How to Trade in a Car That Is Not Paid Off

Hands Holding Car and Money

If you’ve been driving the Webster area roads for nearly any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of trading in vehicles at dealerships – either to help purchase a new vehicle or to simply cash out on the vehicle. Trading in is an excellent way to ease the cost of a new vehicle!

The trade-in process is pretty straightforward, especially if you work with the folks at Suntrup Volkswagen. That being said, there’s some variables, including whether or not the vehicle is paid off – the focus of our writing here. So, how do you trade in a car that’s not paid off? Our team is here to cover this question and more – just keep reading! Be sure to contact us via our online portal if you have any questions.

Evaluate: Positive or Negative Equity? 

If you want to know how to trade in a car that is not paid off, there’s two possible situations you can find yourself in. These are called positive equity and negative equity. You’ll need to determine which applies to your situation – check them out below:

  • Positive equity: your car is worth more than what you still owe
  • Negative equity: your car is worth less than what you still owe 

To discover which equity situation you’re in, you’ll need to figure out how much you owe on your current auto loan as well as how much the car is worth according to a source like Kelley Blue Book – who happens to provide our vehicle value estimate tool! The last key to the puzzle is knowing how much you’re getting from trade-in offers. If the offers are less than the amount you owe, then it is negative equity you’re dealing with. However, if it is more than how much you still owe, then it is positive equity! 

As you probably already guessed, positive equity puts you in an ideal position to trade in your vehicle, and as such, the process is made fairly easy. If you have negative equity, you’ll need to think about your options and see which one will best fit your financial plans.

Negative Equity: What to Do

For St Peters drivers who have negative equity on their financial plate, there’s a few things to consider. If you’re looking into how to trade in a car you still owe on, and you’re dealing with negative equity, there are several options to work with:

  • If possible, pay the difference you still owe after accounting for the trade-in price. 
  • Transfer the amount you still owe over to a new loan if you can.
  • Try to negotiate with the initial dealership you went to, after shopping with third parties for trade-in offers.

Wondering more about how to trade in a car that is not paid off? Perhaps you’re not sure which equity situation you’re in or which negative equity option will work best for you? The finance experts at Suntrup Volkswagen are here to help! 

Wondering How to Trade in a Car You Still Owe On? Now You Know!

Call us, and ask to speak with the finance manager for expert advice on any auto finance question! We’re just a short trip from St Louis, and we’re very excited to meet you!


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