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Can I Trade in My Vehicle If I Still Owe Money on It? A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to upgrading or changing your vehicle, one of the most common questions we hear at AutobasicsUSA in Jacksonville, FL is, “Can I trade in my vehicle if I still owe money on it?” The short answer is yes, but there are several factors to consider. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the process, benefits, and potential pitfalls of trading in a vehicle with an outstanding loan.

Understanding Vehicle Equity

Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand the concept of vehicle equity. Equity is the difference between the current market value of your vehicle and the amount you still owe on your loan. If your car’s value is higher than what you owe, you have positive equity. Conversely, if you owe more than it’s worth, you’re in a negative equity or “upside-down” situation.

Trading in with Positive Equity

Having positive equity is the ideal scenario when trading in your vehicle. Here’s how it works:

  • Vehicle Appraisal: First, the dealership will appraise your vehicle to determine its current market value.
  • Loan Payoff: The dealership will then pay off the remaining balance of your loan.
  • Equity Towards New Purchase: Any remaining value after paying off the loan can be used as a down payment for your next vehicle.

For example, if your car is appraised at $15,000 and you owe $10,000, the dealership will use the $5,000 difference as a down payment for your new vehicle.

Trading in with Negative Equity

If you’re in a negative equity situation, trading in becomes a bit more complex, but it’s not impossible:

  • Rolling Over the Debt: Some dealerships, like AutobasicsUSA, might offer to roll over the negative equity into the financing of the new vehicle. This means if you owe $15,000 and your car is worth $12,000, the $3,000 difference gets added to the loan of the new vehicle.
  • Higher Monthly Payments: Remember, rolling over debt means you’ll be financing the new car’s value plus the negative equity. This could result in higher monthly payments.

Benefits of Trading in Your Vehicle

  • Convenience: Trading in is a straightforward process. Instead of dealing with private buyers, handling paperwork, and coordinating test drives, you can simply bring your vehicle to a trusted dealership like AutobasicsUSA and let professionals handle the details.
  • Tax Savings: In many states, including Florida, you only pay sales tax on the difference between the trade-in value and the price of the new car, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.
  • Flexible Options: Whether you have positive or negative equity, dealerships often provide flexible financing options to fit your needs.

Things to Consider Before Trading In

  • Know Your Vehicle’s Value: Before heading to the dealership, research your car’s value using online tools or getting multiple quotes. This ensures you get a fair deal.
  • Review Your Loan Contract: Some loans have prepayment penalties. Ensure you’re aware of any potential fees before making a decision.
  • Consider Refinancing: If you’re not ready to trade in but want to lower monthly payments, refinancing might be an option.


Trading in a vehicle, even if you still owe money on it, is entirely possible and can be a smart financial move in many situations. The key is to be informed and choose a reputable dealership that offers transparency and fair deals. At AutobasicsUSA in Jacksonville, FL, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with top-notch service and honest appraisals. If you’re considering trading in your vehicle, come visit us, and let’s explore the best options for you.

Keywords: AutobasicsUSA, Jacksonville, FL, trade-in, vehicle equity, positive equity, negative equity, vehicle appraisal, loan payoff, refinancing, used car dealership.

Understanding Carfax and AutoCheck (Vehicle History Reports)

Understanding Carfax and AutoCheck: A Comprehensive Guide to Vehicle History Reports


Autobasics wants you to know when you’re considering buying a used car, understanding its history is crucial for making an informed decision. Two leading providers of vehicle history reports—Carfax and AutoCheck—can offer valuable insights. This article will guide you through what these reports cover, the differences between Carfax and AutoCheck, and why you should consider using them.

What is a Vehicle History Report?

Understanding the Basics

A Vehicle History Report (VHR) provides comprehensive information about a car’s history, such as accident history, ownership details, and service records. Obtaining a VHR is a critical step in the used car buying process as it allows you to make an informed decision based on facts rather than assumptions.

Components of a VHR

A standard VHR will include the following information:

1. Ownership History: Number of owners, how long each owner had the car, and types of usage (personal, commercial, etc.).

2. Accident History: Any accidents reported, severity, and repairs done.

3. Title History: Checks for salvaged titles or liens on the car.

4. Mileage: Mileage readings at various points in time.

5. Service Records: Routine maintenance and any repairs done.

6. Recalls and Warranties: Information on manufacturer recalls or any remaining warranty.

Carfax vs AutoCheck

Both Carfax and AutoCheck provide VHRs, but they differ in some areas:

Data Sources

Carfax: Primarily sourced from over 100,000 data sources including dealerships, service shops, and insurance companies.

AutoCheck: Sources information from auctions, police reports, and more, including the Experian database.

