Trading in Your Old Vehicle for a High-Quality Pre-Owned Car

If you’re looking for a new ride in D.C., Baltimore or the greater DMV area, chances are you’re interested in selling or trading in your old car. Whether you’re looking to purchase a brand-new or used vehicle, trading in your old car is a great way to save some time and money during the car shopping process.

At Easterns Automotive, we offer our customers a seamless trade-in process to make their car buying experience more convenient. Our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way. Visit one of our eight Easterns Automotive locations in Maryland and Virginia today and let us help you trade in your old car for a new ride.

Step-by-Step Trade-In Guide

How Does Trading in a Car Work at Easterns?

At Easterns Automotive, we strive to make every trade in as seamless as possible, but it never hurts to come prepared. Bringing relevant documents and understanding your car’s value can further expedite the process and help us provide you with the best trade-in experience possible.

1. Research the market:

Begin by researching the current market value of your car and the potential replacement vehicles you are interested in. Search online resources for tools to accurately value your current car and to learn about potential replacement vehicles in your price range.

2. Assess your car’s condition:

Perform an honest assessment of your car’s condition, including its mileage, overall appearance, any mechanical issues and visual imperfections. This will help you determine its trade-in value and provide you with an idea of what to expect during the trade-in process.

3. Clean and prepare your car:

First impressions matter, so before bringing your car to Easterns for a trade-in, thoroughly clean both the interior and exterior. Remove any personal belongings and make sure the car looks presentable. Small repairs, like fixing minor dents or scratches with DIY touch-up kits, can also help improve its overall appearance and trade-in value. Avoid putting too much money into repairs on a car you’re trying to sell if possible.

4. Gather necessary documentation:

Gather all the necessary documents, including your car’s title, registration, maintenance records and any warranties you may have. Having these documents readily available will streamline the trade-in process and make it easier for us to evaluate your car and offer you the most accurate and fair price.

5. Understand trade-in vs. sale value:

Keep in mind that the trade-in value of your car may be lower than what you could potentially sell it for in a private sale. However, the convenience and time saved by trading it in at our dealership can more than offset this difference. Consider the trade-off between maximizing the sale price and the convenience factor.

6. Finalize the trade-in deal:

Once we’ve negotiated a sale or trade-in deal, we’ll ensure there’s ample time for you to review the trade-in offer carefully. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, such as any deductions for reconditioning or repairs and any adjustments for outstanding loans or lease balances. Be sure to ask any questions you may have before the transaction is finalized.

7. Complete the paperwork:

If you’re satisfied with our trade-in offer, complete the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership of your old car to our dealership. This typically includes signing over the title, transferring the registration and canceling insurance for the traded-in vehicle. We’ll ensure you receive copies of all documents for your records.

8. Enjoy your new used car:

With the trade-in process complete, it’s time to enjoy your newly purchased used car! Take the time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle and address any necessary paperwork, such as updating the registration and insurance.

Can I Trade in My Car if I Still Owe Money on a Car Loan?

In a perfect world, the car you’re trading in is paid off and its value can be used to shave a significant amount off your new auto loan. In reality, this isn’t always the case and it’s not uncommon for drivers to want to trade in vehicles they haven’t yet paid for in full.

The good news is you can trade in your car even if you still owe money on a car loan. Many dealerships, including Easterns Automotive, facilitate trade-ins for customers with outstanding loan balances. Here’s how it generally works:

1. Loan payoff:

The first step is to determine the remaining balance on your car loan. Contact your lender to obtain the payoff amount, which includes the principal balance and any accrued interest. This information is crucial for calculating the equity or negative equity in your trade-in.

2. Trade-in appraisal:

We will appraise your car to assess its condition, mileage and market value. Based on this appraisal, we’ll provide you with a trade-in offer for your vehicle.

3. Equity calculation:

If the appraised value of your car is higher than the remaining loan balance, you have positive equity. This means that the trade-in value can be used to pay off the loan, and any remaining equity can be applied towards the purchase of your new vehicle, potentially reducing the overall loan amount.

4. Negative equity consideration:

If the appraised value is lower than the outstanding loan balance, it results in negative equity. In this case, the remaining loan balance will need to be addressed. You may have options such as rolling the negative equity into the new loan or paying off the difference separately.

5. Trade-in and new loan agreement:

Once the trade-in value, equity and any negative equity considerations are finalized, our finance experts assist you in completing the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership of your old vehicle and secure a new auto loan for your replacement vehicle.

Keep in mind, trading in a car with an outstanding loan can have financial implications. For instance, rolling negative equity into a new loan may increase your monthly payments or extend the loan term. Be sure to carefully consider your options and consult with one of our team members to make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.

Get the Highest Value for Your Trade in at Easterns!

Visit Easterns Automotive today and let us help you navigate the trade-in process smoothly, so you can drive away in great pre-owned vehicle with confidence.