How to Trade in a Car That’s Not Paid Off

August 12th, 2021 by

Tiny car with coins and finance paperwork

If you’re looking to upgrade your current Rochester-commuter vehicle, you may be contemplating trading it in for something new. While trading in a car is a pretty simple process–and a great way to take money off of your next purchase–what you haven’t paid off your auto loan? Can you still trade the car in? The short answer: yes, you can still trade in a car that’s not paid off. However, there are key details that you should know about when taking this route. Read this guide on how to trade in a car that’s not paid off with the financiers at Victory Honda of Ontario.

First, Find Out the Value of Your Trade-In

When you commence the trade-in process, the first step is to find out how much your vehicle is worth. You can do this by using our value-your-trade tool, or a similar one from a service such as Kelley Blue Book to a value estimate of your current vehicle. Keep in mind that the end result is only an estimate. Only once your vehicle has been inspected will the dealership be able to determine exactly how much it’s worth.

Does Your Vehicle Have Positive or Negative Equity?

Once you have the vehicle’s trade-in value, you will then whether it has negative equity or positive equity. To determine whether your vehicle has negative equity or positive equity, you’ll need to compare its trade-in value to the amount you still owe on it. You can find the remaining balance on your monthly statement. If your trade-in value is more than what you owe, you have positive equity. On the other hand, if your trade-in value is less than what you owe, you have negative equity. 

While Syracuse drivers with positive equity are in a great position to trade in their ride for something new, if you have negative equity, you’re not completely out of options.

How Can I Trade in a Car With Negative Equity?

If you have a car with negative equity, there are a few ways you can trade it in:

  • Pay Off Your Auto Loan: If you’re in a good financial position, you can pay off the remaining balance that you still owe on the vehicle.
  • Rollover Your Existing Loan Into the New One: When you “rollover” a loan, the dealership will pay off the balance of your old loan. However, this does not mean that you’re no longer obligated to pay that balance. Instead, that amount will be added to the loan of your new vehicle, and you will be responsible for paying both balances simultaneously.
  • Shop Around and Negotiate: Shoppers who aren’t pleased with the first trade-in offer can choose to consult with multiple dealerships and negotiate. You can try to secure a better offer by finding out what other Avon-area drivers have sold their vehicles for.

Get More Trade-in Advice From Victory Honda of Ontario

Whether you want to know more about how to trade in a car that’s not paid off, or you’re ready to start the trade-in process, contact Victory Honda of Ontario today. Or, you can visit the dealership in Canandaigua to browse our inventory of new and pre-owned automobiles to find your next upgrade.


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