How to Sell a Car at a Dealership

car for sale sign on a used vehicle


Interested in selling your car? There are basically two options, you can sell the vehicle privately or sell it to a dealership. How does selling your car to a dealership work? It’s really quite simple and can save you time and trouble. Learn all about how to sell your car at a dealership in this guide from the finance team at Sam Leman Ford in Bloomington.

What to Do Before Bringing Your Car to the Dealership 

Selling a car at a Normal-area dealership is easy, but there are a few things that you should take care of beforehand: 

  • Prepare the Vehicle: Have your car washed and detailed, and remember to remove any personal items. You should also take care of minor repairs, such as replacing broken knobs and burned-out bulbs. Larger, more expensive repairs can be left to the dealer, as it will cost them less to fix.
  • List the Benefits Of Your Car: It’s a good idea to make a list of all of the additional features and accessories. This will increase the value of your vehicle and make it more appealing to the dealership. 
  • Have the Paperwork Gathered: Collect the title, registration, any outstanding loan information, and maintenance records. 
  • Research Your Car’s Value: You can use car value estimate tools from, Kelley Blue Book, or your local Decatur-area dealership to find the trade-in value of your car. Knowing how much the car is worth will put you in a better position to negotiate your final selling price.

How Does Selling Your Car to a Dealership Work?

You have the vehicle ready for sale, so how does selling your car to a dealership work? Here’s what to expect:

  • Make an Appointment: It’s best to make an appointment so the dealer knows to expect you and can have the proper documents ready. 
  • Used Car Manager: At most dealerships you will be directed to a used car manager or a salesperson who will collect your information and run a vehicle history report on your car. 
  • Inspection: Typically the used car manager or one of the technicians in the dealership’s Service Center inspect the appearance and mechanical condition of the vehicle.
  • Receive an Offer: Based on the results of the inspection and vehicle history report, the dealership will make you an offer. You can then choose to negotiate or accept the offer outright. You also have the option of going to another dealership to see if you can get a better offer. 

Benefits of Selling Your Car to a Dealership

Here are some of the noteworthy advantages of selling a car at a dealership:

  • Save Time and Trouble: Selling your car privately is time consuming. You have to prepare a listing, field inquiries, set up test drives, and deal with the paperwork. It could take weeks before you actually sell the vehicle. Selling to a dealership will only take an hour or so, and they’ll handle all of the paperwork for you.
  • Lower Your New Car Price: If you plan on using your vehicle as a trade-in, you can apply your current vehicle’s value towards your new car. This allows you to offset the price of your new vehicle or significantly lower your monthly payments
  • Save on Your Taxes: When you trade-in your current vehicle and purchase another vehicle from Sam Leman Ford, you only pay the sales tax on the difference between the trade-in value and the cost of your new car. 

Sell Your Car Today at Sam Leman Ford

When you’re ready to sell your car, keep Sam Leman Ford in mind as an optimal source. Whether you choose to buy from us or just sell the car for cash, you can count on receiving the best deal possible at our dealership. Car prices are going up and we are always looking to add high-quality vehicles to our used car inventory. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team!


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