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Focus on Selling Cars: How to Get Top Price

Have your children finally fled the nest? Or maybe your family has expanded over the last year, with new additions of children or four-legged friends? Whether you are looking to upgrade, or your current vehicle just doesn’t do what you need it to do any more, if it’s the end of the road for your current vehicle you can make sure you get as much as possible for it. In this series we look at the best way to sell a vehicle, and what you can do to optimise the price.

How to sell your car

When it comes to selling vehicles, you have four main choices:

  1. sell it privately
  2. trade your vehicle in with your dealership
  3. selling it via an online sales site
  4. selling your car via auction.

Each have their pros and cons in terms of the amount of time and effort that is required, the risk factors, and the amount of money you are likely to be paid. As a general rule, the quicker and easier a process, the less money you are likely to get. It depends on how much time you have to do the selling yourself – if you choose to advertise privately, you will probably get the best price, whereas selling via an online sales website or auction may be quicker and easier, but you’re likely to get 10% less. Part exchange via your local car dealership falls somewhere in the middle; you won’t get as much for your car as if you sold it privately, but it is hassle-free and they will even do the paperwork for you.

When to sell your car

The age of your vehicle when you sell it and the time of year that you sell both have an impact on how much you are likely to get. Value tends to fluctuate with demand, and for that reason convertible cars tend to get a higher price in the warmer months, and four-wheel drives are more popular in the winter months. If you are looking for part exchange with a local car dealership, it can pay to choose quieter months such as January, March, August and December.

Selling a car with outstanding finance

It is very difficult to sell a car that still has finance on it. If you bought your car on finance and there is still a balance outstanding, you must contact your finance company and find out the settlement figure. This, plus any early settlement fee that may be applicable, is the amount that you need to pay off before you can sell the vehicle.

If you are unsure of the current value of your vehicle, you can look online at vehicle sales sites or contact your local dealership. Once you know of the price range you are likely to get, you can decide how – and when – to sell and start looking for your new vehicle. Next week we look at what you need to do to prepare your vehicle for sale – follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date.

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