda civic with high miles and a little booboo on its front bumper. Would I be able to trade this car in as a down payment on a newer car from drive time? Specifically a Chevy spark!

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Mickey – I recommend contacting your local dealership to talk to one of our Sales Advisors about scheduling an appointment for you to stop by with your Civic. They will be able to answer any questions you have regarding our trade-in program! Thank you – Tiffany | DriveTime Community Manager

  27. Frank   •  

    My car recently broke down and I need another vehicle soon. My wife currently has a car that we are financing (still upside down on the loan). Would a possible option be for me to trade in my wife’s car and either lease two used vehicles splitting the leftover balance of what we owe on the current car between the two leases, or even lease one and finance the other?

  28. keyondra   •  

    i have a vehicle with drive time and right now its not in the best shape but i wanted to know if i cold trade that in for another car for my little girl and what are the steps?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Keyondra – We do not currently take trade-ins. I highly recommend getting approved online or contacting your local dealership to talk to one of our Sales Advisors about scheduling an appointment! Thank you – Tiffany|DriveTime Community Manager

  29. Corey Smith   •  

    I got a 95 pontiac grand prix can i trade it in no engine lights or anything

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Corey – Great question! Unfortunately we do not currently take trade-ins.

  30. Andres Robles   •  

    Hi i was wondering i have a 2008 bmw 328i 137k miles on it and its my first car i was 17 when i got this car i took out a loan and still owe 11000 and ive had alot of problems with it because i didnt know anything about cars so they took advantage and i was wondering would i still be able to get a car from you guys i really need one i have a baby on the way and the car right now isnt reliable at all.

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Andres – I am very sorry to hear about this. I highly recommend contacting your local dealership to speak with one of our Sales Advisors regarding your options! Thank you!

  31. Kiera   •  

    When will drivetime consider you eligible for trading in your car even if you still owe ..

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Kiera – This will be dependent on a few different factors. I highly recommend contacting our Customer Service department at 888-977-7153 as they will be able to answer any questions you have regarding trading in your vehicle. Thank you.

  32. Crystal   •  

    I have 2004 Honda Accord V6. Its in okay condition. The car is paid for, and I have he title. The transmission has been giving me a bit of a problem. I want to use it as a trade in / down payment on a car.

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