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Tips on How to Sell Your Second Hand Car & Trade Ins

Are you ready to hand over the keys to your second-hand car to a new owner? Whether you’re upgrading to a brand-new motor vehicle or found a new pre-loved car to call yours; selling a second-hand car is a process, and then some! Selling a car, especially a pre-owned one, can be a daunting task, but with the right tips and guidance, you can navigate the process successfully and smoothly. Selling second-hand cars in South Africa is a job for Subaru. As your trusted automotive expert, we are here to assist you throughout the process, including trade-ins, ensuring you have a hassle-free experience.

Assessing Your Second-Hand Car

Before you can list your car for sale, you need to assess the state and condition of your second-hand car. Why? Well, because if there is a crack in your windscreen, you’re not going to get the most out of your sale. It’s important to assess the condition of the exterior and interior of your vehicle. Assessing your second-hand car is relatively simple. Here is an easy, step-by-step process to follow.

  • Determine the condition of your car: Take a closer look at your car’s interior, exterior, and mechanical components to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
  • Get a professional inspection and appraisal: Consider getting your car inspected by a qualified mechanic to assess its overall condition and provide an accurate appraisal.
  • Research the market value: Conduct thorough research to understand the market value of similar cars in your area, considering factors such as mileage, age, and condition.

Preparing Your Second-Hand Car for Sale

Now that you’ve assessed your second-hand car, it’s time to get it prepped and ready for sale. You will attract a lot of potential buyers, but many of them might be time-wasters. So, it’s best to make sure you have all your ducks in a row and lure in only interested buyers. To do this, you need to prepare your second car. Here are some tips you can use as a guide:

  1. Cleaning and detailing: Give your car a thorough cleaning, both inside and out, to make it look its best. Consider professional detailing for a more polished appearance. If you want, you can also take your car to an auto valet for a deep and proper clean.
  2. Addressing mechanical and cosmetic issues: Fix any mechanical or cosmetic issues that could negatively impact the sale. This includes repairing minor damages, such as a cracked windscreen or aerial, and ensuring all components are in working order.
  3. Gathering the necessary paperwork: Organise all the relevant documents, including the car’s title, maintenance records, and service history. Having these readily available will instill confidence in potential buyers.

Pricing Your Second-Hand Car

Everyone is looking for a deal, but setting the price of your second-hand car too low isn’t exactly ideal. You need to make sure you get a fair deal without selling it too high or low; it needs to be just right. If you’re not sure where to start or even what you’re supposed to do, Subaru has got you covered!

  1. Factors to consider: When determining the price of your used car, you need to consider factors such as the car’s age, mileage, condition, and market demand. This can be used as a guide and starting point for beginning the sales process. 
  2. Online resources and tools: The internet and social media platforms are very useful tools that can provide pricing guidance based on the make, model, and condition of your car. It also allows you to connect with like-minded individuals or potential buyers.
  3. Understanding market demand: This is probably the most important part before selling your car. Research the market to understand current demand for similar cars and adjust your price accordingly to remain competitive.

Advertising and Promoting Your SecondHand Car

You don’t have to become a marketing expert or pro in order to advertise your second-hand car. You just need to effectively promote your car, which in turn will help you step in front of the right audience. Promoting your second-hand car can also increase your chances of a successful sale. Here’s what you need to do to promote and sell your second-hand car:

  1. Create compelling online listings: Channel your inner marketing guru and craft detailed and engaging descriptions for your online listings, highlighting the car’s key features and providing accurate information. You will need to list everything relevant the potential buyer would be interested in knowing, such as make, model, mileage, service history, maintenance history, etc.
  2. Take high-quality photos and videos: Take clear and well-lit photos that showcase your car’s best angles and features. To assist in getting the best possible buyer, take pictures of the car’s interior and exterior features. Consider hiring a professional photographer if needed.
  3. Leverage social media and online platforms: Utilise social media platforms and online classifieds to reach a wider audience, friends, and family. You can even join relevant groups and communities to increase the visibility of your car listing.

Meeting with Potential Buyers

You’ve assessed and prepared your car to go on sale and started advertising it online to get the wheels going. Now you’ve come across potential buyers who are very interested in purchasing your car. Now, with all the scams that are going around, you can’t just sell your car to the first interested individual. You need to handle meetings and negotiations professionally to avoid getting scammed. Follow these easy steps below:

  1. Screen and qualify buyers: Ask serious questions and gather relevant information to ensure potential buyers are serious and qualified. If at some point you feel as if they are wasting your time, or might be scammers, you have every right to roll onto the next potential buyer.
  2. Schedule test drives and inspections: Arrange test drives and inspections with interested buyers, ensuring they have a chance to experience the car firsthand.
  3. Prepare for negotiations: Be prepared to negotiate the price and handle offers professionally. Set a minimum acceptable price and be open to reasonable offers.

