Selling Tips

Getting the most value for your car

When selling a car to a dealer or trading it in, the process is quite cumbersome and unpleasant: driving dealer-to-dealer, getting low offers, and missed appointments. Swap Motors' Instant Cash Offer is a stress-free, quickest way to sell your car for up to 10% more than trade-in value. We buy your car and get you paid the same day!

Understanding trade-in, retail and private party values
  • Trade-in value: the amount a car dealer is willing to offer for a car when buying another car from them. Trade-in value tends to be a tad lower since the dealership is either buying it for inventory or send it to a wholesale auction. The advantage for a car-seller is the ability to negotiate a better deal on the car being sold and the car that is being purchased. The dealer also assumes total liability for the vehicle once it’s in their possession and also tend to manage paperwork and closing process.
  • Retail value: the amount a car dealer typically sells their inventory for, i.e., the amount paid by a buyer to purchase a car from the dealer. Retail value is the perhaps the most value for any given car – however, it applies only when being sold at a dealership factoring in overhead costs.
  • Private part value: the amount a private seller asks (or gets) for a car when it’s sold to a private buyer. Since no middlemen is involved in the transaction – private party value tends to be typically higher than trade-in and below retail. However, there are certain risks associated with a private party deal for both the buyers and sellers. For buyers: the lack of expertise to self-assess the condition of the car; title issues; lack of paperwork guidance. For sellers: risk of meeting up with strangers; potential failure in authenticating funds prior to closing; lack of paperwork guidance.

Is your car going to be easy to sell? Is it a hot commodity? Understand the real-time value of your car based on your geography and vehicle condition. Reputable companies such as Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds are good places to get started.

Factors that can increase the value of your car

Several factors have a direct impact on the value of your car when you decide to sell it. While the year, make, model, mileage and condition have significant impact on the value, factors such as title status, location, warranty, add-ons or upgrades and desirability can contribute to its overall value. Here are a few that can potentially increase the value:

  • Proper maintenance including storing records
  • Factory upgrades
  • Low mileage
  • Clean and odorless interiors
  • No accidents or significant body damage
  • Clean title
  • Factory or extended warranty
Factors that can decrease the value of your car
  • Accident or damage
  • Poor maintenance history
  • High mileage
  • Branded title
  • Scratches and dents
  • Interior odors and stains
  • Odors and stains
  • Aftermarket parts
  • No warranty
Does your car have a warranty?

New cars come with a factory warranty, and owners routinely purchase extended warranties too. Understand the complete warranty coverage your car may have, and the remaining coverage term. Having a warranty is a valuable add-on and can increase the sale price for your car. If you’re unaware or lost your warranty paperwork, you may contact your dealership of purchase for details.

About inspection

Our inspections are quick and free. We check your car for its overall condition to determine the best cash price for your car.

Have a loan on your car?

When you sell your car through Swap Motors – we handle the lien payoff process. If you have a loan on your car – we deduct your loan balance from your final check. If your loan amount is greater than the offer amount, we require you to write a check for the difference amount. We payoff the lender and have them release your title.

Checklist for closing the deal
  • Title
  • Payoff letter (if the vehicle has a loan)
  • Maintenance records
  • Sets of keys
  • Paperwork related to add-ons or
  • Window sticker
Lost your title? Here’s how to get a replacement title

Your Illinois vehicle title proves that you own our vehicle, and you’ll need this document should you ever wish to sell your car. If you can’t find your title, you can order a new one in just a few easy steps. Apply for a duplicate title in Illinois by mail or in person at your local IL SOS office. You’ll need to:

Complete the application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (Form VSD 190) accessible at: www.cyberdriveillinois.comandregistration/pert.html