For decades now many of us have played the convenience game when it comes to selling our car after a period of ownership. Britain is a fast moving company and we are all so busy with work and family to take the time to really consider how to get the best price for our car, even in a crowded market place.
The solution for many is to trade in your vehicle against a newer one at the local dealership, it saves time and you literally drive you car to the garage and drive the new one home. But this option comes with a price, in that the dealership has a right to make both a profit off the newer vehicle you have bought and the one you have just traded in.
Even if the vehicle is not what the dealership would normally retail, they would still factor in a profit to sell at auction or to other local garages, who may specialise in older vehicles. So what are you options, if you choose a different route and aim to get more money for your car?
Try Selling To Online Buyers
The first is to consider the online “We Buy Cars “ type websites, where “We Buy Any Car” is the most recognisably brand. A simple form online and a quick quote, could be worth more than trade in price. You can learn more about this at carunited.
But it is also true they they need to make a profit on your vehicle too, so this option tends to click the convenience box also. However where this may work is when you intend to buy privately and need the cash quick. Often within 4 8 hours, the money is there to buy a bargain advertised privately at lower cost than retail. If you have a real knowledge about cars, or have someone who does and can fully check out the vehicle on a test drive, thousands could be saved.
Drive Around Local Garages
Ironically some garages will offer more for your car than others. The answer to this is, does your vehicle match those they retail? All traders need good stock, but most tend to specialise in certain years or types of vehicles. Trying to sell a 3 year old vehicle to a retailer who specialises in older cars, may not yield the high price return. So do some homework, online, with something like autotrader or via the auto printed press, clean the vehicle and get your documents ready and just drive around to find out the real demand. Being in the right place at the right time can pay dividends and maybe save a trip to the auctions for that trader.
A Private Sale
Selling privately should give you the most for your dream car, but with this comes risks to time wasters and even worse, fraudsters. But if the vehicle is prepared correctly and a detailed description is made with photos online, then it is possible to max the price. You may have to delay your search for replacement until sold, or even consider 2 cars on the go for a period of time.
I mentioned preparing the vehicle for sale, this means more than a car wash. Take the time to make it look as if it has come out of the showroom, both outside and inside. Any small scratches have removed, glass cleaned and plastics and wheels polished. A good hint is, iof you are thinking “why am I selling this lovely looking car”, then it is likely that any potential buyer will also see the value.
In the UK there are several places to sell privately. You can start with facebook ads and Gumtree, which are both free and have huge readership or membership. You can upload photos and description quite easily. Then there are the dedicated online marketplace such as Autotrader and classifieds on Ebay (I will mention auctions a bit later), here you pay a set fee to advertise your car. For whatever reason, these last two options still work very well, even though there is a charge.
There is the Ebay auction option, not to considered if you want the best price for your vehicle, firstly most end below private value and there really is a high costs to sell. This should only be considered if you need rid of the car first time.
Lastly do not under estimate the stress that can be caused trying to do this yourself especially if you are very busy. The trade in option, takes away that stress even though in many cases, thousands are given away in profit. But if you have the time and are brave enough, that doing the hard work yourself can maximise the value of what you would expect to receive for that used car.