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Negative Equity Auto Loan? Discover How to Get Your Head Above Water

Grab the Retail My Ride Life preserver to Eliminate Negative Equity

Negative Equity equals Your Vehicle's Value minus Your Loan Payoff

Do you owe more money than your car, motorcycle or RV is worth? You are definitely not alone. In fact, according to’s Q4 2017 Used Vehicle Market Report, two negative equity statistics (also known as “upside down” or “underwater”) have reached all-time highs!

  • 1 in 3 used vehicles being traded-in to dealers has negative equity. 
  • The average balance of the negative equity for automobiles is $5,100 (much higher for RVs).

Now What Should I do?

There are many contributing factors to this negative equity trend, but if you find yourself in this situation, the “why it happened” is not as important as the “how to get out.”

If you search on the subject, you will find most articles suggest the same old not-so-good options:

  • Keep making payments, make extra payments or refinance - sometimes this is not a realistic option
  • Trade it into your local dealer – worst option by far - this makes your negative equity bigger because, at best, you will get a lowball, wholesale offer. And, you will have to pay your way out by rolling your negative equity into a another purchase and/or coming up with a huge down payment
  • Sell it yourself to get more money – better option than dealer trade-in, but comes with lots of hassles and hazards of selling privately. Did you know there are 20 steps involved in selling a vehicle?

The Good News

There is a lesser known but much smarter option available for reducing or eliminating your negative equity.  It is called automotive retail consignment. With retail consignment, you get more money than a dealer trade-in like a private sale, but without all the hassles and hazards of selling your car, motorcycle, or RV yourself.  In fact, receiving higher value for your vehicle is the #1 benefit of choosing the retail consignment selling option. The other three benefits are expertise, safety and convenience.

The other good news is there are hundreds of licensed automotive consignment dealers (Consignment Pros) throughout the United States listed on Retail My Ride that can help with your negative equity dilemna or to just put more money in your pocket if you are not too far underwater.

Valuation is the Key - getting the most money for your vehicle reduces negative equity

How can you determine if and how far you are underwater with your car, motorcycle, or RV loan?

Step 1

Contact your lender to obtain a current net payoff amount

Step 2

Determine your vehicle's value for each of the selling options - trade-in, private sale, retail (consignment) by using one of the many free online pricing guides available (e.g., NADA, Kelly Blue Book, TrueCar, CarGurus, etc.). is helpful because it provides valuations for all three types of vehicles - Autos, Motorcycles and RVs.

Step 3

Subtract vehicle's value from bank/lender payoff

Step 4

Use Retail My Ride to find a Consignment Pro near you that specializes in selling your type of vehicle. Then, contact them directly to discuss your vehicle, your estimated negative equity position, and to find out more about their specific consignment program requirements.

Negative Equity Illustration

  • Loan Payoff:  $15,000
  • Valuations by Selling Option:
    • NADA Avg Trade - $12,000
    • NADA Clean Trade - $13,500
    • NADA Clean Retail - $16,000

In this example, you can expect to receive approximately $12,000 from a dealer or $14,500 selling it privately or $15,000 sold by a Consignment Pro.  

  • Negative Equity by Selling Option:  
    • Trade-in option $3,000,  
    • Private sale option $500, 
    • Retail Consignment $0

Take the next step - Enter your zip code or city to Find a Consignemnt Professional near you that specializes in your type of vehicle.

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Retail My Ride is the best place to find automotive consignment dealerships nearby that will sell your car, sell your RV, or sell your motorcycle for you. Hand them your keys, then sit back, relax and collect more money when it sells. They handle everything and you get top retail value for your vehicle.

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