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Discussion Starter #1
So I am looking to trade my 2003 Nissan SUV in for something smaller, better fuel economy, etc.

I have found a vehicle however I get the impression that the dealer (different car maker) is not that interested in my trade in partly because there is something wrong with it..the engine is great but the sensors are acting up..i.e. the check engine/tire pressure light is on all the time...so the sensor needs to be replaced but I do not want to spend close to $2,000.00 fixing that.

How do I negotiate with them re: the trade..I have the feelign they will try to lowball my trade..I would like a minimum of $2,000.00 but I think they will try and offer me like $500.00 or something like that...

Thanks for any advice!
 

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You don't have to accept the offer. Let them know there are plenty of places to buy. If they won't work with you then walk. Have you tried putting a for sale sign on it? If you want 2 ask for 3. That way if they talk you down you get what you want and they feel like they got a deal.
 
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Why not sell it outright, instead of trading. You'll get more for it that way. Trading it in.....you'll lose thousands that could be easily put into your pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't want to sell it outright...no one will buy a vehicle with the check engine light on and as well I am having trouble with the A/c intermittently.

I heard too that dealers can fix vehicles alot cheaper than what the average person can just taking it to a garage.
 

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Here's the thing, a 2003 model vehicle is now 10 model years old and it has no book value - books dealers use stop at 7 years. You won't get as much for it trading it as selling it out right - only one person gets to make the profit and if you trade it in that normally becomes the dealer.

I've got some... experience in this. PM me if you want to give me a few more details about the vehicle and I'll get you some definitive suggestions.
 

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I don't want to sell it outright...no one will buy a vehicle with the check engine light on and as well I am having trouble with the A/c intermittently.

I heard too that dealers can fix vehicles alot cheaper than what the average person can just taking it to a garage.
People buy cars in all sorts of conditions. Just ask less for it. You'll still come out ahead of the dealer offer. JMO!
 

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I've read stats which say that, more or less, whatever they "offer" you for your trade, they would have "offered" you as a special customer discount/financing deal/call it whatever they want, even if you didn't have any trade. So in other words you get really $0 for a trade in when you buy a new car, because you'd have gotten it anyhow. Therefore you should just try to deal them down for other reasons, and then sell the car yourself to get extra money on top of that discount.
This isn't true - if you have a $30,000 trade in I promise you can't get a $30,000 discount. Most people get confused, upset and unhappy because they are upside down (negative equity) in their trade in. What that means is that if their trade is worth $30,000 and they owe $35,000 on it that in reality the $5,000 gets added to the price of what they are buying in order to pay the trade in off. Does that mean they didn't get what it was worth? No. Does it mean they paid more for what they bought? In a manner of speaking but not really. If they left the trade out and sold it privately they'd still have to come up with that extra $5,000 to pay it off before they could sell it.
 

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Not sure how much you need the $2,000 toward the purchase of your new car, however I always find it better to donate my old cars. Of course, this would only be practical if you are in a tax bracket where you would benefit. The only caveat, is that most places that accept vehicle donations will only take a car less than 10 years old... in your case you don't have much time.

You may want to consider it. Given how most tax laws are you can claim the KBB price and likely get as much as 35% of that on the write-off on your taxes. In your case that would an extra $200 back on your tax return.
 

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If you are in the US, try CarMax. They will buy the car, no obligation to purchase one of theirs. I definitely believe going to a dealer with a trade-in is a no-win for you or anybody. Just gives them another negotiating tactic. They will either bump the offer of the trade-in or offer incentive to buy a new one, but not both and likely the keep the scales tipped to their advantage.
 

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Here's the thing, a 2003 model vehicle is now 10 model years old and it has no book value - books dealers use stop at 7 years. You won't get as much for it trading it as selling it out right - only one person gets to make the profit and if you trade it in that normally becomes the dealer.

I've got some... experience in this. PM me if you want to give me a few more details about the vehicle and I'll get you some definitive suggestions.
too add, most dealers will either sell your car to a wholesaler or send it to an auction instead of putting it on their used car lot. They are looking to make a quick $200-500 and the auction and wholesale buyers are buying at or below wholesale value, thus you will likely not get top dollar from a dealer. Best bet is to sell it privately.
 

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There are always people looking for older vehicles. Start by looking up the book price (Kelly Blue Book on-line is a good place). That should give you an idea what it's worth. It's a starting point in the process. Place an ad on Craig's List or some other free advertising site. Going the trade-in route is a waste of money.

As for the problems with your SUV, it shouldn't cost that much to fix those types of problems. I quit taking autos to dealer's repair shops, and large garages years ago. Instead I find certified mechanics who work out of their backyards. It is a lot cheaper!

We have a small truck which is 14 years old with 200K miles on it. The book value is only around $500 or so. We would get nothing on a trade in with it. It's funny how many people have offered $2000 or more for it recently. So, don't dismiss what your SUV may be to someone else.
 

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The problem with some sensors on some models is it is major work to replace them, AND it may not be the sensor in itself. The CEL (check engine light) indicates only that there is a problem with that system. The sensor could be fine and there could easily be a problem with the wiring or even the ECU (dodges are notorious for this)

And an intermittent problem with the AC could be big bucks, if the AC compressor is weak and is labor intensive to change. Selling it outright while could be your best option, you will still take a hit on it.

Most car dealers in my area REFUSE to haggle on price. When I bought my only new car, i asked about this the salesmans response was "Why would I sell you a car cheaper than what the person behind you would pay for it."
 

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Dumping off your old car at the dealer has some good points (quick sale, plate transfer, not deling with idiots test driving it while you want to eat dinner) and bad points (probably cents on the dollar).

But it's an easy move and you feel like youre getting something off te new car you're driving out of there with. I've done it with my last 3 vehicles and were satisfied because of the convenience factor alone.
 

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Your SUV is in the condition it is in. It is worth what it is worth. You can want $2k all day long, but what is it really worth?

If it was in good running condition and average appearance, it is worth almost what the internet and blue books will say. My experience is that those values are optimistic. So take that value and subtract the cost of fixing the vehicle. That is what it is factually worth right now.

Your choice would be to fix it and then sell it at the full value, or not fix it and sell it for much less.

We had the family van die on us like that. We had a series of repairs, culminating in something over $1k for some sensor that took a lot of labor to get at. Then the valves acted up and the dealer quoted a repair cost more than it was worth all fixed up!

So I sold it for scrap. You can get a few hundred $ for the carcass. There might be value in the tires or rims if they are in good shape. There might be other parts of interest, even the transmission or seats. Parting it out and then selling the carcass to a scrap dealer might get you your best return.

Alternatively you might advertise it and hope a mechanic buys it to fix up himself.

Be really up front about what is wrong, and provide any repair estimates to back up what you say. You probably want to have a signed bill of sale which states what you have told the buyer and explicitly says they take all risk for unknown problems. i.e. they will not come back and sue you for anything wrong with the vehicle.
 
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