Sell your car when the price is right

We often like to discuss the secrets of how you get the best price for your car, whether you’re disposing of it simply because it’s surplus to requirements or you need to chop it in for another. We believe that in an ideal world the dealer who gets your business should, in theory, be the best buyer of your existing car especially if it is one that fits into his existing stock profile. Not only are they selling you another car but they also have another profit opportunity by retailing your trade-in.

Sadly, as we know to well, this is not always the case and many dealers seem to miss the bigger picture and leave potential customers well alone to find an alternative source to move their car on.

With the emergence of specialist car buying sites at least consumers now have more alternatives, not to mention access to a wide range of information to find the place that will help them maximise the value of their existing car and get a great deal on a new one.

We have also produced our own best-selling (well not really because it’s free!) self-help on-line booklet ‘sell your car like a pro‘ for those that feel confident enough to make the effort to sell privately but with the same tools the pros use to sell cars.

This however doesn’t suit all people and in the modern age of time starved conditions some just don’t want the hassle and inconvenience of selling their car privately but do not want to accept less than its value at the same time.

This is where the car buying specialists have filled a void and although there have been some horror stories and episodes of them trying to wriggle out of the “agreed” price (They will buy your car but beware the asterisk) once the customer is captive. In fact an OFT investigation found that nearly 96 per cent of customers who sold their car to received less for their vehicle than the original website valuation, sometimes by hundreds of pounds. Still there is no denying that they buy thousands of cars every year and therefore many people must have had a reasonably positive experience.

The paradox is of course that many of the cars they buy end up being sold on to dealers who could have bought them directly in the first place but for whatever reason have not given the right price or simply not been interested (crazy but true).

As most dealers will tell you the best and most profitable cars are privately owned cars, that’s not to say that ex-daily rental or lease cars do not sell its just that most of us hanker after the original 1 careful lady owner car, and in many cases especially as they are often individually specified they will fetch a premium, which is why it’s even more important for dealers to acquire this kind of stock.

Ironically whilst toying with this conundrum for some time I recently came across a company which could provide the answer.

I have long believed that matching private sellers to proper car dealers in a convenient manor is a possible way to satisfy all of us and although the jury is still out the new site may just do that.

It basically gives private sellers the opportunity to provide details of their cars for sale on the website anonymously and these details can then be accessed by the many franchised and independent dealers who are potential buyers. There is then a 7 day bidding process and the two parties are only put together once the agreed price has been reached. As the dealers have been vetted by the company first the seller can have peace of mind knowing that firstly they are appealing to a selection of dealers that are genuinely interested in their car and secondly they can decide who you sell it to based on price, location in the country, payment terms or even the fact that the dealer will collect.

In contrast to other car buying operations, with the seeming disparity between the amount offered and the price eventually paid, cashinthegarage state that 86% of site visitors that sell their car to one of their registered dealers get the online offer, with the remaining 14% being generally small, local preparation items such as wheel edges, small dents and bumper scuffs. Not only is that reassuring to the private seller but it’s also great proof that consumers can generally describe their cars correctly.

I would liken it to a car dating service with cars and their sellers being introduced to potential suitors resulting in win/win for both parties.

Best of all for the private seller it’s absolutely free; a fee is taken from the car dealer once the transaction is complete.

I know of a couple of dealers who have successfully used the service but its early days, however we would definitely encourage sellers to use the service and let us know the experience good or bad because if successful it could mean a new era for sellers wishing to be matched with the best buyers in the business, the retail sales dealer.

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