Presenting your car for sale
I am never surprised by the way some cars a presented for sale either private sale or trade.
First steps of the sale are presentation it doesn’t matter whether the car is 10 years old or 3 months get it cleaned. This does not need to be professionally completed, tips listed below:
- Using a good-quality car shampoo, thoroughly clean the car; do not use washing-up liquid as it can act as a rust accelerator. Start on the roof and work down, cleaning less obvious parts as well (which helps to give that “well cared for” appearance), rinse off well, then dry with a chamois leather. Important don’t leave streaks and water runs on the car.
- Clean the wheels. With alloys, consider buying an alloy wheel cleaner and treat them, and if you’ve got wheel trims, maybe replace them – especially if they’ve been kerbed. Damaged alloys can be repaired too, but this is more expensive. If possible use some tyre gel to wipe around the tyre’s clean tyres give an appearance of a cleaner car.
- Where possible, replace missing trims or badges; Breaker yards offer a cheap source of parts.
- Repair stone chips with a touch-up stick to avoid unsightliness as well as rust.
- Finish up with a good wax and polishes to create that ‘new car’ shine don’t forget windows use glass cleaner inside and out and mirrors too.
Inside the car
- Vacuum thoroughly (including the boot) and clean/treat stained carpets or seats, polish dashboards and door trims.
- Windows should be cleaned after the dashboard, to make sure you don’t spoil your hard work. Use glass cleaner or damp chamois leather. When cleaning the rear window, use a side-to-side action, thus ensuring you don’t damage the heater elements.
- Holes, from mobile phone holders, can be filled in by specialists, as can damage to dashboards or door trims.
- Avoid dousing the car in air freshener, unless you have smoked in it – in which case, buy an odour neutraliser. Spray the ashtray too, after giving it a good clean.
Any faults need fixing, even it is just a blown bulb replace it prior to any inspections. Remember any fault will promote discussion for negotiation on price, not just the cost of the item but the aggravation of getting it fixed. So a 50p bulb blown could be interpreted as the possibility of fixing the whole light unit at £100, so worth paying 50p.
Paperwork is the biggest failure in selling cars the lack of cause’s immense grief. Insure you have got the following.
- REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE (V5) OR LOG BOOK**
- SERVICE BOOK STAMPED CORRECTLY OR INVOICES***
- BOOK PACK
- RADIO AND KEY NUMBERS
- LOCKING WHEEL NUT
* MOT the longer the MOT is a sign the car is well maintained and look after consider putting a new MOT on the car prior to sale so buyers can drive away with no worries. Old MOT’s can also be used as mileage verification so keep them.
**LOGBOOK make sure you transfer ownership to new keeper on the new certificate section 6 (GREEN) or if selling to a motor trader section 9 (YELLOW)
***SERVICE BOOK this needs stamping correctly to show excellent service history if a stamp is missing get it stamped or have the invoice to hand to prove the history.
When a buyer comes to inspect your car they will want to drive it, check they have cover from their insurance, most fully comprehensive policies cover 3rd party on other vehicles but worth asking the question.
Cash, Bankers Draft or Electronic transfer, are your safest way to accept payment my preferred method is Bankers Draft, personal cheques can be taken but be absolutely sure the payment is cleared before releasing the car.
Does the part-exchange deal work?
It’s very simple. The dealer makes you an offer to take your existing car off your hands, provided you buy the new car from him or her. However, the waters can become muddied. Use this example: The car you want to buy has a list price of £15,000. Your car has a trade-in value of £5,000. Dealer A says he’ll give you £7,000 for your car, which makes you feel good, and offers you a £500 discount on the new car. Meanwhile, Dealer B bids just £5,000 for your car but will sell you the new car for £13,000. And Dealer C… you get the idea. It can be confusing, but it needn’t be. One simple phrase clarifies it – ‘cost to change’
Buying Cars New or Used
Use the phone check out as many dealers as you can, you have three choices New or Used car dealers, used car specialists or internet companies, and they will offer great savings let me break them down.
New Used car Dealers: These will offer a great service as well as the car itself, price is the all important factor when buying a car however what about where you take it when it breaks down or needs a service? In my experience dealers will offer better deals and savings to customers that will be using the garage for servicing and parts.
In fact when a service department is booking in cars they normally ask this question in order of putting their customers first in line of preference. (Worth considering the value of this?)
Franchise sites hold all the bonuses and cash backs from the manufacturer over and above the normal 7.5-15% margin. Typical discounts will be around 10% plus any bonuses they may have, please note this will be off the list price excluding VAT.
Always be polite but firm many sales teams work on sales tracks and will lead you along this to gain your commitment or will talk you around a lower or higher specification as the car is in stock, sometimes this may work to your advantage and you can get a great deal. However normally you end up not getting what you wanted so keep to the car of your choice.
Seasons and time of the month can have an angle for getting discounts:
February and August – the months before new plate change will help dealers clear down stocks for the impeding plate change months; also this will help with dealer’s cash flow. So excellent time for a Deal!!!!
December – probably the worst month for selling cars for obvious reasons to get a new car in December 2006 as opposed to Jan 2007 will make £300-500 difference for a few days.
Month End – Dealers chasing targets and budgets will often give bigger discounts if they can cram an extra registration or another used car in to the month.
Used car Specialists: the cars will often be cheaper from the start, these dealers still have to offer a minimum 6 months warranty and normally a years MOT but check before you deal. Independents normally have no service centre or official workshop so check that the warranty provided how it works and where to take the car.
Cash is still king especially with the independents, so when negotiating bear this in mind however the deal negotiated will be less of a reduction due to the price of the vehicle at the start. Car prices will normally be £750-£1000 less than a franchised dealer so bear this in mind.
Excellent places to pick up a great bargain especially on higher specification cars with a higher mileage as the franchised dealers are unable to sell cars over 65000 miles due to their warranty constraints.
Internet Companies: difficult to negotiate with as the cars will be already heavily discounted using many of the manufacturer’s bonuses. These companies will either be in contact with the manufacturer or a local dealer to get these prices.
Things to be careful of are new cars being sold as new to you, first registered to a dealer or a fleet company so they can get the bonus money to reduce the price. The car is unused (Zero mileage) but you become the second owner. Remember that with a franchised dealer you get the back up of the garage, many internet companies are based in office blocks and will have no service package again this will be a factor at some point.
Huge savings can be obtained from these companies but just be sure you understand the whole deal and package.