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4 ways to sell your car in SA: Pros and cons

2017-07-28 07:20

Image: iStock

Cape Town - While the used car market seems to be thriving due to high-price inflation affecting new vehicles, consumers continue to struggle for good prices on trade-ins.

An unrealistic asking price can kill the chances of a sale. There are often a variety of prices in the market for the same car, but consumers tend to ignore the lower list prices and mostly think their car is worth top dollar. This is seldom the case - it is normally the lower priced vehicles that sell first.

GetWorth director, Jamie Surkont, says getting a decent price when selling your car can be tough in SA. 

He says: "Start with research, you need to get a good idea of the market value of your car. There is a wealth of information available these days on the online listing and classifieds platforms."

READ: Beware the 'Four Squares' of buying a car in SA

"Look at the list prices of cars with the same registration year and similar mileages. Make sure you compare apples with apples – with the thousands of different car variants out there, you need to be careful that you are comparing the same specification."


Have you purchased/sold a vehicle through a private sale? What's been your experience? Email us

Four ways to sell your car: Pros and cons of each 

1 Private sale

Pros: You sell directly to the buyer, so there is the potential to get a better financial outcome.
Cons: Security concerns, time-wasters, tire kickers, paperwork and something that many people overlook: finance.

Financing private sales, particularly if there is a trade-in involved, can be challenging and often can take many weeks to finalise. The typical buyer would rather buy from a reputable dealership than an unknown private party, which will affect your asking price.

2 Trade-in
Pros: The convenience of a single transaction.
Cons: It is hard to tell what you are actually getting. A dealer can ofr you what seefems like a good price for your current car, but that could be subsidised by an inflated price for your new car. You would need to ask for a cash price to get a real idea of what you are being offered for your old car. 

3 Middleman sale - wholesalers who buy cars for cash

Pros: Speed and convenience.
Cons: These buyers on-sell most or all of those vehicles to other car dealers. This middleman adds a further layer of cost, so you are virtually certain not to get the best price.

4 Auction

Pros: It’s quick and the pricing is usually transparent.
Cons: The pricing is not necessarily great – most buyers are dealers, the auctioneers charge quite hefty fees (4% - 8% is common) and the vehicle needs to be present at the auction, posing a logistics challenge. 

GetWorth: "The more patient you are in selling and the more effort you are willing to put in, the more likely you are to achieve a decent price.”

"Time carries a cost too, though: your finance payments, insurance and price depreciation continue. Only the hybrid method factors in all elements at the same time."

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