Can You Trade In a Buy Here Pay Here Car?

Several years ago, you discovered the wonders of a buy here pay here dealership and purchased your first car using on the lot financing. Since you’d had some credit issues in the past, this was a great option for you; you were able to get a car when no conventional dealership or bank would have loaned you the money. You’ve now driven it for several years and it’s been a great car, but you’re getting a little bored with it. Maybe it’s time for a change. And now you’re wondering…

 

Can you trade in a buy here pay here car?

The short answer is YES. Once you’ve purchased a car at a buy here pay here car lot, it’s yours. You can drive it forever, trade it, or sell it to a friend. If you decide to trade it in on new wheels, the rules are pretty much the same as if you’d purchased the car from a traditional car dealership. You have to be caught up on your payments, and you have to have enough equity built up so that you’re not upside down on your loan.

What does being “upside-down” on a loan mean?

When you’re upside down in a loan, it means you owe more on the car than the vehicle is worth. If this is the case, you’ll have a hard time finding anyone interested in taking your car as a trade-in. Before you decide to trade in your buy here pay here car, you need to do a little research to determine the approximate worth of your vehicle and then compare that to the amount you still owe to see where you stand.

There are several ways to figure out the approximate value of your buy here pay here car. One of the most common ways is to use online sites like NADA and Kelley Blue Book. These sites have forms you can fill out online to provide information about the make and model, features and options, mileage, and the condition of your vehicle. Based on the information you provide, they’ll come back with an estimated price range if you were to trade the car in. If online isn’t your thing, you can also take your car to local dealers to have it appraised. But you need that estimated value. Take that estimated value and subtract what you still owe on your car. If the number is positive, you’re set to go. If it’s negative...read on.

If you’re upside down on your car loan, you have a few options.

buy here pay here dealer

If what you owe on the car is more than the approximate value of the car as determined by your research, you probably haven’t owned the car long enough to build up any equity. Or...you may have missed a few payments. But you do have options, even if this is the case.

  1. Hold off on the purchase of your new wheels until you have positive equity in the vehicle. In other words, keep making your payments until the amount you owe is significantly lower than the estimated value of the car. That gap between the estimated value and what you owe is your equity in the car. But the amount you owe has to be the smaller number to get anyone interested in your trade-in.
  2. Pay down the difference if you can. If you owe more on the car than your research says it’s worth, muster up all your extra pennies and put them toward paying down what you owe. The goal here is to get the amount you owe paid down so that you’ll have something to work with when you take your car to trade.
  3. Roll it over if the dealer allows. If you’re buying your new car at a buy here pay here dealership, you could be in luck. However, not all dealerships let customers roll negative equity loans over. In this situation, you would be rolling the negative amount from your research above (the amount you still owe to get to the car’s estimated current value) into the loan for the new vehicle. Essentially you’d be paying for part of your old car with the new loan. This probably isn’t the best solution, especially if you’ve had credit issues in the past. This process will end up costing you more money in interest over the life of the new loan.

What if I’m “right-side-up” on my loan?

If you’ve made payments on your buy here pay here car long enough that you have some equity built up, then good for you! You’re ready to go shopping. The buy here pay here car lot that you originally purchased from is a great place to start. They already know your current car; they’ve seen it before, so they may give you a better deal on it. But you should be able to trade your car at any dealership. Just make sure you let them know that you’re aware of its approximate value. This will help you get the best price for your trade-in.

Have you been holding off?

If you’ve been holding off on shopping for a used car at a buy here pay here car lot because you were afraid you’d be stuck with the car forever, think again. You can still trade in a buy here pay here car when you’re ready - if you have enough equity in it.

AutoMax buy here pay here dealership in NC.

They’ve been in the buy here pay here car business for 30 years, serving customers in Henderson, Youngsville, Raleigh, and Durham. One of the reasons that sets AutoMax apart in the industry is the relationships they build with their customers. AutoMax’s sales folks are always happy to answer questions, and they don’t consider any question too silly. If you still find yourself with questions about trading in your buy here pay here car, stop by for a visit at AutoMax’s dealerships in Henderson or Youngsville. They’ll be happy to help you through the process.