Weighing up the Different Options for Used Car Sales
Private sales, dealer trade ins or specialist car buying sites – there are pros and cons to each, and the best choice depends on your circumstances.
Like everything else in the modern world, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to selling your car. In days gone by, it was a simple matter of either placing a classified ad in your local paper or driving in to a trader and trying to get a good deal.
Both those options are still available today, but there are also a variety of specialist car buying sites, online dealers, websites where you can list your car and even the world’s most famous internet auction site.
Deciding which to choose depends very much on the car, but also on you. If you are in the habit of buying and selling old bangers for a few hundred pounds, then you might be comfortable with a “hands on” approach. If, on the other hand, you are the owner of several thousand pounds worth of high end motor car and are, for example, asking yourself “how can I best sell my Audi,” the answer might be quite different.
Specialist car buyers
There is a lot to be said for companies that specialise in buying cars. You know you are going to get a competitive price at the current market rate, and the sale can be completed practically instantly.
There is none of the hassle of deciding on the right asking price, taking photos, researching where to list it and paying out on advertising fees.
You are also spared the pain of dealing with potential buyers who want to come and kick the tyres, request a test drive without proper insurance and argue over the price.
The cons? Well, some might argue that you can get a better price selling privately, as you are cutting out the “middle man” – this is probably true, but the general consensus is that for a car worth several thousands of pounds, it does not make a huge amount of difference, particularly in view of the cost savings on advertising.
As we mentioned above, cutting out the middle man has its benefits financially. By selling directly, you can, in theory, achieve the best price. This is particularly relevant if you are selling at the lower end – if your car is only worth £500, then the specialist sites are only going to be able to offer around half its value in order to cover their own overheads.
The negative is that unless you know what you are doing, selling a car can be a painful and stressful procedure. You need to expend time and effort preparing the car for sale, taking pictures, listing it and then dealing with the chancers and time wasters who will inevitably form a queue at your front door.
If you are buying a new car from a dealer, they will probably offer you a part exchange deal on your old car. This can be a simple and hassle free way of killing two birds with one stone. It is particularly attractive as an option if you have an old clunker to trade, as they might well offer more than the few hundred pounds it is worth, just to secure the deal.
For high value cars, beware, though. You will almost always be better off getting the best price from a car buying firm and then having the cold hard cash in your account to negotiate a purchase deal.