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Selling Your Car to a Dealership

When it comes time to part with your vehicle the two most obvious options are either to sell it privately or sell it to a dealership. Now, when you are selling your car privately the common understanding is that you will get a higher price than you would if you traded it in at a dealership or simply sold it them independent of another purchase. While that might generally be true, there are several advantages to doing business with a dealership.

Safety is an important consideration. As a private seller you are likely to have to deal with a variety of potential buyers of unknown character, up close and in person. Our current COVID situation adds another layer of concern. Aside from the increased risks of exposure to COVID, there is the hassle of sanitizing your car between test drives.

Reduced hassle might be the most compelling reason to sell your car to dealership. It is almost always the quickest, simplest, and most convenient route to go and usually worth the few extra dollars you might get from a private sale. You are usually dealing with one person who both appraises your car and makes you an offer, most often the used car manager. One top of that, the dealership will take care of the paperwork for you, relieving you of yet another hassle. A private sale can take a long time. At the dealership, it is not uncommon for the whole process to take just a couple of days.

You need to do a bit of research to help you price your car realistically when selling it privately and it’s a good idea to do the same before bringing your car to the dealership. There are many online resources that can provide you with an estimated value. From the dealership’s perspective this will be about the same should you be trading your vehicle in or selling it on its own. However, in the latter case we, the dealer, can afford to be a little choosier, in deciding if your vehicle is something we need and want on our lot. Of course, we welcome a wide variety of vehicles including vehicles of other makes.

What other homework is recommended? Do you need to spend a lot of time and money repairing and detailing your car? Generally, no. If your car is really dirty you might to give it a good clean to make a favourable first impression, but our appraisers are trained to look past surface dirt. Also, some normal wear and tear is something that can reasonably be expected. As for repairs, they are something that we can address at a significantly lower cost than most customers so it makes sense to leave those to us.

Is it a good idea to bring a Honda to a Honda dealership in particular? Yes. We are especially knowledgeable about Hondas and are therefore able to offer the best value. Your Honda may be a candidate for our Certified Used Vehicle (CUV) program. CUVs are late model Hondas that pass a stringent inspection process, which may prompt us to perform some repairs or upgrades, which allows us to give those vehicles an extended warranty. Because CUVs represent a special value we are able to give you a bit more for your used Honda than we can for vehicles which don’t quite reach that standard.

Generally speaking, just how do we assign value to a vehicle? There are a variety of factors. Age and mileage are obviously important. The level of equipment is also key: luxury features, convenience items, infotainment tech, and safety apparatus. Some optional add-ons can also increase the value of your car, things such as 3M and a remote starter. However, heavily customized cars, particularly those with particularly unusual cosmetic modifications, can be harder to sell and subsequently bring in less value.

Maintenance history is another big factor in determining value. Service records that demonstrate that a car was well cared for put potential buyers at ease and make for an easier sell. Even if you haven’t serviced your vehicle with us or another Honda dealer, bring us whatever service paperwork you have; the more info the better. One owner and accident free vehicles can also bring in a higher price.
We plug all the information we can into some sophisticated software which is constantly scanning the market to show us what comparable vehicles are currently going for. After all, it is what people are willing to pay that will ultimately determine the selling price.

Do you need to make an appointment to get your vehicle appraised? No, but it is highly recommended. We value your time and we want to be sure that the process is as efficient and thorough as possible. If you are looking to get out of your vehicle and leaning towards selling it privately, we would still encourage you to give the dealership an opportunity. We’ll give you a solid number that you can rely on and that we will honor for a reasonable period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. Because market conditions are ever shifting we will need to reassess the situation every couple of weeks.

All in all, there is a lot to be said for selling your car to a dealership: efficiency, safety, and a minimum of hassle. You can get the process started here. We look forward to hearing from you!