If you have lovingly cared for your car ever since the first day of ownership, it’s probably still in really good condition. So when you have decided to upgrade your beautiful ride for a newer model, how do you go about getting the best price? If you look at the trade-in deals available, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out how lame these usually are. You’ll be lucky if you get a third of the true value of your trade-in vehicle. Car dealers rely on the hope that most car owners are either lazy or stupid, usually both. So how do you kick these jerks to the kerb and get the highest premium for your cherished vehicle? This article shows you how to get the most buck for your ride in a few easy steps.
Step 1 – The Details
It doesn’t matter how awesome your engine or inner workings are, your car will usually be judged on first impressions. The bodywork needs to be as shiny and clean as humanly possible. If there are any rust spots or car park dings, get these sorted and then pay for a professional detailing job. This may cost a few hundred, but you’ll be in the driving seat when it comes to bargaining power. It goes without saying that your mechanical issues should also be well and truly taken care of before placing that advert.
Step 2 – The Value
If you price your vehicle in the wrong bracket, you will get zero response. Do not ask for a figure that you believe is the correct value, do a little research and you will soon find its worth. If you have any extras that may add value, point these out in the advert, but make sure they are not unrealistic. Remember that one man’s meat may be another’s poison. Car upgrades are a very personal thing.
Step 3 – Tell The World
Once you have made your ride look as good as it is going to get and set a decent price, you can start marketing the beast. Look at local papers, online sites and even word of mouth. eBay and Auto Trader are great, but ensure you don’t attract timewasters. Ask online viewers to come in person before placing a bid, many deals are ruined because the would-be buyers were disappointed when they saw what they had bid on. Include all contact information and highlight any special features on the car/van/truck.
Step 4 – Viewings
This is the penultimate step in any selling activity and it can be fraught with issues if you aren’t prepared. Before you allow any old idiot to come and see your pride and joy, ask a few searching questions. They must show a valid insurance document before you hand over the keys and their license must be up to date. Do not allow them to take a spin without you being in the passenger seat. If it looks like they’re just wasting your time, tell them where to go, politely! Ensure you have all of the vehicle’s relevant paperwork to hand, if they don’t ask for this, they’re not serious.
Step 5 – Sold!
As long as you pay heed to steps 1-4, you will sell your vehicle. Draw up a bill of sale and have two copies available. If you are offered cash, count carefully and ensure they are not forged notes. Most vehicle sales are still completed using cash, so try to have a friend present in case you feel under pressure. Any bank transfers should be done in a bank and ask the cashier to check all details carefully. If you are offered a check for the deal, do not let your vehicle go until that has cleared successfully – Well Done!