How Do I Trade in a Car That Is Paid Off?

Trading in Your Paid Off Car

When you buy a vehicle, you usually take out an auto loan and pay it off each month. At the end of the loan term, the car is yours to enjoy for as long as you want. Plus, the only payments you’ll need to focus on are for gas, insurance, and maintenance.

However, there may come a time when you want something new. The concept of trading in a car is pretty well-known. However, you may be wondering how to trade in a car that’s paid off.

We’ll tell you how it’s done in this informative guide. Read through the information below, and feel free to contact us at if you have any questions.

Steps to Trading in an Automobile

If you’re thinking about trading in your car, you’ll first want to get a sense of how much it’s worth. This can be done through various online pricing guides, such as Edmunds and NADA Guides.

You simply enter details about your automobile, including the year, model, and trim. You’ll then want to note the current condition of your car, so you can get a fair and accurate estimation.

Next, you’ll want to bring your vehicle to a dealership for an in-person evaluation. A staff member will look at your car and make you an offer. Once you accept, you just need to fill out some paperwork. Then, you’ll hand over the keys and drive home in the new ride that you had chosen beforehand.

Benefits of Trading in a Car That Is Paid Off

Trading in your Car

You can trade in a car that you still owe money on or that’s completely paid off, as the process is the same for each. However, you may want to consider paying the car off completely before trading it in.

As we mentioned before, the dealership will give your vehicle a value based on its overall condition. If you owe more money than the car’s worth, then you may be in an upside-down situation. When that happens, you have one of two options: keep making payments while possibly losing equity or selling the car and taking the loss.

Still, you could trade the car in. However, that remaining balance will most likely get tacked onto your new loan. By doing so, you’d have to pay more per month than if the vehicle you were trading in was paid off.

If you do decide to trade in a vehicle that’s fully paid off, you won’t be in this situation. You’ll get the money you need to help lessen your monthly payments. Additionally, once your car is paid in full, you could set aside the money that was going toward the loan. The extra cash could then help you get a vehicle with lots of fun features, such as heated seats or a navigation system.

Trade in Your Used Vehicle Today!

If you’re thinking about trading in your car, you may want to wait until it’s paid off. Then, see how much it’s worth on Before you know it, you’ll have the money you need to put toward your dream automobile.