Private, Trader, Auction or Car Buyer – Who do I sell with?

The time has come. Maybe you fancy something new? Never loved the car? Or need something bigger? You need to sell you car! In the old days your options were the free ads, auctions or trade in. Now you have the option of private sales through local agencies Autotrader and Gumtree. Sell it to one of the 20 dodgy dealers nearby and hope you get a good price or use a car buying service which promise instant guaranteed cash... after they’ve knocked you down from the instant online quote. 

Today we are going to look at the pros and cons of these services to help you choose which is best. 

Private Sale:
Being honest, a private sale always offers more cash than any other method. You can sell your car below list and not have to pay out for all the costs of running a dealership. Currently you can use Gumtree or the free ads to reduce advertising spend or try the tested methods of Autotrader and eBay. If you have the time and patience and can hold your ground, then a private sale is for you. However, be pre-pared for a lot of tire kickers, time wasters and will you take peanuts for it. 

Compared to a dealer you’re not offering a new MOT, service and warranty (unless you put your hand in your pocket) so the people you will get are after a bargain. They expect to pay less for less. Just remember to stay safe as scammers will try their luck. Remember if it looks too good to be true, then it is!

Pros: More money
Cons: Time wasters

Traders or car dealers generally have their own forecourt to sell from, offering quality used cars with a new MOT, service and warranty. Making this a great place for customers to safely buy cars and with finance options available they’re not restricted on their purchase as they would be in a private sale using cash. Your dealer has overheads, site, staff and maintenance of the car. A sitting car costs money! Not only this they need to factor in leeway as everyone likes a bargain! 

With dealers you need to be realistic. If your car is worth £5000, they will offer you £2800. Stinger right? Well consider they need to add a new MOT, service and warranty to your car (market price £250), turn the lights on, advertise through Autotrader (£90), pay someone to sell it, leave room for negotiation and still feed their family. Did you know most cars only make 20% profit? For this loss in value they take all that cost and the hassle of customers and give you instant cash. See something you like on the forecourt? You could even make a trade-in deal!

Pro: Hassle taken away
Con: Less money than you expected!

The auctions are the traders hunting ground. This is where they get cheap buys which generally have problems and fix them ready for sale. Making a decent profit (higher end of 20%). Normal people can put their car through the auctions but if you are willing to let it ride on the drop of a hammer you either bought your car cheap or there is something wrong with it. Auctions generally operate a “sold as seen” mantra. When dealers buy here, they expect a much lower price.

Using an auction will generally end up with you getting the price a dealer would have offered you but minus auction house prices. Meaning less money than you started with. 

Pro: Great for sold as seen cars
Cons: Less money than a dealer

Car buyer
These are springing up everywhere. We buy any car being the main one. How these services work is they take the lowest value your car is worth for its age and miles and provide an instant quote. You visit the portacabin or site where a trained associate will knock you down in small increments based on the finish of your car (kerbed wheels, scratches etc) That will be your final price. You can take it or leave it. If you take it, they then provide you with instant cash and sweep your car off to auction where it is sold to a dealer and will be on a forecourt in under a month. 

These services provide instant money but they will never part with the full online quote price and inevitably will end up with a dealer.  

Pro: Instant money
Con: Less than you were expecting

With Hypermotive being a trader, you may consider our conclusion a bit biased but in reality, unless you’re happy to wait for a bigger payday then a dealer is your best option. It is safer, more secure, better prices and trade-in options are available.