Completing the Sale and Paperwork

Hooray! You’ve found a buyer interested in buying your pre-owned car. As exciting as it is to say goodbye to your car, it can be bittersweet to say goodbye to many happy memories and moments on the road with friends and family. Moving forward swiftly, it’s time to complete the sale and grind into handling the necessary paperwork to get things finalised. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Secure payment: Ensure that the payment method is secure and verified before transferring ownership of the car. Depending on how you are wanting to receive payment, you need to ensure that cash is received, or that the money has been cleared and reflected in your account before handing over the keys.
  2. Transfer ownership: Complete the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership to the buyer, including the bill of sale and relevant documentation.
  3. Provide maintenance records: Include all maintenance records and service history to provide reassurance to the buyer about the car’s upkeep.

Trade-Ins: The Benefits and Process

If you’re feeling unwell about the process of selling and fear you may fall into the pit of being scammed, there is an alternative method you can try. Trading in your car with Subaru has several advantages and can be a better option. Here are a few benefits to trading in your vehicle:

  • You will receive a fair price for your vehicle. This is because dealerships have experience in valuing vehicles and will consider important factors such as make, model, age and condition of your car.
  • Selling a car privately can be time-consuming and very stressful. By trading in your Subaru, you avoid the hassle of selling on your own. Subaru will take care of everything for you.
  • The money you receive from your trade-in can be put towards buying your next vehicle.
  • It’s a seamless and convenient process, and it can all be done in one visit at Subaru.

If you’re looking to trade in your car and you’re unsure of how the process works, here are 5 processes that can help.

  1. Estimate the value of your car: During the negotiation process, the dealership will appraise your vehicle and give you a trade-in value. This value will be applied to the purchase price of your new car.
  2. Shop around for dealers: It is best to shop around and get multiple offers from different dealers to ensure you’re getting the best possible price.
  3. Ask for multiple offers from dealerships: When negotiating, you don’t accept the first offer you receive. Rather push back and ask for multiple offers so that the choice is in your hands and you can compare and choose the best one.
  4. Make an appointment with the dealership: This will allow you to have a dedicated time to discuss the trade in and negotiate the deal.
  5. Negotiate and settle the deal: This is your time to use your negotiating skills and get the best possible price for your trade-in. You should never have to settle for something that you don’t want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What documents do I need to sell my second-hand car?

You will need: 

  • A vehicle title, which is a legal document that proves ownership of the car
  • Maintenance records that show the car has been well-maintained.
  • Bill of sale, which outlines the terms of the sale and includes the buyer and seller information, purchase price, and vehicle details.
  • Registration and license plates, which should be handed over to the buyer or returned to the local licensing authority.

How can I increase the value of my second-hand car before selling it?

You can increase the value of your second-hand car by doing a thorough clean, both on the interior and exterior. You can also address any mechanical or cosmetic issues, such as repairing dents or replacing worn-out parts. You will also need to provide a complete maintenance record to show the car’s history of regular servicing and upkeep. Lastly, present the car with all original accessories, spare keys, and owner’s manuals, if available.

Should I sell my car privately or trade it in at a dealership?

The decision to sell your car privately or trade it in at a dealership depends on your priorities and preferences. Selling your car privately may potentially yield a higher selling price, but it requires more time, effort, and marketing skills. You will need to handle negotiations, paperwork, and advertising on your own. Trading in your car at a dealership offers convenience and simplicity. You can use the trade-in value as credit towards the purchase of a new vehicle, saving time and effort. However, the trade-in value may be lower compared to selling it privately

Can I sell my second-hand car if it has outstanding finance?

Selling a second-hand car with outstanding finance is possible, but you will need to inform your finance company about your intention to sell the car. They will provide you with the necessary information and procedures to settle the outstanding finance. Once you have done this, you must request a settlement letter from your finance company, stating the exact amount required to pay off the remaining balance. Communicate with the buyer and the finance company to ensure a smooth transition. The buyer may need to pay the settlement amount directly to the finance company or include it in the sale price. Once the finance is cleared, you can transfer the ownership to the buyer.

Selling your second-hand car can be a smooth and profitable experience when you follow these tips and leverage the expertise of Subaru. By assessing your car, preparing it for sale, pricing it competitively, promoting it effectively, and handling the sale professionally, you’ll increase your chances of a successful transaction. Whether you choose to sell privately or opt for Subaru’s trade-in programme, you can trust Subaru to provide guidance and support throughout the process. Contact us today to learn more about selling your second-hand car with ease.

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