Don’t be tempted to offload your old car on the cheap

When we hear the phrase fair deal, or good price we usually associate this with something we are buying, however the unique aspect of car buying is that a customer is likely to also have a car to sell. When we visit most retail outlets whether it is for white goods, beds or sofas the best we can hope for is the store will offer to dispose of our old one for free, which most of us are happy to accept. We clearly couldn’t accept that on a car trade-in unless it was so old and warty that it was virtually worthless, and even then we would want some kind of financial offer for our well loved and cherished old jalopy! Although dealers have improved their processes down the years with regards to valuing a part exchange, there are still dealers who will not accept certain cars in chop for one of theirs. This is mainly down to a lack of confidence or expertise in valuing a car which is not related to that franchise or it simply could be that they don’t want the aggravation.

This is fine of course but if a customer is not given at least a figure to change from old to new why should he even consider buying a car from those dealers? Surely they should at least offer a value even if it is not an acceptable one. With many companies springing up recently announcing that, subject to certain criteria, they will buy your car, at least the customer has now got other avenues of disposing of their current car should they not want the hassle of selling privately. However sellers need to be aware that these companies will need to make a profit from buying your car so are unlikely to give anything more than a ‘trade’ value so they can move the car on to another retail outlet at a profit or sell themselves.

Nothing wrong with this and if these companies really are prepared to stand by their bid and take the car off your hands all well and good, but drivers need to be aware that there is a chronic shortage of used cars around due to the downturn in new car sales. This is because of two main reasons, firstly if there are less new cars being sold there are less cars coming in as part exchanges and therefore less choice at dealers and auctions. Secondly if new cars are not being sold to large fleets and rental companies because they are not so busy in a downturn and larger companies who have big fleets of company cars are laying people off they are more likely to keep their cars on the road longer rather than de-fleeting them to fall into the ”retailable” category.

The point being many of these companies that say they will buy your car realise that, because there is a shortage of used cars about, they may be able to exploit a hole in the market by making it very easy to buy your car. With this in mind however it becomes more important for drivers to really do their homework before committing to a deal on their current car, because if stock is scarce they may just be underselling it and potentially costing themselves literally hundreds of £’s. As we have seen over the past few months dealers are achieving record profits for their customer trade-ins which they are sending to the auction which tells us that maybe customers are not getting the best price for their existing car and should therefore make any dealer they choose to buy from work as hard as possible to achieve the best deal.

MTI says research, plan, prepare and compare before you commit and once you have done these things and are happy you are getting the right car at the right price and the best value for your trade-in, there’s only one thing left; go ahead and do the deal!

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