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3264 Commerce Ave, Duluth, GA, 30096

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Fri9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sun12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    (Open the Last Sunday of the Month Only)
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Sat7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Sat7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed

How to Trade In a Car That is Not Paid Off

Woman handing over car keys

Ready to upgrade your vehicle to a brand-new BMW? This process is very simple and straight-forward if you’ve settled your car loan, but it may be a bit more complicated if you still have a loan balance. Learn how to trade in a car that’s not paid off in this guide from BMW of Gwinnett Place. You can also connect with our finance team with any questions you have!

Positive vs. Negative Equity: What Does It Mean? 

The most important factor in determining how to trade in a car you still owe on is whether you have positive or negative equity on your vehicle.

  • Positive Equity: The value of your car is greater than what you still owe.
  • Negative Equity: The value of your car is less than what you still owe.

How do you calculate equity? First and foremost, you will want to know your loan balance. From there, value your trade to get an estimate on how much your car is worth. You can also bring your vehicle to dealerships in the Smyrna area to receive firm trade-in offers. If the estimate or offer is less than what you owe on your loan, then you have negative equity, whereas you have positive equity if the estimate or offer is more than your loan balance.

Trading In a Car with Negative Equity

It is ideal to trade in your car when you have positive equity, as you won’t owe anything on a loan and will likely have some money left over to go toward your next purchase. However, with negative equity, you will want to weigh your options to determine what works best for you.

  • Pay the amount still owed on your loan after accounting for the trade-in price. Doing so means that once you trade in your vehicle, you no longer have to worry about paying for it.
  • Transfer the amount owed to the loan for your next vehicle purchase. Keep in mind that this option will likely increase your monthly car payment, and you will continue to pay for a car that is no longer yours.
  • Continue to seek out additional trade-in offers to see if other dealerships or third parties appraise your vehicle at higher prices.

Learn More About the Trade-in Process with BMW of Gwinnett Place 

Do you still have questions on how to trade in a car that is not paid off? Reach out to BMW of Gwinnett Place for more information. 


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BMW of Gwinnett Place 33.961766, -84.118459.