Going to a local car dealer has long-been a traditional way to sell your car. Even now, with instant online car buyers and private advertising websites, car dealers remain the go-to for many when they’re looking to sell.
However, fairly or unfairly, car dealers have a bit of a dodgy reputation. The stereotype of a dodgy dealer is one of someone who will find minor or non-existent issues with your car in order to knock the price down.
However, there are some excellent, highly-reputable car dealers out there, and selling to a dealer is still a very popular choice amongst UK owners.
So what are the things to watch out for to make sure that the process of selling a car to a dealer is a pleasant experience for all involved?
Here are the 5 common most common questions around selling your car to a dealer:
- How do I find the right dealer?
Now, this might seem like an obvious one, but it is incredibly important. If you are going to sell your car to a dealer, make sure you choose the right one.
You’ll need to find one that’s both trustworthy and handily located for you. Searching Google for “car dealer near me” should give you a handy list of dealers in your area.
But don’t just go for the one most handily located for you. To research their trustworthiness, check out their average review scores on both Google and third party review sites like TrustPilot, and read as many as possible.
All this will help you find a good car dealer, and avoid any horror encounters with a dodgy wheeler dealer!
- How do I know how much my car is worth?
Again, this might sound fairly obvious. However, if you are going to sell a car to a dealer, you know they may try to negotiate the price down. It is therefore important to get a good understanding of how much your car is worth before visiting a dealership.
There are plenty of valuation tools online, and plenty of them are free to use. These include Parkers, Motorway – a car selling comparison site, and Auto Trader. However, while these tools will give you a fairly decent understanding of your car’s value, they’re not 100% accurate and prices given should be seen as estimates for the kind of buyer they work with.
Before selling, also make sure you are aware of any scuffs, dents or other damage, so there’ll be no nasty surprises when a dealer inspects your vehicle and suggests any reductions.
- Is the part-exchange (trade-in) right for me?
When you’re selling a car to a dealer, they may well offer you a part-exchange for another vehicle. This involves negotiating two deals in one transaction, as you’ll get to swap your old car for another one. For many, part exchange is seen as a very stress-free option, as you’ll get your fresh wheels as soon as you’ve sold your old vehicle.
However, it may not be the best option. Dealers will always look to make the most money through the part exchange. It may also be more cost-effective to sell your car outright, rather than through a part-exchange.
It is therefore important to have a good understanding of how the part-exchange works and the value of your car before you decide to go down this route. Always weigh up any prices you are given, and do get the calculator out!
- How do I negotiate with the car dealer to get a better deal?
Once you have a good understanding of your car’s value, you’ll be better prepared for the inevitable negotiations on price.
Any car buyer, whether they’re a dealer or not, are going to want to drive the price down a bit if they can, so you’ll need to be prepared for a few negotiation mind games. And remember, nobody can force you to sell for a price you’re not happy with. Unless you’ve signed something, there will be no obligations to proceed with a sale.
With that in mind, it may be a good idea to have a realistic price you don’t want to go below, as this will help you know how much you want for it.
It’s important to remain calm and polite, as if you appear desperate, this will play into the buyer’s hand and they will offer you a lower price.
- What should I do to prepare my car for the sale?
When you’ve found the right dealer, you need to make sure your car is ready for the sale.
This does not only involve removing all the empty drinks bottles, snack wrappers, and any additional rubbish and debris. Dealers want to know they’re buying a car that’s been well looked after and treated well. So try to ensure you give your car a good clean both inside and out. You might even take it to the local car wash to ensure it’s extra shiny for the day of sale.
They will obviously take a look at the engine and other internal components too, but giving a good first impression is always important.
So there you have it, your most common questions about selling to a dealer explained. You should now be armed with all the info you need to ensure a great price when selling to a car dealer.
If you are looking for more information on the best ways to sell a car, the Money Advice Service offers some great advice on selling to dealers.