Over the past year or so, the car on your driveway could seem a pot of gold. That's how valuable used cars have been since the coronavirus pandemic impacted new car production. Well, the right sort of used cars at any rate – nearly new, sporty or niche, Euro 6 diesels, tidy SUVs…
While microchip shortages continue to delay deliveries of new cars, buyers are being forced to consider nearly new instead. Fewer new cars were sold last year, too, so there are fewer part-exchanges knocking around. Finally, those forced to hunker down during covid have more cash to spend on treats like a change of car.
Making a ton of money on your old car is one reason you might want to sell it, but there are plenty of others including a change in your circumstances, it's costing more to maintain or you simply want to upgrade. The question is, how can you do it? In no particular order, here are nine suggestions:
People become so focused on buying their next car that they forget they're selling one, too. It's called their part-exchange and it has a value not only to you but to the dealer buying it. They can make money on it and, if it's a popular model such as we described above, a lot of money – so make them sweat for it.
Before you turn up at the dealership, make sure you know what your car is worth. You can get an online valuation or one from a company that buys used cars (see below). However, such valuations are often behind the times or on the low side. Instead, we'd run the car past online third-party car buyers such as Wizzle and Motorway that put your car in front of dealers who compete to buy it, rather like an auction. Doing this, you'll get a more realistic, competitive and up-to-date valuation.
So armed, you'll know if the dealer is making you a fair offer. Depending on how they work, they'll either give you a discount on the new car and the lowest price for your old one or no discount and a good price for your old car. As long as you know the market value of your car and keep your eye on the cost to change from your old car to the new one, however they construct the deal, you'll know whether you're being treated fairly or not.