June 2nd, 2020 by

Shoppers love the convenience of trading in, since it completes all auto-related chores in one dealership visit. We can help avoid the headache of selling your old car and, as a bonus, Patrick MINI handles all the DMV paperwork. And in some states, trading in can provide a break in sales tax.

This article will explain the different processes involved.

It is the easiest and fastest way.  If you are looking to get a new vehicle, all you need to do is tell your Patrick MINI Client Advisor you would like to trade in your current car, and they’ll take it from there.  They will gather the year, make, model, vehicle identification number (also known as serial number or VIN) and current mileage.  A Patrick MINI Used Car Manager will test drive and appraise its value, then they’ll make you an offer as part of your overall car-buying transaction. If you accept their offer, you’ll sign the car’s title over to the dealership and be all done.

You complete the transaction in one place. If you sell your car to another dealer or a third party, you’ll have to drive to multiple places to complete the deal. If you trade your car in, you can just drive it to the dealership and drive your next car home. No need to call a friend or an Uber to take you from wherever you sell it to the new car dealer.

We’ll pay off your loan.  If you still owe money to a lender on your current car, we will pay off the balance of your loan and get the title to the vehicle directly from your lender. You won’t need to run all over town shuttling documents and checks. Any positive equity that you have in the vehicle can be used as a down payment toward your new lease or purchase, or if we are simply buying your car from you, we’ll refund you the difference.

The paperwork is taken care of. There are heaps of paperwork to sign when you sell a car. If you trade it in at Patrick MINI, we’ll take care of all the paperwork for you. When you sell a car in a different state than you live or the vehicle is registered, the paperwork can get extremely complicated. Our team deals with complex transactions all the time and will know just what documents need to be filed with which DMV. You’ll just need to sign the papers.

You can save on sales tax. A potentially massive benefit of trading in your car at Patrick MINI is the money you can save. Depending on how your state taxes vehicle sales, the value of your trade can potentially be deducted from the price of your new car for the purpose of computing sales tax.  See the new Illinois Trade-In Tax Law here. 

What if you are severely underwater on the car?  When you owe more on your vehicle than it is worth or appraised for, you have what is called negative equity, being upside-down on your loan, or being underwater. In this situation, trading your vehicle makes less financial sense. If you can’t sell your current car and use that money to pay off your existing loan, the cash to pay it off must come from somewhere else.


Here’s an example: Say you owe $20,000 on a car that the dealer is only offering you $15,000 to trade in. That leaves you with $5,000 that you will immediately have to pay your lender if you sell the car.

If you have the money to pay this difference, it’s not a big deal.  If your finances are stretched, your options may be limited.  This $5,000 difference can be added to the balance of your new loan and use it to take care of paying off the loan on your old car.  This can be looked at as a downfall because you are now adding another $5,000 to the balance owed on you new car. In some instances, this may be your only option. A Patrick MINI manager can provide you with options to make a decision that works for you.


Preparing Your Trade-In

When you’re trading in a car, you’re selling it to us and hoping you get the best possible price for the sale. Though it’s a little different than preparing it for a private sale, many of the things you want to do are similar. The biggest difference is that you don’t want or need to put in the same amount of effort to ensure that the car is spotless as you would with a private-party sale. You’re selling it at wholesale, and Patrick MINI will do the work to refurbish it to retail condition.

Tips to get your vehicle ready for trade-in:

Gather Your Paperwork: Your car is more valuable if you can prove that you have completed all necessary preventative maintenance at each service interval. By keeping all your service records in one place, you’ll be prepared to hand over copies of receipts that demonstrate you’ve taken care of the car. Also, provide receipts on things like tires and brakes so you can show if you’ve replaced them recently.

If the vehicle was in an accident, be prepared with your appraiser’s paperwork showing the repairs that were performed. We may not ask for any of the paperwork but being prepared may land you a sweeter deal.

Car owners who have paid off their loans should find their title and have it with them when they visit the dealership, though you never want to leave the title in the vehicle. If you store the title to your car in a bank safety deposit box, be sure to retrieve it on a weekday so you’re not stuck if you decide to buy a car on a weekend when the bank is closed.

Clean It Up: First impressions are important, even our experienced automobile appraisers. However, experts disagree on just how much cleaning you should do. Take in a car that’s spotless, with everything taken out of the glovebox and trunk, and you’ve just indicated to the dealer that you’re planning on completing your purchase that day. Bring in a car with a few of your belongings in it, and you will have an excuse to go home to clean it out while you’re considering their offer.

The costs of refurbishment will be factored into any trade-in offer they give you.

In short, you don’t need to clean up your car to showroom condition, but you want to clean it up enough that it looks like you have cared for it. Get rid of the fast food wrappers, give it a good wash, vacuum out the interior, and you should be good to go.

Feel free to call us directly at 847-230-8210 with any questions you may have.


Example of Pre-Appraisal

Posted in Vehicle Trade-In