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Get more when selling your car

Get more when selling your car

One in two new car owners who purchased a vehicle in the past three years are already looking to replace it with a smaller model, research suggests.

Of more than 1700 people surveyed, 45 percent had considered downsizing to a more efficient model of car.

These results could be partially attributed to rising living expenses, including petrol prices, having an impact on the hip pocket of motorists.

But if you believe the pundits, who say cars depreciate on average by around 14 percent in the first three years, then up to 8 percent after that, sellers should expect to be out of pocket – particularly if they are still paying off a car loan.

For the seller of the used car, the question is how to fetch the highest possible asking price and get an edge on the competition.

Adding value to increase appeal

One answer is to add value to your car, which may be as simple as cleaning it up, repairing any minor damage and keeping a record of servicing.

Some minor repairs that could be made are an engine tune-up or having the oil changed. Replacing a cracked windshield can be expensive but it may be unavoidable in some cases. Be careful not to overcapitalise though, because repairing a car for sale is not like renovating a house – unless it’s a collectors’ model you are selling.

An excellent idea is to have the maintenance records of the car ready and available for inspection by potential buyers. In a used car market made notorious by some dodgy operators, providing a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) report could help to seal the deal.

For a small fee, federal government-recognised VIN reports can be run on any car, motorbike, caravan or trailer registered in Australia. The report provides data about the vehicle and where it was registered along with information about any money owing, theft records and a history of collisions, storm and flood damage and inspections.  

Nab a used car bargain

For those looking to buy a car this year, now may be an ideal time to snap up a used car bargain.

Michelle Hutchison, spokeswoman for RateCity, offers this advice: “Do your research and discover which makes and models hold their value best over the years.”

“It might be tempting to opt for the first car loan you come across so as to get the ball rolling and secure your dream car. But it really pays to shop around for car finance, in the same way you would when shopping for the car itself. Compare car loans online to shave time otherwise spent visiting multiple websites of car loan providers in search of quotes.”

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Learn more about car loans

How much is your car worth?

If you already own a car, you could potentially bring down the cost by selling your car in the process. Before that happens, though, you’ll need to find out how much your car is worth.

One of the first places to find this value is to research the value of your current car, giving you an idea of roughly how much it’s worth in its peak condition.

There are plenty of websites that offer a free online valuation, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with results listing a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.

Of course, dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it, making it highly unlikely that you’ll get the same price selling a car to a dealer as you would selling a car privately.

However, private car sales can be costly and can take months to sell, making car trading more convenient with a guaranteed return, even if you may not be able to realise the total value of your car’s worth.

Remember that everything is negotiable. If the dealership is offering you less for your trade than you wanted, try to negotiate elsewhere to gain that money back. Start by negotiating on the price of the trade and then ask them if they can give you a further discount on your new car.

How much is my car worth?

If you own a car, it may be something that can help you bring down the cost of your next vehicle purchase through its sale. However, before you can do that you’ll want to find out how much your car is worth.

Your car’s worth can depend upon various aspects, including:

  • Age
  • Condition
  • Model and make

A great starting place for aspects of this includes websites that offer online valuations, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with the listed results displaying a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.

Both have pros and cons, as cars can be very profitable, something that will no doubt impact any chance you have to make the most of your car’s value upon sale. Dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it for, so you shouldn’t expect the same price selling a car to a dealer that you would necessarily get selling a car privately.

What is a car loan?

A car loan, also known as vehicle finance, is money that a consumer borrows with the express purpose of buying a vehicle, such as a car, motorbike, van, truck or campervan. Car loans can be used for both new and used vehicles.

Can I buy a car as a student?

Buying a car is a huge financial decision, and shy of marriage and purchasing a house (or perhaps around the world travels), it may be the biggest financial decision you make. But if you’re looking at your empty pockets, don’t despair! Your dream of owning your own car could become a reality, if you look for and compare the right car loans for your circumstances.