Scoring System

Carfax: Offers qualitative information but doesn’t provide a numerical score for the vehicle.

AutoCheck: Provides an AutoCheck Score, a numerical rating that enables easier comparison between vehicles.


Carfax: Typically, more expensive, ranging from $39.99 for a single report to $99.99 for six reports.

AutoCheck: Generally cheaper, with a single report priced at around $24.99 and 25 reports for $49.99.


Both services are considered reliable, but they may miss some information that hasn’t been reported. It’s generally a good idea to use both for a comprehensive overview.

Why Use Vehicle History Reports?

1. Informed Decision: Knowledge is power when negotiating.

2. Peace of Mind: A clean report can ease concerns over potential hidden issues.

3. Financial Savings: Knowing the car’s history can save you from costly future repairs.

How to Obtain a Vehicle History Report

1. Identify the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): Typically found on the dashboard or inside the driver-side door.

2. Visit the Website: Go to either Carfax or AutoCheck’s website.

3. Enter the VIN: Input the VIN and proceed to purchase the report.


What should I do if the VHR shows an accident history?

If the report shows an accident history, consider getting the car inspected by a mechanic to assess the level of repair done.

Can I trust these reports entirely?

While reliable, VHRs may miss unreported incidents. Always get a pre-purchase inspection for complete peace of mind.

Do all used cars have a Vehicle History Report?

No, VHRs are only generated when there’s a history to report. If the car is very new or hasn’t changed hands, a report might not exist.

Can I get a free Vehicle History Report?

Some dealerships offer free Carfax or AutoCheck reports for the cars in their inventory. However, independent reports generally cost money.


Autobasics knows understanding a used car’s history is crucial before making a purchase. Both Carfax and AutoCheck offer valuable insights, but they have their pros and cons. Consider using both reports for a comprehensive understanding of the vehicle you’re interested in. Happy car hunting with Autobasics!

Understanding the Different Grades of Used Cars: A Comprehensive Guide

The used car market can be a labyrinth of choices, making it challenging for buyers to navigate their way to a satisfactory purchase. From the slightly used to the heavily worn, used cars come in various grades. Understanding these grades can save you money, time, and a lot of stress. In this article, Autobasics will break down the many levels of used cars, helping you make an informed decision on your next purchase.

Table of Contents

  • Certified Pre-Owned Cars
  • Dealer-Inspected Used Cars
  • Third-Party Inspected Used Cars
  • As-Is Used Cars
  • Salvage Title Cars
  • FAQ

Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) cars are the cream of the crop in the used car market. These vehicles have passed rigorous inspection and refurbishing processes by the manufacturers or dealerships themselves. Generally, CPO cars come with extended warranties, giving you added peace of mind.


  • Extensive multi-point inspection
  • Manufacturer-backed warranties
  • Typically, lower mileage


  • Pricier than other used car options
  • Limited customization options

Dealer-Inspected Used Cars

Dealer-inspected used cars have been checked by the dealership’s mechanics but don’t come with the official certification or extended warranty that CPO cars do. These are generally a middle-ground option in terms of price and reliability.


  • Moderately priced
  • Basic inspection completed
  • Some come with limited warranties


  • No manufacturer backing
  • Shorter warranty period, if any

Third-Party Inspected Used Cars

These used cars have been inspected by an independent third party. While not backed by a dealership or manufacturer, a good inspection report can offer some assurance of the car’s condition.


  • Potential for lower prices
  • Option for pre-purchase inspection


  • Varied quality of inspections
  • Limited or no warranties

As-Is Used Cars

“As-Is” used cars are sold without any guarantees. What you see is what you get, and any existing issues become your responsibility once you make the purchase.


  • Generally the cheapest option
  • Room for negotiation


  • No warranties or guarantees
  • Potentially high maintenance costs

Salvage Title Cars

Salvage title cars have been seriously damaged or deemed total losses by insurance companies. These are best avoided unless you are knowledgeable about car repairs or are looking for parts.


  • Extremely cheap
  • Suitable for parts


  • Significant past damage
  • Difficult to insure and finance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best type of used car to buy?

The best type of used car depends on your needs, budget, and risk tolerance. CPO cars offer the most assurance but come at a higher cost.

How can I check the history of a used car?

You can check the history of a used car through services like Carfax or AutoCheck, which provide details about accidents, title status, and more.

Is financing available for all types of used cars?

Financing options are generally more favorable for CPO and dealer-inspected used cars. “As-Is” and salvage title cars are often difficult to finance.

What should I look for in a third-party inspection?

Ensure the inspector checks the car’s engine, transmission, electrical systems, and overall condition. A detailed report should be provided.

