Getting the best value for your car

When purchasing a new vehicle, whether brand new or instead a newer model, one of the biggest unknowns faced by consumers is how to maximise the value of their existing vehicle. This means ensuring the best possible value is obtained; relative to the vehicles worth and the new vehicle purchase being made. Often when purchasing a new vehicle, time is of the essence and this means there can be limitations in terms of privately selling the existing vehicle; relative to the requirement to pick up the new one. Of course, selling your car privately is not the only option available, you can part-exchange the vehicle in many instances but this then is likely to raise the question as to whether value for money is truly being given by the dealer. How then, do you ensure you are truly getting the best possible value for your old car? Today we will look at this question in much greater detail and in doing so look at the different options which could be available.

For many consumers, the prospect of selling a car privately, strikes a level of fear into their souls! Knowing how to correctly price the vehicle, where to advertise it and how to manage requests for discount on price, are the common factors which can make the process seem somewhat daunting. There is in fact several different sources which can assist in making the sale of a car privately, a relatively fuss-free process; should this be the chosen route. Many consumers will look to sell their car privately where it is possible to do so as it is a common belief that this will lead to the best price and in all honesty, is probably is. This though is dependent on the time restrains for the purchase of a replacement vehicle. If for example you are purchasing the new vehicle from a garage, you may need to ensure you have the required funds within a specific period, making selling your car privately somewhat more pressured in nature. Therefore, some consumers prefer to part-exchange their vehicle, as part of the purchase of the replacement; considerations for which we will discuss later on.

For those of us who have decided selling an existing vehicle privately is the best route, there are many different sources which can be used to support the process. Firstly, tackling the vehicle value. A readily available source for pricing your car for private sale is CAP. CAP is an online service which will provide a price based on constantly refreshed data and also industry standard data. CAP will also give price guides depending on your vehicle condition; to ensure it is being priced competitively. Another source of information for your current vehicles value is AutoTrader; offering a similar service to that of CAP with the addition of the ability to list your vehicle for sale within the site also. Equally it would be worth using the sales sites available, whether that be GumTree, Facebook or AutoTrader as mentioned, to locate a like for like vehicle and see how yours fairs in comparison. Once you have decided upon a price it is important to advertise the vehicle through all available channels. This includes online services as listed and in addition; EBay the auction site as well as a poster in the window. It is worth considering we exist is a world where bargaining is common place. This means that it is highly likely a potential purchaser will want to try and reduce the sale price in the clear majority of cases, by asking for a discount. Whilst increasingly the price of vehicle too much may scare away some potential buyers, allowing a ‘buffer’ for negotiation will help you feel comfortable in discussing a price reduction should the opportunity present itself.

For those of us who would prefer to part-exchange our old vehicle with the dealership from which the new vehicle will be purchased, there are a number of key pieces of information to keep in mind. Firstly a part-exchange does not automatically mean you are not getting full value for your old car. Depending on the new vehicle, dealerships will have various different offers which make the total purchase true value for money. This means then it is worth being open minded in terms of your old vehicles value. Where you may get a ‘lower’ price for your car, it may allow the dealership to deduct a greater value from the new vehicle. This means in simple terms it is important to look at the overall price; not just any one factor which contributes to this. It is also worth considering that doing a part-exchange will take away the requirement to sell your old vehicle ‘quickly’ and allow the dealership to do the running around and not you! For more information concerning the topic discussed today, why not check out a recent article on the Daily Mail.


Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems - For help, go to

This article is not intended to contain information about, or advertise, products offered by us but is intended to contain information, give opinions or discuss generally available products/services.

Author: Internal Customer Services Agent