How to Sell a Car at a Dealership

salesman passing over new car key


Looking to avoid the hassle of listing and selling your car on your own? Many Dunlap-area dealerships will buy your car from you and apply the value toward your next purchase. By selling your current car and buying your next car all in one place, you’ll save a lot of time — and drive home to Bartonville with more money in your pocket. So, how does selling your car to a dealership work? Find out with this guide from the finance center at Sam Leman Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Peoria, and be sure to reach out if you have any further questions!

Preparing to Sell a Car at a Dealership

To ensure a smooth and seamless trade-in process, preparation — and getting familiar with the details of how to sell a car at a dealership — is key. Here’s what to take care of before heading over to your local Galesburg dealership with your car:

  • Cleaning: When it comes to selling your car, first impressions matter. But although you may receive a better offer if your car appears clean and well-cared-for, professional detailing isn’t necessary. We suggest cleaning the vehicle’s exterior, vacuuming the carpet and seats, and carefully treating any stains with products that are safe to use on your car’s interior.
  • Repairs: Many drivers wonder if they should make repairs before selling a car. You shouldn’t spend your money for major repairs, but replacing small parts that have worn out (like windshield wipers) can help your car to make a good overall impression.
  • Selling Points: Present your dealership with a list of your car’s high-end features (like leather seat trim) and OEM accessories (like bike mounts, roof racks, and extra key fobs).
  • Documentation: Your dealership will want to see your car’s maintenance records and title, so you can speed up the appraisal process by bringing them along. Your vehicle will be valued more highly if it received all recommended services and maintenance in a timely manner.
  • Research: If you want to be sure that you’re receiving a fair offer for your car, use multiple sources (like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book) to find an average estimated value.
  • Schedule: You can drop by to sell your car to a dealership without making an appointment, but scheduling with them ensures that you’ll move through the process more quickly.

How Does Selling Your Car to a Dealership Work? 

So, how does selling your car to a dealership work when you arrive with your vehicle? At most dealership, selling your car goes something like this:

  • Vehicle History Report: First, you’ll be paired with a Used Car Manager or a salesperson who will guide you through the sale and/or trade-in. They will catalogue the info you provide about your car and run a full vehicle history report.
  • Vehicle Inspection: Either the Used Car Manager or a certified technician at the dealer’s service center will perform a multi-point inspection of the vehicle.
  • Receive Your Offer: Now that the appraisal is complete, the dealership will make you an offer. You can choose to accept it or see if you can get a higher offer at another dealership.

Trade In and Trade Up at Sam Leman Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Peoria!

Now that you know how to sell a car at a dealership, you just need to choose a dealership you can trust. At Sam Leman Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Peoria, we go above and beyond to make our trade-in process transparent and hassle-free — and we’ll always offer you a fair price for your car. Not all dealerships are willing to sell older models, but because we offer a wide range of models and price points in our pre-owned inventory, we’ll be happy to take your current car off your hands! Visit us today in Peoria, or give us a call at ​(877) 854-1464 to learn more.

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