By understanding the different grades of used cars, Autobasics can help you make a more informed decision and find a vehicle that suits your needs and budget. Whether you opt for the assurance of a CPO or the potential bargains of an “As-Is” car, knowing what each level offers helps you navigate the complexities of the used car market.


The Top 5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Used Car in Florida

The Top 5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Used Car in Florida.

Are you considering purchasing a used car in Florida? It’s a great decision, but before making the final purchase, Autobasics at the Avenues wants you to know it’s important to consider certain factors that can make or break the deal. Here are the top 5 things to consider when purchasing a used car in Florida.

  1. Mileage

Mileage is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a used car in Florida. The more a car has been driven, the more wear and tear it will have, which can lead to costly repairs. Ideally, you should look for a used car with low mileage, but make sure to also take into account the age of the car.

  1. Vehicle History

The next important thing to consider is the vehicle history. Before purchasing a used car, make sure to obtain a vehicle history report. This report will provide you with information about the car’s previous owners, any accidents it has been involved in, and whether it has a clean title. A clean title is important as it means the car has not been salvaged or deemed a total loss by an insurance company.

  1. Condition

The condition of the used car is also crucial. Before making the purchase, take the car for a test drive and check for any signs of wear and tear. Pay close attention to the brakes, tires, and suspension, as these are the parts of the car that are most likely to need repairs. Additionally, check for any rust or damage to the body of the car.

  1. Financing Options

Financing options should also be taken into consideration when purchasing a used car in Florida. If you’re planning to finance the purchase, make sure to shop around for the best interest rates and loan terms. Additionally, consider how much you can afford to put down as a down payment, as this can affect your monthly payments and overall cost of the car.

  1. Reputable Dealership

Finally, it’s important to purchase a used car from a reputable dealership. A reputable dealership will provide you with a warranty, as well as a service record of the car. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the car has been inspected and is in good condition.


Q: Can I negotiate the price of a used car in Florida?

A: Yes, you can negotiate the price of a used car in Florida. It’s important to do your research beforehand to determine what the car is worth and what comparable cars are selling for.

Q: Is it better to purchase a used car from a dealership or a private seller?

A: It’s generally safer to purchase a used car from a dealership, as they are required to follow certain regulations and provide you with a warranty.

Q: Should I get a pre-purchase inspection before purchasing a used car?

A: Yes, it’s always a good idea to get a pre-purchase inspection before purchasing a used car. This will give you a better idea of the car’s condition and any potential issues that may need to be addressed.


Purchasing a used car in Florida can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to consider these top 5 things before making the final purchase. By taking into account the mileage, vehicle history, condition, financing options, and reputable dealership, like Autobasics at the Avenues, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and drive away with a reliable car that fits your needs and budget. Contact Autobasics at the Avenues for any questions you might have and to check out our amazing inventory.

New Vs. Used Cars: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

Multiple cars parked

Buying a car is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it’s important to make an informed decision. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether to buy a new or used car. Both options have their pros and cons, and in this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know before making a decision.

New Cars:


Latest technology: When you buy a new car, you’re getting the latest technology and features. This means you’ll have access to the newest safety features, entertainment systems, and fuel-efficient engines.

Warranty: New cars typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which means you’ll be covered if anything goes wrong during the first few years of ownership.

Customizable: When you order a new car, you can customize it to your liking. You can choose the color, interior, and features that best fit your needs.


Depreciation: New cars lose value as soon as you drive them off the lot. In fact, a new car can lose up to 20% of its value in the first year of ownership.

Cost: New cars are more expensive than used cars. This means you’ll have to spend more money upfront, and your monthly payments will be higher.

Limited selection: If you’re looking for a specific make or model, you may have to order it and wait for it to be delivered. This can be a hassle if you need a car right away.

Used Cars:


Lower cost: Used cars are generally less expensive than new cars. This means you can get a higher-end model for the same price as a lower-end new car.

Less depreciation: Used cars have already gone through the initial depreciation period, which means they don’t lose value as quickly as new cars.

More selection: When you’re shopping for a used car, you have a much wider selection to choose from. This means you’re more likely to find a car that fits your needs and budget.


Higher maintenance costs: Used cars may require more maintenance and repairs than new cars. This can add up over time and offset the initial cost savings.

Unknown history: When you buy a used car, you don’t know how it was driven or maintained by the previous owner. This can lead to unexpected issues down the road.

Limited features: Used cars may not have all the latest features and technology. This means you may have to compromise on certain things, such as safety features or entertainment systems.


Q: Should I buy a new or used car?

