Buying and Selling – How, Where, and Why.

When it comes to buying a used car there are so many variables to consider, particularly when disposing of your current drive.

Last month we covered the lowest cost new cars to consider when buying, however so many of us opt to buy our cars used, and not many of us know exactly what we’re buying when we are buying. When shopping for a used car we are faced with so many different options – How much do I have to spend? Should I buy from a dealer? Should I buy privately? Should I sell privately? Should I trade-in at a dealer? Do I take a risk on a premium car at a low price? While every transaction is different, nearly all of them share common factors. Firstly which car to buy.

The car you want and the car you need are seldom the same. If you are buying for a need, as most car buyers are, there are slightly different things to keep in mind. Let’s start with your budget and how you can get the most for your dollar. Often when shopping online for cars based on budget you’ll see low-end makes of car as new as only a few years old, as well as much older premium brands. For example, right now you can buy a 3.8L V8 Mercedes for slightly less than a Holden Barina, the key difference being about 30 years in manufacturing date. With very few exceptions it is likely that the newer model Barina is probably the better buy for the sake of getting you from point a to point b. Typically a car that has been bought more recently will have fewer issues, a more complete service history, and will be easier to repair. While the Barina is unlikely to have the longevity of the Mercedes due to the smaller engine size and the difference in engineering standards, it should still provide you with what you need for the short to medium term, at a reasonable price, with minimal headaches. 

Trade-in or Sell privately?

Your budget for buying your next car can rely heavily on the price you get for your current vehicle. Depending on how motivated you are to move on to your new set of wheels can determine where you should dispose of your current car by selling it privately or whether you should trade it in at a dealer. If you’re looking to move things on as quickly as possible then a dealer is probably the way to go, but keep in mind a car dealer is in it to make money, so it’s highly likely they will offer you well below the market value for your car. If you have a little more time and a little more negotiating prowess you can try to sell your car privately, but that too can have its drawbacks.

In the next few newsletters, we’ll reveal the best ways to prepare your car for sale, and the best things to keep in mind when purchasing your next car.