South Africans love to trade-in cars, but getting a good price is what they really want. What’s the best way to get the most value for your used car?

How can you get the best offer when trading in your used car?

How can you get the best offer when trading in your used car?

South Africans love to trade-in cars, it’s part of our DNA. There’s something special about watching your faithful little Getz disappear and miraculously reappear as a shiny new i20 – it’s like magic. But at the end of the day, the only thing most car owners care about is getting the best value for their second-hand car. So what can you do to get the most out of your car trade-in addiction? Here’s a list of tips and hints to help you get the most value when trading-in your used car!

Do your research

Make sure you understand how trade-in values are determined. The TransUnion Auto Dealer Guide is the go-to resource for most dealers, and they base their offers on the trade and retail values provided in the guide. Also, check out what similar cars are going for at the moment, either using online classifieds or calculate your car’s resale value using an online car buying service like CarZar.

Understand the dealer

There are a few things that dealers are concerned about when determining the trade-in value of a car. Most of them you can guess – how old the car is, it’s mileage – but there are a few other important factors that will determine your trade-in offer: a big one to consider is how much work needs to be done on the car to make it resellable. This is called ‘reconditioning’, and includes any repairs, cleaning or replacing of parts that need to happen before the car can be sold on to a new buyer. The current forces affecting the market also play a role – unlucky Ford Kuga owners will have a tough time getting a good price for their car, at least until the public’s perception of the car changes.

Get as many offers as possible

This isn’t a marriage: there’s nothing to stop you from shopping around once you get an offer from a dealer. Very often, dealers will put pressure on you to close the deal as quickly as possible – don’t fall for it.

Think about selling instead

Remember the trade-in addiction I mentioned earlier? Well, our fascination with trading in cars may be hurting your pockets in the long term. Think about selling your car independently: car buying services like CarZar take out the hassle and safety risks associated with selling your car privately, and by they offer cash for cars. Being able to put down a cash deposit gives you more bargaining power when negotiating with a dealer for your new car. You don’t get hooked into trading in and buying from a single dealer, and often get a better price than you would by trading your car in.

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