Is it better to sell or trade in your car?

28 May 2021

So, you want to sell your own car. But should you sell it privately or trade it in with a dealer? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question and there’s a few factors to weigh up before you make your decision.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about selling your car privately vs trading in your car, helping you to make an informed decision about how to sell your car.

How should you sell your car?

Whether you’re selling your car to buy a new vehicle, or you’re looking to free up some cash, it can be difficult to know the best way to sell your car. Some people will tell you that selling privately is the most effective way to get the best price for your vehicle, whilst others may try and sway you with the convenience of trading your car into a dealership.

Ultimately, you need to make the decision that’s best for your personal circumstances. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here, as the best way to sell your car will depend on your priorities.

Continue reading to learn more about the different ways to sell your car.

Selling a car privately

Selling a car privately means advertising and selling your car yourself. There are many different ways to do this, from simply putting a sign in your car window to advertising on a site such as Autotrader, Ebay or Facebook Marketplace.

Opting to sell your car privately is usually the most effective way to get the best price for your vehicle as you can set the price yourself and wait for the right buyer to come along. However, there’s no guarantees as to how long it will take and you’ll need to do the legwork yourself.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of selling your car privately.

Pros of selling a car privately

  • Selling your car privately will usually earn you a significantly higher price for your vehicle.
  • You’re in control of setting the price – you don’t have anyone to answer to.
  • You may be able to get a discount on buying a new car as a cash buyer.

Cons of selling a car privately

  • You’re responsible for advertising your car. This means you’ll have to invest time, effort and possibly money into marketing your vehicle.
  • It can take a while to find the right buyer who is willing to pay the price you want for your car.
  • You’ll have to deal with strangers coming to view and test drive your car. This includes potential buyers who make an appointment but then don’t turn up.

Part exchanging a car

If you’re buying a new car from a dealership, they’ll often offer you the chance to trade in your old car to receive a discount on your purchase. This is often seen as the most convenient option as there’s no advertising to be done. However, you’ll pay for this convenience with the price that you’re offered.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of part exchanging your car.

Pros of part exchanging a car

  • Part exchange is one of the easiest ways of selling a car. You simply hand it over to the dealership and receive a discount on your new vehicle.
  • You won’t need to deal with advertising, viewings or test drives.
  • The dealership will do the paperwork for you.

Cons of part exchanging a car

  • You’re unlikely to get the best price through part exchange. This is because the dealership will be looking to make a profit, so they will offer you below market value.
  • You won’t get a say in the price of your car.
  • Trading in your car could limit your ability to negotiate the price of a new car.

Things to consider when deciding how to sell your car

There are lots of factors to weigh up when you’re deciding the best way to sell your car. For example, you’ll need to think about your priorities: are you looking for a quick and easy sale, or the best possible price?

So, what should you consider when you’re deciding the best way to sell your car?


There’s no hiding from the fact that price is likely to be a big factor when you’re deciding how to sell your car. If you sell your car privately, you’re likely to get a better price than if you trade it in with a dealer. This is especially the case with newer cars, more valuable cars and more desirable cars.

This difference in price is because a private buyer is more likely to be willing to pay market price. On the other hand, a dealership will need to make a profit when they sell on your car, so they’ll need to offer you a lower price.

You’ll need to weigh up whether the extra money that you’ll get with selling privately is worth the extra time and effort that you’ll need to dedicate to it.


Although selling your car privately will generally achieve you the best price, it also takes time. You’ll need to research how much your car is worth, list it on relevant websites and then coordinate viewings and test drives.

Trading your car in with a dealership is much faster, enabling you to offload your motor at the same time as purchasing your new vehicle. This can save you both time and effort, making selling your car quicker and easier.

The car itself

You’ll also need to consider the car itself. And no, we’re not talking about its feelings!

How desirable your car is, as well as its condition, can make a huge difference to the price you could achieve both privately and as a part exchange. It’ll also have an impact on how easy it will be to sell your vehicle.

Newer cars which are in demand will have a good chance of selling on the private market. This also applies to cars which are in great condition. However, if your car is older, damaged or an unpopular model, you may struggle to sell it privately and to achieve a good price.

Is there a better way to sell your car?

We’ve discussed the pros and cons of selling your car privately or part exchanging it with a dealership. But is there another way to sell your car which combines the benefits of each?

This is where Any Colour Car comes in. We are on online car buying service with a difference, buying your car for cash to leave you in the best possible position to buy your next car. There’s no need to haggle – we’ll give you the best price first time, taking the stress out of buying your car.

You might have heard about online car buying services before, but we aren’t like the rest. We want to stand out from the crowd. When we give you a price, we’ll try to stick to it. We won’t search your car from scratches to try and knock the price down – we know that a used car will be used.

Selling your car for cash will give you the upper hand when you’re looking for your next car as most dealerships will favour cash buyers. This means that you could end up securing yourself a discount on your next car by selling your car to Any Colour Car.

Give Any Colour Car a call

If you’re thinking of selling your car, give Any Colour Car a call. We can give you an obligation-free valuation for your vehicle, to help you to make the right choice. As well as getting the best value for your car, you’ll also avoid the hassle of selling privately. It’s a no-brainer!  

Back to Posts