A: It depends on your budget, needs, and preferences. If you want the latest technology and features and can afford to spend more money upfront, a new car may be the better option. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind sacrificing some features, a used car may be a better choice.

Q: How much does a new car cost compared to a used car?

A: New cars are generally more expensive than used cars. The exact price difference will depend on the make and model of the car.

Q: How do I decide whether to buy a new or used car?

A: It ultimately comes down to your budget and personal preference. If you have the budget and want the latest technology and warranty, a new car may be the best option. If you are budget-conscious and want to save money in the long run, a used car may be a better investment.

Q: Should I buy a car with high mileage?

A: It depends on the condition of the car and how it was maintained. High mileage alone does not mean that a car is in poor condition. It’s essential to have a trusted mechanic inspect the car before purchasing it to ensure that it’s in good condition.

Top 10 Car Terms, Automotive Vocabulary, Car Terminology, Car Glossary, Auto Jargon

Have you ever been to a mechanic or talked to a car enthusiast and felt like they were speaking a completely different language? You’re not alone! The world of cars is full of unique terminology that can leave the average person scratching their head. But fear not! In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the top 10 car terms you don’t know.

Horsepower (HP) – This is a measurement of power output in a car’s engine. The higher the horsepower, the faster and more powerful the car will be.

Torque – Torque is the amount of twisting force produced by the engine. It’s what helps a car accelerate from a stop or climb hills.

Transmission – The transmission is the component that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. It can be either manual or automatic.

Suspension – The suspension system helps absorb shock and maintain stability while driving. It consists of a variety of components, including springs, shock absorbers, and struts.

Differential – The differential is a set of gears that helps distribute power evenly to the wheels. It’s what allows a car to turn smoothly and without slipping.

Carburetor – This component mixes fuel and air to create the right mixture for the engine to run. It’s been largely replaced by fuel injection systems in modern cars.

ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) – ABS is a safety feature that prevents the wheels from locking up during hard braking. This allows the driver to maintain control of the car and avoid accidents.

OBD (On-board Diagnostics) – This system allows mechanics to diagnose and troubleshoot problems with a car’s engine and other systems.

Camshaft – The camshaft is responsible for opening and closing the valves in the engine. This determines how much air and fuel enters the engine and how much exhaust exits.

Drivetrain – The drivetrain is the system that delivers power from the engine to the wheels. It includes the transmission, differential, and other components.


Q: What is the difference between horsepower and torque?

A: Horsepower is a measurement of power output, while torque is a measurement of twisting force. Horsepower is what makes a car fast, while torque is what makes a car feel powerful.

Q: What is the difference between manual and automatic transmissions?

A: A manual transmission requires the driver to shift gears manually, while an automatic transmission does it automatically. Manual transmissions are typically preferred by enthusiasts for their greater control, while automatic transmissions are more convenient for everyday driving.

Q: What is the purpose of the suspension system?

A: The suspension system helps absorb shock and maintain stability while driving. It consists of a variety of components, including springs, shock absorbers, and struts.

Q: What is a differential?

A: A differential is a set of gears that helps distribute power evenly to the wheels. It’s what allows a car to turn smoothly and without slipping.

Q: What is OBD?

A: OBD (On-board Diagnostics) is a system that allows mechanics to diagnose and troubleshoot problems with a car’s engine and other systems.

In conclusion, learning these top 10 car terms will not only help you understand your car better but also help you communicate more effectively with mechanics and car enthusiasts. So, expand your automotive vocabulary today and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge!

Understanding car terms is crucial when it comes to maintaining and repairing your car. By knowing what different parts of your car are called and what they do, you can communicate more effectively with mechanics and ensure that your car is well taken care of. Additionally, having a solid automotive vocabulary can impress your car enthusiast friends and help you navigate car-related conversations with ease. So, take the time to learn these top 10 car terms and expand your knowledge of the automotive world!

Why Buying a Used Car is a Smart Choice for Florida Drivers

If you are looking for a car in Florida, you might be considering buying a brand new vehicle. However, purchasing a used car can be a smart choice that saves you money without sacrificing quality or reliability. In this article, we will explore why buying a used car is a smart choice for Florida drivers, including cost savings, reliability, and a wide selection of high-quality pre-owned vehicles. We will also address common misconceptions about buying used cars, such as concerns about their safety and durability.

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The Best Used Cars for Florida’s Year-Round Sunshine

Are you looking for the perfect used car to enjoy Florida’s year-round sunshine and coastal lifestyle? Look no further! In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best used cars for Florida’s sunny weather, including convertible sports cars, SUVs with sunroofs, and beach-ready trucks. We’ll also provide tips on how to maintain and protect your car’s exterior and interior from the harsh Florida elements.

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