For decades, the process of trading in a vehicle has been a murky one for individuals who are looking to get rid of their old vehicle or exchange it for a newer set of wheels. Typically, the standard course of action has been to make a trip to the dealership to get your vehicle appraised, and from there, make the decision to sell your vehicle to the dealership or apply the vehicle’s value towards a different car you see on the lot. With this however, not only is there confusion with how dealer arrived at your appraised figure, but there’s also a healthy degree of skepticism that leaves you wondering whether the deal is actually fair.

When it comes to trading in your vehicle, you shouldn’t have to wonder. But before we offer up a solution to trade-in torment, let’s first examine some of the ways people have traditionally gone about offloading their old reliables.

Standard Trade-In

Perhaps the most common way people have gotten rid of their old vehicles is by taking it to a dealership to get it appraised and eventually exchanged for a newer vehicle. Aside from the benefit of reducing the retail price for the new vehicle you have your eye on by trading in your old one, there are also certain tax advantages available to people living in certain states that offer further incentive for trading in your old ride. The issue, however, is that what you gain in convenience in letting a dealership associate take care of the transaction from start to finish, you lose in value when receiving your quote, as dealers often factor in mysterious costs associated with reconditioning your vehicle for retail. Additionally, if you try to find the value of your vehicle online via a random Google search, you’ll in all likelihood receive a value that comes with conditions and that will only serve as a generated lead for a dealership to contact you about your vehicle. If you receive a generous offer for your trade-in, that’s great! Though, you’ll want to look into how fairly priced the new vehicle you’re buying is. It’s a common trick for dealers to give you what seems like a great deal on your trade-in, but skewer you on the interest rate of the vehicle you want, and vice-versa.

Selling Privately or to a Dealership

Another common way people get rid of their old cars is by selling it outright. Just as when you trade-in a vehicle, you can go to a dealership to sell your vehicle, but you’re once again forced to engage in a bit of tug-o-war with the dealership associate on the sale price of the vehicle and there are no tax savings to take advantage of. Similarly, you could sell your vehicle privately and receive more money up front, but it could take you longer to sell your old car, plus you assume the risk of doing business with someone who is a complete stranger.


The least common approach to saying goodbye to your old ride is to donate it to charity. Of course, there is no immediate cash advantage to giving your car away, however individuals who donate their vehicle do receive tax deductions to go along with a little bit of good karma.

There are a variety of options when it comes to deciding how to part ways with your vehicle, though each traditional option comes with one or more hang-ups. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice if you could go to one place where you could not only receive the most accurate (and personalized!) valuation for your vehicle, but also have the option to immediately trade-in your car without ever stepping foot inside a dealership or arranging an encounter with complete stranger? Wouldn’t it also be great if this innovation didn’t play mark-up games with your vehicle’s trade-in value, and instead provided an untouched valuation that actually offered interest rate and sales tax savings?

This is where Carvana steps in to help eliminate your trade-in woes!

By visiting or, you provide us with detailed information and answer a few questions about your vehicle. Once you’re finished, submit your information to Sebastian – your Cardian Angel – and let him and our highly sophisticated Cardian Angel algorithms go to work to discover your car’s true worth. The end result is a truly innovative video that radically redefines the trade-in process by generating a value that is uniquely and totally tailored to you. During this cutting edge review, Sebastian will guide you through how your vehicle’s value was calculated, exploring and clearly explaining the reasons why your car is worth what it is.

In the end, if you are pleased with the value you’ve been quoted, apply the value of your old car towards a new Carvana purchase, or sell your car to us and receive a check in the amount of your vehicle’s value before we take your old car away. If not, the worst case scenario is that you simply walk away from the process equipped with a transparent and truly accurate valuation of your automobile without ever having to go to a dealership.

With Cardian Angel, car buying customers have more control than ever over their trade-in experience!

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