How to Trade in Your Vehicle
While a dealer’s offer may not be as high as an independent purchaser, the process is much more simplified at the dealership. The dealer will assess the value of your current vehicle, count that value towards the new car you are interested in, and can then assist you with financing the car such as how much your monthly payment will be.
At a dealership, nearly every aspect of this process comes with negotiations, so you can haggle with the salesman about how much the old car is worth, and how much you are willing to pay for the new vehicle.
When it comes to loans, you may need to get the payoff amount below the current value of your vehicle before trading it in, or else your car will maintain negative equity. This usually happens if your current vehicle is relatively new, and the auto loan balance is higher than the estimated vehicle value. To get to positive equity, some of that balance will need to be paid off, either by paying off the principal as fast as possible or by postponing the sale of your vehicle until you are in the black.