How an

Instant cash offer works

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Instant cash offers are an easy way to find out the value of your vehicle if you’re looking to sell. Sites like Kelley Blue Book have a formula that uses different assets to calculate a value in a matter of minutes without you having to do extensive research just for a guesstimate. But how exactly does the process work?  

Know Your Vehicle

To get an accurate quote, you need to know your vehicle. You’ll be asked for the make, model, and year. Having the VIN handy is an easy way to get all of that information. Your VIN is 17 characters that can be found somewhere on your vehicle. It’s usually located by the driver window or in the door jamb on the driver’s side.   

The condition of your vehicle also affects the value. You’ll need to specify if the car has been in an accident, needs repairs, or has been treated for recalls. This is why it’s a good idea to get any repairs or maintenance done before you check the value. You could get a little more out of your offer!

How the Value is Calculated

Even though you can get a quote in just a few minutes, there are a lot of variables to be calculated to determine your vehicle’s current value. You already know you have to provide the make, model, year, and condition of your vehicle. That’s just part of it.  

The demand for your car is also considered. If there are a lot of potential buyers looking for your vehicle and there aren’t enough in the area to meet the demand, your car will be placed at a high value. On the contrary, your value will be low if there is a surplus of your vehicle and not enough buyers. This “demand” is influenced by the area and current trends.

For example, a large SUV may not be ideal in an area known to have small streets. A pattern you may see in this environment is smaller cars being more common in this area, meaning a large SUV will be less likely to sell and thus have a lower value. Trends work the same way. If a certain vehicle is forecasted to be popular in the near future, then that vehicle’s value will be higher.   

Another factor that could influence your car’s value is the listing price of similar vehicles in the area. No matter the stats of your vehicle, the value will still coincide with that same model being sold somewhere nearby.  

Getting Your Instant Cash Offer Online

There are a few websites where you can go to get an instant cash offer, one of the more popular ones being Kelley Blue Book. Before you put in your information and get an offer, there are a few things to keep in mind.  

Your specific vehicle’s value is always changing. Once you get your quote, you’ll need to act fast if you want to cash in on the exact amount you were given. If you don’t sell your car within a couple of days, you’ll have to get a new quote and give up the last amount that you had estimated. You need to be ready to sell your car before you think about getting a quote. This is why some people will wait until they are at the dealership before they sell or trade in their vehicle. If you bring your vehicle into any Prieto Automotive store, we’ll be able to give you an instant cash offer on the spot.   

When you bring your car to your local dealership, they will inspect it to make sure the information you provided for your instant cash offer is accurate. However, you’ll want to make your exchange immediately afterwards. If you wait as long as a day, or rack up a few more miles, the value of the car will change and you’ll have to repeat the process.   

Selling vs Trade-Ins

Whether you want to sell your car for cash or trade it in for a new vehicle, the value of your instant cash offer remains the same. It’s up to you whether you want the cash upfront for whatever you want, or if you want to use the offer for trade-in credit on a new purchase. If you were already planning on replacing your old car, doing a trade-in will save you an extra step. If you’re looking to sell your vehicle, read our guide “How to Sell Your Car”.

If you decide to trade-in your vehicle, decide on the car you want before you bring your old car to the dealership. Knowing what vehicle you want beforehand will save you time as the transaction will be quick. You can visit the website of any Prieto Automotive location to see what we have in stock before you swing by.   

What to Bring With You

Now that you have your quote and are ready to sell or trade in your vehicle, you need to bring these with you to the dealership:

  • Instant Cash Offer certificate: This certificate shows the details of your vehicle and its value.
  • Title and registration: You need proof that you are the owner of the vehicle.
  • Driver’s license: You will also need proof that you are qualified for driving a vehicle.
  • All keys, fobs, and manuals: The next person to drive your car needs to be able to get in and start the engine!
  • Service and repair records: These records will give the dealership the information they need to take care of your vehicle.

You can come into any Prieto Automotive store and we’ll help you find the right value on your vehicle. From there, you can decide whether you want to sell or trade in your vehicle and we’ll happily assist you.   


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