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I recently upgraded from a 2015 BMW 328i GT x-drive to a 2018 340i x-drive. Finding a used 340i wasn’t easy. I ended up test driving cars on a Saturday morning during a family vacation to Chicago over the 4th of July. I flew back to Chicago the next week to pick up my car from the Ford dealer.

In negotiating with the dealer over the 340i, the question came up over whether I would be trading in my old car. After much negotiating, the Ford dealer in Chicago offered to match the offer from the BMW dealer down the road for $12,500 for my old car. After seeing KBB trade-in prices closer to $15,000, I declined and decided to try my luck with the local BMW dealer here in Grand Rapids when I returned from vacation.

Upon arriving back in town, I reached out to the BMW dealer where I had purchased all my previous BMWs. Rather than beating the $12,500 offer, they dropped their bid to $12,000, eventually insisting that $12,200 was the absolute best offer they could make. Feeling like I had made a mistake turning down the offer in Chicago, I walked out of the dealership, unsure of what to do next.

On a whim that evening, I decided to see if I could get an offer from an online dealer. Carvana has been advertising heavily lately on several podcasts I listen to, so they quickly came to mind. After entering the car’s details on the site, I received an instant offer for $18,914! It seemed too good to be true, especially considering that this amount was a good deal over the KBB private party value for the car. Well, long story short, Carvana made good on the offer. Two days later, someone arrived at the house with a car carrier and a check for the full quoted amount.

I’m not sure how long Carvana can afford to pay these prices, but my experience selling my used car to them was outstanding. I sold this car after almost exactly 5 years for $10,000 less than I paid for it in 2017. I can’t speak to the experience of buying a car from Carvana, but I would encourage anyone to check Carvana first before they trade their used car in to a dealer.

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