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Q&A: Do I privately sell or trade-in my used car?

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Q: I'm buying a new car soon, and the carmaker, Tesla, asked if I want to trade in my current Mercedes using AutoNation. Should I do that, or will I make more money selling my car myself? Is there any tax advantage? —Enrique Saggese, Sammamish, WA

A: You usually get more money if you sell your car yourself. But consider the value of your time in showing the car and doing paperwork. Car superstores such as AutoNation and CarMax make it easy to trade in; it's worth getting a quote. Some states have a tax advantage for trading in a car, but only if you buy your new car from the dealer that buys your trade.

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