Trading down car.... how does it work?

Hello.
I have a 6 series which I bought about 3 years ago, that I got financed on a 5 year loan. Anyways, I checked the blue book value of my car and
found out that given the condition of my car, my car is worth about $69,000.
Well, I found a really nice house and my girlfriend has been pressuring me to sell my car (%@%#!!@$!@!!!) to help with the down payment. I figure I can get a Suzuki (!@#$!@$@!@). I've never traded-down a car and I'm wondering how this works...
After we negotiate the trade in value of my car, (I'm hoping to get 60k). And after we negotiate the buy in value of my new car. (Perhaps say 20k car.) The deal is done. The dealership does most of the paperwork. I walk away with the car and a check for the difference? Is that how it works?
Has anyone done this? What problems may I encounter? What are things to do and not to do? What are things to avoid?
thanks.
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DaLoverhino wrote:

Retail, private or wholesale? Which book? The one the dealers actually use is Gails - and that one isn't on line, and isn't accessible to anyone BUT a dealer. KBB, NADA - all have somewhat inflated prices compared to the real book.. Dealers like to SELL out of KBB and NADA since these can make their prices look great, but if you go to trade in a car - the other book comes out, and the numbers are much lower.

I'd suggest a new girlfriend. But - since love is blind to oncoming and eventual problems (if she makes you sell your car now - what else will happen when the baby comes along?)..
I think you're going to have a very difficult time with this.

Don't count on it unless it's considerably under the current auction prices of the same car, cause the Suzuki dealer doesn't want a $60k car taking up space on their lot. They don't have the market for it, and it's a lot of money to lay out on a car they'll have problems selling.
The only way they'll want to do this is if they see money can be made by low-balling you and then taking it to auction to sell it.. and there are lots of fees involved in auction, so the price they want to give you is gonna be WAY under what the on-line books have given you. Figure if the on-line books say $60k - they're gonna be talking around $45k or so.

In an ideal world that's how it might work, but I'm willing to bet this just isn't gonna happen.

The problem is - the 6 series are a real drag on the used car market. As much as you may love the car it has limited appeal to a broad marketplace. It's an expensive 2 door car with really unusable rear seats that's also expensive to maintain. The used-car dealers around me that deal in "high-end" stuff are flooded with the 6 series, both hardtops and convertibles... which means the BMW dealers are dumping them at auction when they come in off lease.. and a lot of the original leases are now ending, so lots of them are coming back to BMW - which means lots at auction which drives the wholesale prices down.

Not much since it isn't gonna happen. What you might try is selling the car privately and then just buying the Suzuki or whatever crap-box you're getting with whatever proceeds you have after paying off your loan. If you want to get reality numbers for a ball-park figure of what the car is worth - do a search on Ebay autos for the same year/miles.. then search on "Completed" auctions and see what sold for what. That's near where you could sell it privately.
RULE1: Something is only worth what someone else will pay for it.. and Ebay gives a good indication of what the market really is.

Sorry I don't have better news for you - but you might consider next time leasing the expensive car.. in lots of cases, it's simpler, cheaper and a lot less painful when the time comes to get out of it.
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I've never traded-down a car

Now you are being a little harsh. Anyone who pays say $100k for a car, especially on a five year loan, but hasn't bought a house is being a little rash with their money.
OTOH when she gets pregnant (and she will no matter how careful you are!) then you are in for a lifestyle change you will never forget.
Lemma
Back in 1985 I was in Portland Oregon with my boss sorting out a computer network problem that the local engineers could not crack (nor send the right traces etc.).
After a long session we went for a beer, and on the way passed a billboard with an advert for the then BMW 6 series. One of the guys looked up longingly at the board and said "I wish I had one of them!". My boss added to his anguish by telling him - well he's already got one (pointing at me). This was not quite true as I actually had a far more practical 735i, but with a manual box, however the jaw dropping awe this remark created was well worth savouring. Given the exchange rate at the time I had actually only paid about $10,000 for a three year old one. I had two manuals before they became virtually extinct.
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<snip>
I am guessing a bit, but I am assuming a 2004 645 Convertible. Kelly Blue Book puts it at $67K retail. Trade in excellent condition is $56K.
As mentioned, these are highly inflated.
You might want to check out this example currently on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item '0052320130
Buy it now, nice Florida car, loaded, with only 35K miles and a Buy It Now of $55K.
I think the previous posters estimate of $45K was pretty close, maybe even a little high for a trade-in. I think $40K is probably closer.
Painful, I'm sure.
You're only real choice is to sell it yourself, hopefully someone local really wants it and will overpay a bit.
Good luck.
Tom
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I would get rid of the girlfriend. Probably the cheaper option long term. ;-)
I've never traded-down a car

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If you are trading it in at the dealership where you are buying the less expensive car, forget about anything remotely close to $69K. You would be far better off trying to sell it privately.
I've traded down a couple of times, but the cars were not financed. Most recently, my wife bought an '06 750il last December for $87K. She rarely drove it and got the itch for something more "sporty". So, she traded in the less than a year old 750 with 1600 miles on it towards a new, '06 Z4si that had a MSRP of just over $52K. The best the dealership would offer for the 750 was $70K.
The more expensive the car, the more depreciation. Yours will probably bring under $50k at a dealership, I'll betcha, unless you are one hell of a negotiator and they want your car badly.
Eisboch
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yeah, well, the purchase was definitely an indulgence, but not that bad. The car I bought was on my dealer's lot for over a year. They couldn't move it and I saw the price drop slowly over the months. So one day they had a sale, and I was able to negotiate the price down to $70k. I thought it was a good deal for a one year old car that was basically brand new.
Anyways, for 45k, it hardly seems worth it. I think I'll go with that story to the gf.... perhaps I will be stabbed tomorrow.
Thanks for the advice, guys.
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It's worth a trip to the dealership to find out ... you never know.
Eisboch
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DaLoverhino wrote:

The fact that it sat on the dealers lot for a year - new - gives you some hint as to how limited the market is for the 6 series. Nice car, but not a really practical one.

Better now than later... :)

No problem.
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FOOL----------- A fool and his money are soon parted.
However if you insist on being foolish then one of the first things to do is to make sure the load company know about what you are intending to do - if it's Hire Purchase they still own it - and MAKE SURE THE DEALER PAYS OFF THE LOAN as he has no legal right to do that and you still have the legal right to pay for it.
Dodgy business unless you can trust the dealer but then I don't know any BMW dealer that sell Japanese cars as well as BMW so you are not going Kosher are you. Better to sell it yourself and pay the loan and then piss about buying whatever crap you want to drive around in.
Sir Hugh of Bognor
The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Intelligence is not knowing the answer but knowing where and how to find it!
Hugh Gundersen snipped-for-privacy@h-gee.co.uk Bognor Regis, W.Sussex, England, UK
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