Selling your old car Vs the trade-in

by under on 17 Dec 2009 12:08:23 PM17 Dec 2009

One of the most challenging aspects of buying a new car can be deciding what to do with your old one.

Many people find that a trade-in is the most hassle-free option. The car dealer determines the trade-in value of your old vehicle based on its age and condition, which is deducted from the price of your new car. Trading in is quick and convenient, and it means that you will not be held responsible should the car develop any post-sale problems.

The disadvantage of the trade-in is that you are unlikely to get the highest possible price for your old car.


In most cases, the best way to ensure maximum return for your used car is to organise a private sale. Selling your car can be hard work, however, so you’ll need to be prepared to invest time and energy if you want a good result.

Before placing an advertisement, determine the market price of your used car by looking through other car ads in newspapers and on the internet. If you can find listings of other models in similar condition to yours, you’ll get a good idea of what the asking price should be.

Once you have found a prospective buyer you should be prepared to negotiate, but make sure you know your limit and stick to it. It is important that you put any agreed deal in writing straight away, including deposit amount, method of payment and date of collection.

You can also decide to sell your used car through dealer consignment. In this scenario, the dealer will handle the sale of your car in exchange for a commission. Many dealers only accept certain high-end vehicles for sale on consignment, so this option is primarily suited to people selling luxury or sports cars.

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