sell or trade in

Asked by mallonee1 Jul 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM about the 2001 BMW 3 Series 325i Sedan RWD

Question type: Car Selling & Trading In

i have a 2001 BMW 325i with 53,000 miles, sports and premium package outstanding condition. Should i sell privately or trade in on  SUV crossover either new or a few years old. Everett, wa

4 Answers


You can almost always get more money dealing private party than trading in. It is up to you if the added time and effort that go in to selling it yourself are worth the extra money, or if you would rather avoid any hassle and just trade it in.

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I'm currently going through this debate with my trade. I got lucky and found a friend of a friend who wants to purchase it. A few things I hadn't thought about that came into play which you may want to consider... First, title transfer, if you trade it in the dealer will generally take care of it for you, on a private party sale it may take a trip or two to the DMV. Second, financing for the buyer, many banks will only finance a vehicle if it is purchased through a dealership. Also many finance companies limit the age and/or mileage of the vehicle purchase to 5 or 6 years or 70k miles. Finally, inspection and taxes, I don't know about in Washington State, but here vehicles have to be inspected before title can be transferred (which can get expensive) and tax on the vehicle purchase must be paid to the state. On the other hand (here at least) if you trade the vehicle the trade in value is deducted from the purchase value before calculating tax, which depending on the value of the trade, can save you a few hundred bucks. So with all these benefits to trading in, why would anyone in their right mind sell a vehicle privately? Simply put, CA$H, dealers like that it's difficult to sell a car privately because it protects their profit margin. Most dealerships make a lot more money on used vehicles. For example, my trade was valued at about $8k market value by Cargurus, a nationwide used car chain that prides itself on making car buying easy offered me $4k. With a profit margin like that, it's a wonder that their stock isn't doing better... Anyway, with an older, low mileage vehicle like yours my bet is that selling it yourself, while not easy, will be well worth it financially. Good Luck!

1 people found this helpful.

Try contacting your local BMW car club. Those of us who know the E46 and love them will fetch a better price that other sources. Check with your independent mechanic. They are the first line of approval for used car buyers and can vouch for vehicle's maintenance, while knowing if someone might be interested. As far as a crossover, might I recommend the Mini Countryman S? It is the MOST FUN you will find similar in feel and fun to your E46, especially since it is actually a Bimmer in a nice English jacket.

1 people found this helpful.

Agreed with Michael. That way you can be sure your investment is going into good hands!

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