You are Here > Home > Financial Sense Home > Selling your car successfully

Selling your car successfully

Aug 13, 2018

Selling your car can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re new to doing it. Follow these tips to sell your car without getting ripped off in the process.

Selling your carWhen it comes to selling a car, women in particular feel intimidated by the exercise ‒ and it’s not only the case in South Africa. A survey conducted by UK car-selling platform tootle.co.uk back in 2016 found that 68% of women in the UK dreaded selling their car, 40% feared being ripped off, and 24% admitted they had had a bad experience selling a car in the past.

While some do take advantage of women and men alike, the good news is that there are more ways to sell your car nowadays than just through a trade-in at the dealership. What’s more, there are things you can do to inform yourself on how to best price your car to get a fair deal.

Book value vs market value

Before you start the process of selling your car, you need to find out what it’s worth. The motor trade commonly refers to the “book” value and the “market” value of a car. The book value refers to the price published in the Transunion Auto Dealers’ Guide, explains Jamie Surkont, director at used car retailer getWorth.

“The book is used as a guide or base pricing instrument. One must still take into account many other factors that can affect a car’s selling price or market value. Factors such as the condition and history of the car, its colour and mileage, demand, and the state of the economy can all impact the car’s actual value,” he adds.

The market value, on the other hand, is the price that can actually be obtained by selling an asset on a competitive or open market. “Therefore, in car terms, it is the price you will be able to sell it for,” says Surkont.

Do some research on pricing

The best way to get your price is to do your homework. “Go onto websites and compare similar cars to yours. Be realistic about the condition of your car and inspect your car with fresh eyes, as if you were a buyer,” says Surkont. “Blemishes, damage and mechanical issues will affect what you will get. Then make allowances for the dealer’s margin or the discount that someone buying privately would normally expect.”

There’s also Transunion’s car value report that can help you get an estimated price for a once-off fee of R10.

Consider alternatives to selling your car through a dealer

You can sell your car back to the dealer or trade it in. Trading in your car is certainly convenient, but you don’t want to just accept the first offer you get. “Even if the price appears solid, you might be subsidising it through an inflated price on your new car,” says Surkont.

Consider the online alternatives that have sprung up in South Africa that allow you to sell your car snappily, including webuycars.co.za, carzar.co.za, getworth.co.za and dealersonline.co.za which is an online auction site that will next month launch auction.co.za for the consumer. To sell your car privately, try gumtree.co.za.

Research how much you’ll have to pay in transaction charges. Dealersonline.co.za (and soon auction.co.za) charge a 5% fee on the sale price of the car. Make sure that you sell at the right price. “If the vehicle is priced right then it takes 24 hours on average to sell it,” says William Miller, co-owner of dealersonline.co.za. If you want to sell your car for a particular price, then ask them to put a reserve on it so that only deals above that price get accepted.

Clean your car

Before an inspection from a dealer or prospective buyer, clean your car inside and out. “A dirty car full of trash makes a negative impression, and a buyer will ask themselves whether the car was also poorly cared for,” says Surkont.

Be honest

If your car has a few scratches or has been in an accident, disclose this. Dealers and other surveyors are usually trained to inspect the workmanship and can tell just by looking at the paintjob whether the car has been in a collision. If you’re not sure whether your car has been in a crash, consult with the dealership that sold you the car or the manufacturer as they may have a record of it.

Service your car

If you want to get more for your sale, then make sure basic maintenance is up to date. “If the brakes are shot or the tyres bald, replace them,” says Surkont.

But he adds that if your car requires minor cosmetic panel work then rather sell it to a reputable retailer that will get it fixed properly. “You will save money in the long run,” he says.

Look at the mileage and motor plan

Motor plans are handy because they generally cover most service and maintenance costs. However, once they run out it can be costly to maintain a car which is why most people sell their cars. GetWorth recommends that you don’t wait until the last minute and that you rather sell at the 80 000km mark before the motor plan runs out.

“As soon as the motor plan runs out, the value of the vehicle will come down. If you want to keep the value of a second-hand vehicle make sure it’s under some kind of plan so people who are buying feel safe and have an insurance policy against any breaks,” advises Miller who also agrees with selling before it reaches the 100 000km mileage mark.

Get your paperwork together

Once you have an idea about the value of your car it’s important to get all the paperwork together before you sell your car. There’s no point in making a last-ditch desperate scramble to find the paperwork if you have an interested buyer. Getting the best price for your car doesn’t mean you have to know everything that goes on under the bonnet but it helps to do your research and to get everything in order before you start the process.

This article first appeared in City Press.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

Previous Articles

Competition will cut car ownership costs

Freedom to have your car repaired by a non-dealer will increase competition and reduce the cost of repairing and insuring your car. A couple of years ago when I was buying a second-hand car that didn’t have a service plan, I discovered what a rip-off my dealership had...

Tips for a successful used car purchase

Ernest North, co-founder of AI-driven insurtech Naked, looks at some of the steps to follow before committing to a used car purchase. Numbers from TransUnion show that South Africans financed around 79 000 used vehicles in the first three months of 2021, with lenders...

Video: The true cost of a fancy car

The decision on how much to spend when purchasing your car is possibly one of your most important financial decisions. In fact, banks say that the main reason they turn down home loan applications is due to affordability, and the main culprit is usually car finance....

When does it make sense to have a travel allowance?

If you are required to travel for work there are several ways to claim for this expense. You can receive a travel allowance or be provided with a company car. In the case of a travel allowance, the employer would normally pay a set amount, for example R5 000 a month....

Fancy new car or a fabulous retirement?

Khwezi Jackson, investment consultant at 10X Investments, explains how buying a fancy new car could sabotage your retirement funding. Seeing a headline, ‘Spending R10,000 per month on a new car’, got me thinking: Why would anyone spend that much money every month to...

The best way to settle your car finance

Advance payments on car finance do not work the same as on your home loan, so it’s worth understanding how to make the most of it. Any debt that you pay off sooner than required will save you money on interest. However, you need to understand how advance payments work...

Listen: What you need to know about car finance

How does a balloon payment work? What questions should I ask my dealer? Can I settle my car finance early and what happens if I want to give my car back? Maya (@mayaonmoney) chats to vehicle financing expert Henry Botha of Absa Vehicle and Asset finance to answer...

Listen: Know the difference between good, bad and ugly credit

Is there such a thing as good credit? What forms of credit should you avoid at all cost? In this podcast, Maya (@mayaonmoney) and Mapalo (@womanandfinance) discuss the good and dark side of credit and whether the concept of the lay-by will come back into fashion as...

Income protection for ‘gig workers’ – finally!

By Elmarie Samuel, Senior Technical Marketing Specialist at life insurer FMI (a Division of Bidvest Life Ltd) South Africa’s gig economy is booming. More people than ever before are earning a living as so-called ‘gig workers’ - working as independent contractors,...

Unmarried couples must ensure they have a valid will

By Elmien Pols, Private Client Trust In these interesting times in which we find ourselves, it is not unusual for people to live together, have children, buy properties and run a business together without formalising their relationship, either through marriage or a...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This