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Private sale or Dealership trade-in? Weighing up the options

Posted on Wednesday 28th February 2018

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You and your car have shared some great memories; you even have a nickname for it. But sadly, you realise it’s time to move on. Once you decide to sell old faithful, the question to ask is: Do I sell privately or go with a dealership trade-in?. It’s a common dilemma many people face, and the answer depends on how quick you want to sell, your financial situation and goals.

Private sale – Trade Me or Facebook?

Selling your car privately means that you are in control of the selling price, and you’ll often make more money compared to trading it in. You can sell on your own terms, and don’t need to deal with a car dealer. However, you’ll need to do a bit of homework if you want to get the best selling price.

First, you need to advertise. Either create an add on Trademe or Facebook and then focus on making the car look immaculate inside and out.

Private buyers will inspect the car from top to bottom, checking for any possible defects. They’re also likely to ask for evidence of the car’s history and condition. This means you may need to provide a service log book and require you to provide a Warrant of Fitness (WOF).

Dealer trade or sale?

There is generally less hassle in selling your car to a dealer, or trading in a car to finance (or partially finance) the purchase of a new car. It is a more quicker and convenient process than selling it privately. However, you won’t be leading the negotiation. The dealership needs to make money too, so you’ll likely receive 10-20% less than selling privately - remember the dealer has to make a profit when onselling your car.

On a positive note, you don’t need to worry about presenting a WOF when you sell or trade in to a dealer. Making the deal immediately rather than having to wait for a buyer, is an added bonus - and you will be on your way in your new ride.

First impressions last

Whether you decide to sell privately or through a dealership, it is important that your car is looking its best – first impressions matter. The better the car’s condition, the more money you’re likely to make on it. For ultimate results, have it detailed by a professional. Get rid of any rubbish – and make sure the seats are clean and that the outside is shining.

Sharing is caring

Providing a logbook and showing regular servicing and maintenance will prove to the buyer that the car was well taken care of. This will increase your chances of finalising your sale quicker.

Having the paperwork ready

You should check if a WOF is required (this can be obtained obtain from an authorised tester or mechanic and New Zealand Transport Authority) – along with any other paperwork that for example registration transfer forms.

If you’re trading your car into a dealer, you won’t need a WOF.

Every seller has a sales pitch

Write a spiel to guide you when talking about your car. This doesn’t have to be an upselling advertisement; but more of a genuine outline of your car’s story.

Include information like when you bought the car, what your favourite feature is about the car and how well maintained the car is. Keep it simple, and be prepared to answer any questions the buyer or dealer have to ask. Practice makes perfect. If you’re unsure about it, practice your spiel with a friend or family member. If it’s good enough, they may want to buy it then and there!

Setting the right price

Getting the best sale, means you need to take the time to do some research. Whether you’re selling privately or through a dealer, it’s good to get an idea of what your car is valued at. You can look for other cars of a similar make, model and age at dealerships or online to see what they’re selling for. You can also use online car valuation tools to get an estimate.

It’s all about the bells and whistles. Your cars valuation really depends on things like the model year, kilometres and added features like air conditioning, 20-inch mag wheels, transmission and colour – to name a few.

Understand the buyer

Always shop around. Don’t feel pressured to sell your car to the first interested buyer or trade in to the first dealer you visit.

When selling privately, make sure you get the contact details and a form of ID from the perspective buyer. If they want to test drive the vehicle, go along for the ride, and check with your insurance company that your policy covers the test drive. When handing over, make sure you have been paid in full before transferring ownership of the car.

If it smells fishy, then it probably is. Always assess the prospective buyer or dealer, so you can avoid any disappointment and dodgy dealings. Use good judgement, remain firm but polite, and don’t feel that you have to settle for less than what you are wanting.

The emotional farewell

This is going to be an emotional time for you. Saying goodbye to the car that got you to places in rain, hail or shine and had many sing-alongs when stuck in gridlock traffic can be hard. You hand over the keys and it’s now time to say goodbye.

Consider what your needs are, and whether it’s worth selling privately and possibly making more money, or if you’d benefit by trading in and saving both time and effort. However, it is your choice to sell, leaving you in control.

Kiwi Car Loans will help in finding out what is best for you, or look at financing your new car. Contact Us and we can help you get behind the wheel of your new ride ASAP.


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