Sell Car or Trade

It's happened to virtually all of us. An automotive infatuation leads to courtship (those in the biz call it "shopping"), courtship leads to engagement (the deposit and credit application), and engagement leads to matrimony (purchase).

With all of that romance, it's hard to imagine falling out of love with what was your absolute favorite car or truck just a few years ago. But it happens. Happily, AutoTrader has at least two viable and convenient ways to leave your lover.

Selling a car typically generates more anxiety than dating. But it's also usually the best way to get the most money for your old car.

AutoTrader's Sell Your Car tool offers several options to make the process easier, beginning with a short quiz to establish aptitude, appropriate coaching in the creation of your own ad, and a VIP service. According to Kate Demange, product manager for the tool, "is the best place for shoppers to search for a car, which means it's also the best place to sell your car. Eighty percent of sellers were satisfied with the time it took to sell their car and their experience with the site and services."

Ad packages start at $19.99 (less than the cost of a tank of gas). And while the VIP service costs more, it essentially secures an assigned consultant throughout the process. Listing of the vehicle, scheduling of third-party inspections and even pre-screening calls are part of the offering. If you can't tell your ride you no longer love them, have AutoTrader's VIP folks do it for you.

Some of us – for reasons of time, safety or sanity – are disinclined to pitch our own propulsion. For that, AutoTrader's Trade-In Marketplace is the tool of choice. In order to provide readers with an in-depth perspective, we surrendered – at least virtually – our 2005 Mazda3 five-door, in good shape, with 85,000 miles. A ding (or two) and a stain on the backseat were the only identifiable negatives.

After filling out the appropriate info, we were provided with an evaluation of $5,907. And that amount was confirmed, via email, by a dozen area dealers. According to product manager Nancy Nethery, you can "either get a check for your clear title or apply that value to a trade-in."

The best advice is simple: get informed. Whether selling or pursuing a trade-in value, AutoTrader provides the foundation for a detailed decision. You can set yourself free, Lee.

author photo

David Boldt Began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.

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