Used Car Advice – Motoring Expert Survey

1. THE USED CAR MARKET MINEFIELD

  • Figures reveal FOUR out of FIVE used cars needed ESSENTIAL repairs. Over HALF of them developed faults within a month.
  • THREE times as many complaints were made to the CAB about independent car dealers than franchised firms or private sellers.

2. ‘HOW TO SELL MY CAR’ – USED CAR ADVICE – EXPERT SURVEY

On the Appreciating Cars blog we recently published our own guide to selling your car. We surveyed some of the top motoring journalists and used car market experts in the UK and US.

We then compiled this research together with a review of different websites and services that allow you to sell your car.

We found that 80% of car experts surveyed would sell their own car by private means through paid car listing sites such as Autotrader or PistonHeads.

Part-exchange was the 2nd preference, but ONLY if the car is not too old and not in need of too many repairs, otherwise you’re likely to get stung by the dealership.

3. WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

“I wouldn’t use a cash for cars company because I would assume (maybe wrongly) that I’d get a poor price…”
– Jon Bentley, current presenter on The Gadget Show and original producer of TV shows Top Gear and Fifth Gear.

“Unless you’re buying the vehicle from someone you trust implicitly, I recommend an inspection.”
– Steve Linden, car appraisal expert.

“If it was new and in good condition, part-exchange (cars like this are currently in short supply in the UK and part-ex prices for them are high).”
– James Foxall, former motoring editor for The News of the World and current contributor to The Telegraph and Auto Express.

“Cash for cars… only if your plane is leaving in 2 hrs.”
– Ray Paulsen, 40 year veteran of the auto sales industry and used car advice expert.

“Cheap cars are usually hiding something.”
– Matt Tumbridge of UsedCarExpert.co.uk

4. HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF

For Buyers:

  • The average price of a used car in the UK is £5000-£6000. Yet, people are reluctant to spend £100-150 on an official inspection.  Invest a little now to save big in the future.
  • If you go to a dealer, choose a franchise or an independent dealer that’s a member of the RMIF (Retail Motor Industry Federation).  They are legally obliged to comply with consumer protection laws.
  • If a private seller a) has missing paperwork b) will not allow an official inspection c) has no vehicle service history. DO NOT buy. These are all red flags.

For Sellers:

  • If you part-exchange your car, don’t forget that you may miss out on potential discounts on the new vehicle. Dealers will do this to compensate for buying the old one. Get an accurate value of the two cars separately, before negotiating an exchange deal.
  • Don’t be tempted by the convenience of Cash for Cars companies. Only use them if you really can’t afford the time and effort to do otherwise. You can make more money negotiating direct with dealers or selling privately.
  • Get your documents, agreements and money in order and in writing. Even in private sales buyers have rights. If you’re an honest seller, make sure you can prove it down the line.
About the Author: