How To Get the Most Money When Cashing in Your Old Car

How To Get the Most Money When Cashing in Your Old Car

September 16, 2020    Budgeting Advice

The time has come to move on from your current vehicle. Maybe it’s getting a little rusty from age or wear and tear. Maybe it’s collecting dust in your garage. Or maybe you’re just ready for a change. Either way, you probably want to get something in return for the car you no longer want.

We’ll give you all the details on three ways you can get cash for used cars and how to prepare your car for the final sale.


3 ways you can get cash for your used car


Sell it yourself

One of the pros of selling your used car yourself is you’ll likely get more money for it (since all that money is going to you). However, selling privately is a game of patience and you’ll be putting in a lot more time to prepare, advertise and eventually show your vehicle.

So when do you sell your car privately? Maybe it has a bit of wear and tear but it’s overall driveable. On the flip side, maybe it’s not currently running but the interior and exterior are in pristine condition, which may interest people who want to take on a project car. Regardless of its condition, here are some tips for privately selling a used car:

  • Know what your car is worth. You can price your car on autoTRADER and get your vehicle history report from CARFAX.
  • Highlight the features that set it apart. However you choose to advertise your car (maybe it’s on Kijiji or through Facebook Marketplace), be sure to emphasize the car’s best features. If your car has low mileage, a custom paint job or a rocking sound system, make sure to mention it!
  • Provide enough information in the advertisement. When it comes to car advertisements, the more information the better. Be honest about any major damage or imperfections and like we said above, speak to the vehicle’s key selling features.
  • Promote your car’s safety rating. If you learn how to check your car safety ratings, you can use that information when you’re trying to make a sale. If your car has an excellent safety rating, you may as well showcase it!


Sell to a junkyard or parts shop

If your car doesn’t run properly but still has usable parts, try selling it to a junkyard or parts shop. For example, say the body is covered in rust but the interior is in mint condition. Your car may be appealing to someone who is sprucing up or rebuilding another car and needs a steering wheel or set of seats. You could still make a profit and have your car taken off your hands.


Trade in your car at a dealership

If you opt to trade in your car at a dealership, you’ll be able to put the value of your old car towards a new one.

This is where our team at Birchwood Credit comes in.

If you’re already a Birchwood Credit customer and you upgrade your vehicle with our Upgrade Advantage program, you’ll get exclusive benefits as our way of saying thank you. You’ve worked hard to rebuild your credit and we want to reward you.

You’ll enjoy these exclusive benefits:

  • Get your first car payment for free.
  • Have more choice when it comes to selecting your vehicle. Since you’ve built your credit with us, our financial experts will help you explore better vehicle options.
  • Get superior rates to competitors if you’ve moved into a prime rate for financing – it’s our rate-matching guarantee.
  • Choose how you want to upgrade. We encourage you to think about how upgrading your vehicle will enhance your life and let us know what you hope for. We’ll do our best to make it happen.

In less than a minute, you can fill out the contact form on our website and our team will contact you within a day to get the upgrade process started. You can also read our blog post to learn how to maximize your trade-in.


Ways to prep your car for resale

Before putting your car up for sale online or starting the trade-in process at a dealership, you’ll want to make sure your car is in tip-top shape.

Here are some things you can do to prep your car for resale:

  • Give it a good clean. A clean car is an appealing car and one of the easiest ways to make it look new and inviting. You’ll want to wash and vacuum the interior seats, wipe down the dashboard, clean out any garbage and wipe down the windows. As for the exterior, you’ll want to give it a good wash (don’t forget the tires and underbody) and wipe down the side mirrors to avoid spotting.
  • Keep detailed records. Throughout your car ownership, you’re bound to have to do some basic maintenance and repairs. Keep a record of all the work done on your vehicle as well as the vehicle manual. Being prepared should impress potential buyers.
  • Have a mechanic inspect your vehicle. Get a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic to ensure your vehicle is mechanically stable and meets safety requirements.
  • Catch up on car maintenance. Make sure your car is well-maintained before trying to sell. Get a fresh oil change, ensure no lights are lit on the dashboard and have a mechanic buff out any minor dents or scratches. It’s important to maintain your vehicle through its entire lifecycle, not just when you’re ready to sell. You can learn how to budget for car maintenance and read our seven maintenance tips.
  • Do your research. Do some searching before putting a price on your vehicle. See what it’s worth in the market given its condition, mileage and make/model. If you’re well informed before you sell, you’ll be better equipped to negotiate with potential buyers.

If you’re ready to purchase a new vehicle and are looking for an affordable payment plan, our credit experts are ready to help you, even if you have bad credit. You can fill out an online Car Loan Application and our team will help you find a payment plan that meets your budget and lifestyle. You can also try our Secure Credit Check to get your free credit report and find out where your credit stands.


Our offices have reopened, though if you’d prefer to shop from the comfort of your home, you still can with our Buy From Home program. Your entire buying experience will be 100% contactless from the loan approval and vehicle shopping to the test drive and delivery. You’ll even get a $1000 rebate and other added benefits. Visit our Buy From Home page for more information.

Sydney Small
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