Should You Sell Or Trade In Your Car To The Dealer?

There is often confusion about what it means to sell a car to a dealership versus to trade it in. Atlanta car owners are wondering if they will get the same price. Likewise, they are interested in knowing the benefits of each option, as well as what to consider in advance.

One of the biggest misconceptions about selling your vehicle to a dealership is that you have to purchase a car at the same time. At Hennessy Buick GMC, we will buy your car without putting you under any pressure to buy from us.

Let’s explore what it means to trade in your vehicle at a dealership versus what it means to sell your vehicle to a dealership. We will cover the key benefits of each option and potential obstacles to keep in mind. If you would like to learn more about how to trade in or sell your vehicle to a dealer, please get in touch with our team at Hennessy Buick GMC.

What are the benefits of trading in my vehicle?

Depending on your situation, there are undeniable benefits to trading your vehicle in with a dealership – particularly if you plan on buying another vehicle from that same dealership.

The process is quick and easy

You can trade your car in easily at the dealership you intend to purchase from if you’re planning to buy a new one immediately. Simply put, you are able to get credit for the value of your trade-in on the next car you buy. Everything will be handled by your dealer after you bring in your car! If you plan on purchasing another vehicle straight away, trading in might be the better option for you.

If you’re looking to trade-in your car, truck, or SUV near Morrow, Georgia, we invite you to browse our full inventory at Hennessy Buick GMC today!

Higher offer, minimal tax

If you’re going to be buying a car from the same dealership’s inventory, you will most likely be offered more for a trade-in than if you are just selling your car to the dealership. Further, only the price difference is subject to Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). As an example, if your trade-in is valued at $20,000 and your purchase is $30,000, you will only be responsible for paying HST on $10,000.

How should I prepare before trading in my vehicle?

There are several key factors to think about before trading in your vehicle. How many miles have you driven it? What state is it in? You’ll want to ensure that your vehicle is in pristine condition before trading. Consider the following:

There is an optimal mileage

The warranty on nearly all new cars ends at the 30,000-to-40,000-mile point, and major repairs to ‘wear-and-tear’ parts usually take place here. Following this period, the depreciation of your vehicle is likely to accelerate. You’re more likely to get a better trade-in value if your car is close to this mileage range.

Clean and repair the vehicle in advance

It is always a good idea to ensure that the interior and exterior of your vehicle are in optimal condition prior to taking it to the dealership for an appraisal. In other words:

  • Remove all debris and trash from your vehicle
  • Make sure your car is thoroughly cleaned (inside and out) and vacuumed
  • If possible, have the exterior and interior detailed
  • Fix any minor dents, paint chips, or cracks in the glass (windows, mirrors, or windshields)
  • Any mechanical problems with the vehicle should be repaired if doable

We encourage you to prepare and present your vehicle to the dealership like you would for a potential buyer!

Come to the dealership prepared

If you are looking to trade in your vehicle to a dealership, we strongly recommend showing up with all of the necessary paperwork. Included in this list are the title (if you possess it), the registration, any repair logs, and all copies of the keys to the vehicle. Having your vehicle ready for trade-in will prevent any delays in getting behind the wheel of your next vehicle.

How do I get my trade appraised?

At Hennessy Buick GMC, we encourage you to bring your vehicle in for an appraisal or utilize our user-friendly, instant online trade-in advisor tool, powered by KBB, which offers an excellent way to estimate the trade-in value of your vehicle. To get started, simply take five minutes to submit some basic information about your vehicle. Once our team receives your request, we will get back to you with an estimate!

What are the benefits of selling my vehicle to a dealership?

There are many reasons why selling your vehicle to a dealership is favorable, especially when compared to selling privately.


Selling your car to a dealer means you know exactly where to go and who the buyer is from the start. Sometimes, the entire transaction can be completed in just one day! contact our team at Hennessy Buick GMC for assistance selling your vehicle..

No Pressure

When you sell your vehicle to dealers like Hennessy Buick GMC, there is no obligation to buy. We are happy to purchase your car, whether you plan to shop with us or not.


There is a certain level of risk involved in selling privately as you’ll usually be dealing with complete strangers. Avoid Craigslist scams and know that you’re selling to a trustworthy buyer when you sell directly to a dealership.

Before I sell my car to the dealer, what do I need to know?

It is crucial to understand that when you’re selling your car to a dealership, the amount you receive might not be equivalent to a trade-in offer on the same vehicle, despite both being based on KBB values. If you are interested in selling your vehicle, we encourage you to get an Instant Cash Offer through KBB to avoid inaccuracies! Alternatively, you can bring your vehicle to Hennessy Buick GMC in Morrow, Georgia for a direct offer from our team.