Can I exchange my car for a motorhome?
If you have a car that you don’t like, don’t use, or won’t use after you have a rv, it might be wise to trade it in for a camper. If you’re financing your RV, a car trade-in can count toward your down payment and can help with the negotiation process.
Trading in a car or a motorhome is similar to trading in a car for any other type of vehicle. You usually don’t get as much money for your trade-in as if you were to sell it and spend the money on buying a motorhome. After all, RV dealers are in operation to make as much profit as they can. That said, it can be much easier to trade in your car for an RV than to sell a car privately. Trading in a car for an RV is not only possible, but many RV dealers who take cars as a trade will simplify the trade-in process.
What to do if the car you want to trade in is funded
Not all dealers will accept cars currently funded as trade-ins, but some will. If your car is currently funded, here’s what you need to do.
- Find out how much you still owe on your loan. You can find your outstanding balance on your monthly financing statement.
- Do some research to get an estimate of the value of your car. Check the prices for the same year, make and model in similar condition to yours online. You can also view the Consumer Reports vehicle valuation tool here.
- Ask your motorhome dealer for a trade-in quote. You can probably negotiate a bit about the trade-in value of your car, but most RV dealers won’t give much to it.
- If the trade-in offer on your car is greater than the amount you still owe on your car loan, you have extra money to spend on the purchase of another vehicle.
- For example, if you still owe $3,000 to your car and the trade-in offer you receive is for $6,000, you can pay off the remaining loan balance and put $3,000 into your new RV.
- Sometimes the remaining balance you owe on the car is more than the trade-in offer and you still owe money on your loan. This is called negative equity. In other words, the amount you owe to the vehicle is greater than its value.
- If you owe more than your vehicle is worth, you may be able to extend your existing car loan. This means that the dealer agrees to pay off your current loan regardless of the remaining balance.
Roll over an existing loan
By transferring an existing loan, you can trade in the vehicle you no longer want. The amount that the dealer pays back will be rolled into your new loan for your camper. You end up paying off what you owe on your current car loan and get a new one.
Things to do before trading in your car on a motorhome
Do your research first. Make a list of RV dealers who take cars as transactions on RVs. FInd out which of them has the perfect RV for you.
How to get the best deal for an RV
Whether or not you have an existing loan on your car, here’s how you can get the best deal:
- Do some research to get an estimate of the value of your car. Look for prices for the same year, make and model in similar circumstances to yours on Auto-Trader. You can also view the Consumer Reports vehicle valuation tool here.
- Ask your motorhome dealer for a trade-in quote. You can probably negotiate a bit about the trade-in value of your car, but most RV dealers won’t give much to it. Sometimes it is easier to negotiate the selling price of the camper.
- Before you go shopping, you know which motorhome you want and the prices for the same or similar motorhomes are and who sells them.
- Don’t tell the RV dealer that you will trade in a vehicle until the final steps of the negotiation process.
- Tell the dealer what you’re willing to pay (make a reasonable offer based on your research) and stick to it.
- If the RV seller doesn’t come up with your reasonable offer, get up, give him your business card, and tell him you’re going to another RV dealer to shop around.
- 90% of the time, the dealer will call you in a week or so and make a counteroffer. He may even accept your offer.
- When you go back to the dealer and you have secured your price, you can introduce your trade-in.